JOHANN CHRISTIAN FRIEDRICH HÆFFNER (1759-1833): Electra.
Catalogue Number: 08M034
Reference: CAP 2203:1-2
Description: This German-born composer spent 52 years in Stockholm and Uppsala and contributed more than any other conductor, teacher and composer to the grounding of a Swedish musical tradition. Electra dates from 1787 and shows Hæffner's enthusiasm for Gluck in almost every note; extended, orchestrally-accompanied recitatives and ariosos drive the majority of the action, only rarely opening out into what we would call arias. A large, richly colorful orchestra uses leitmotives - for Electra, two "vengeance" themes, a "motif of the abyss" - which appear and reappear throughout and nods to particular scenes in Gluck operas are there to enlighten and give hints to the cognoscenti. Amazing how something this remarkable stayed buried for two hundred years. 2 CDs. Swedish-English libretto. Hillevi Martinpelto, Helle Hinz (sopranos), Peter Mattei, Mikael Samuelson (baritones), Swedish Radio Choir, Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble; Thomas Schuback. Original 1993 release.