HANS SOMMER (1837-1922): Rübezahl und der Sackpfeifer von Neiße.
Catalogue Number: 02S008
Label: Pan Classics
Reference: PC 10367
Description: A mathematics professor who chucked that career at the age of 47 to be a full-time composer, Sommer wrote this opera in 1904, using a subject from medieval legend (a mountain spirit who turns into a bagpiper when summoned by the hero) which at least a dozen other Classical and Romantic composers had either treated or planned but did not write (Mahler!). Sommer’s musical language has its Wagnerian elements but melody is prioritized over harmony and makes high demands on conductor and orchestra in the harmonic cocept he does use. This is one of two Sommer operas which Richard Strauss bizarrely recommended for revival in a letter to Karl Böhm of April 27, 1945 while the world around them was literally going up in flames. 3 CDs. German libretto. Magnus Piontek (bass), Johannes Beck (baritone), Anne Preuß (soprano), Hans-Georg Priese (tenor), Opera Choir of the Thüringen Theater & Philharmonie, Altenburg-Gera Philharmonic Orchestra; Laurent Wagner.