ARIBERT REIMANN (b.1936): L’Invisible.
Catalogue Number: 07U060
Label: Oehms Classics
Reference: OC 973
Description: Reimann's most recent opera (2017) consists of a trilogy of separate works based on unconnected plays by Maeterlinck; “The Intruder”, “Interieur”, and “The Death of Tintagiles”. The first is a domestic tragedy with faintly supernatural overtones; the second is also a small family tragedy, this time centered on a suicide, and the third a mediæval tale of murder in pursuit of power. The three dramas are linked, by Maeterlinck's omnipresent themes of the inexorability of fate and the inevitability of death, and all are guided by pivotal figures who are neither seen nor heard. Reimann further connects them by having characters who fill a similar rôle played by the same singers, and by the recurrence of a 'death chord' which emerges with distinctively contrasting orchestration from the prevailing timbres of all three works, which follow a clear evolving structure throughout the cycle from economy to increasing opulence. The dramas are also linked by interludes, which feature three 'messengers of death' as they are revealed to be, with a certain ambiguity in the third play, eerily sung by three countertenors. Throughout, Reimann's soundworld is worthy of note; the rich and constantly inventive late Romantic and Expressionistic orchestration contributes a kind of aural scenery that almost renders the staging redundant. And of course, his perfectly characterised vocal writing is second to none. To suggest that Reimann's music dramas are the natural heirs of Schoenberg's Erwartung (except that Reimann is kinder to his singers!) is not so much to imply any precise musical kinship as to hail their comparable emotional intensity and expressive focus. 2 CDs. French-German libretto. Rachel Harnisch (soprano), Annika Schlicht (mezzo), Seth Carico (bass-baritone), Stephen Bronk (baritone), Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Donald Runnicles.