Double premiere – first recording and first performance: Franz Liszt never finished his mature opera Sardanapalo. Now 170 years old, the first act refracts the world of mid 19th-century opera through the prism of Liszt’s unmistakable voice. Kirill Karabits directs Liszt’s own orchestra in Weimar, where the music was composed, in a programme of burning, Byronic romanticism. more
"You end up wishing that Liszt had somehow incorporated operatic composition into his extraordinary career, and wondering what the course of musical history might have been if he had." (Gramophone, Editor's Choice)
Further reading (David Trippett). David Trippett is University Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Cambridge. His numerous publications include Wagner’s Melodies (Cambridge: University Press, 2013) and he is recipient of several international awards. The surviving manuscript of Sardanapalo’s first act was deciphered, edited and orchestrated by him
Contrary heroes: Mazeppa and Sardanapalo performed by Karabits and the Weimar Staatskapelle
Sardanapalo, who prefers wine and concubines to politics and warfare, and Mazeppa, who dies with glory, having endured pain and humiliation: dramatic literary models, impressively set to music by Franz Liszt. Written at the same time, these works represent Liszt's ideas striving to unite literature and music, on the one hand modernising Italian opera and on the other advancing towards the symphonic poem in his orchestral writing.
The Sardanapalo manuscript comprises the first act. For 170 years the material lay dormant in the Goethe and Schiller archive in Weimar: it was only in 2017 that David Trippett deciphered, edited and orchestrated the manuscript at the University of Cambridge.
Kirill Karabits conducts the Weimar Staatskapelle: Liszt's orchestra in the city in which he composed the opera. audite continues its series of the great Weimar Kapellmeister-composers.
Karabits und seine glänzend aufgelegte Weimarer Staatskapelle und Chor zaubern mit köstlichen Farbtupfern eine prickelnde Orientatmosphäre, vor allem kosten sie die zahllosen, durchaus strapaziösen Spannungsbögen weidlich aus. Mehr lesen
When El-Khoury’s volatile soprano shoots skywards, wildly dramatic, you wonder what heights were left to breach in the unwritten acts. Airam Hernández (Sardanapalo) and Oleksandr Pushniak (soothsayer Beleso, the grown-up in the room) contribute forcefully, although not as much as Karabits’s orchestra, on excellent form, weighty with piercing brass and thrusting strings. Liszt’s symphonic poem Mazeppa, thrillingly performed, valuably fills out this most special and historic release. Mehr lesen
It’s undeniably thrilling stuff, and by this stage I found myself so caught up in the drama that I was itching to crack on with the next four acts…until I remembered that they’d never materialised. Sardanapalo may be ‘the claw of a lion’ rather than the entire majestic beast (to borrow a phrase from one of Wagner’s letters to Liszt), but it’s definitely worth a visit.Mehr lesen
Kirill Karabits conducts this [Mazeppa] and Sardanapalo with pace and purpose, and his singers are strong if not subtle.Mehr lesen
It's a little-known fact that Franz Liszt, famed composer of symphonic poems and virtuosic piano works, actually tried his hand at writing anMehr lesen
Kirill Karabits leitet eine in allen Gruppen großartig disponierte Staatskapelle Weimar. Aller Glanz und Können dieses erstklassigen Orchesters ist besonders in der der Operneinspielung vorgelagerten Aufnahme der Sinfonischen Dichtung „Mazeppa“ zu genießen.Mehr lesen
Der assyrische König Sardanapalo, der als Hedonist Wein und Konkubinen den Staatsgeschäften vorzieht, und der ukrainische Volksheld Iwan Mazeppa,Mehr lesen
An immensely important issue, this is the first recording of the performing edition by British musicologist David Trippett of Sardanapalo, the onlyMehr lesen
Eine andere „Götterdämmerung“ wäre das Goethe gewidmete LesedramaMehr lesen