Christian Thielemann / Angela Denoke

Live aus der Semperoper: The Lehár Gala from Dresden

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This live recording of music by Franz Lehár, with nods to Oscar Straus and Johann Strauss II, presents an entertaining mix of orchestral pieces and vocal numbers from the world of operetta. Led by Christian Thielemann, the Staatskapelle Dresden plays with old-fashioned charm and gaiety, the Sächsischer Staatsopernchor sings with robust energy, and sopranos Angela Denoke and Ana Maria Labin and tenor Piotr Beczala give highly expressive interpretations that evoke feelings of late Romantic musical theater in its glory days. The singing is in German, so listeners who aren't fluent in the language may need to do some independent research, for the accompanying booklet doesn't provide lyrics. But fans of Lehár's operettas Das Land des Lächelns, Friederike, Giuditta, and especially Paganini will revel in these glittery hits from the past. Deutsche Grammophon's reproduction of the concert is open and spacious, so the orchestra's wide dynamic range is fully conveyed in the resonant ambience of the Semper Opera House, though that hugeness tends to keep the singers' voices at a middle distance, giving them little presence.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 7:04 Amazon
2 3:28 Amazon
3 2:52 Amazon
Der Graf von Luxemburg
4 3:48 Amazon
5 3:05 Amazon
Das Land des Lächelns
6 5:35 Amazon
7 4:11 Amazon
8 3:48 Amazon
9 3:36 Amazon
10 4:52 Amazon
Der Göttergatte
11 6:56 Amazon
12 4:28 Amazon
Der Zarewitsch
13 4:03 Amazon
Zigeunerliebe (Gipsy Love)
14 2:10 Amazon
15 5:12 Amazon
Das Land des Lächelns
16 3:41 Amazon
Schön ist die Welt
17 4:17 Amazon
18 3:18 Amazon
Eine Frau, die weiss was sie will
19 4:16 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick