Horneman: Aladdin / Schønwandt, Danish National Symphony Orchestra
A MusicWeb International Recording of the Month for July 2022!
Aladdin’s story, taken from the Arabian One Thousand and One Nights, has been told many times and in many different ways. This operatic version by the Danish composer, C.F.E. Horneman, dates from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century and has the lush harmonies and flowing melodies you might expect from a piece of its time. Horneman adds new lustre to the old fairy tale about Aladdin and Princess Gulnare as they escape the forces of nocturnal magic and pursue happiness.
Soloists include Bror Magnus Tødenes, Dénise Beck, Johan Reuter, Stephen Milling, Henning von Schulman, Hanne Fischer, Steffen Bruun, Elisabeth Jansson, Frederikke Kampmann, Sidsel Aja Eriksen, Klaudia Kidon, Rikke Lender, and Jakob Soelberg.
The history of [Horneman’s Aladdin] as summarised here is fully laid out in a fascinating booklet essay by Inger Sørensen, and we are further informed by Niels Bo Foltmann that for this recording the score has been newly edited to include amendments made by Horneman during the course of the 1902-03 performances; so that effectively we can now hear the opera for the first time in the form that the composer finally intended.
It is clear from this recording that Aladdin is a work of real weight, which well deserves revival and performance. The orchestra...plays powerfully and superbly throughout under the direction of Michael Schønwandt, who displays all the energetic involvement and sense of panache required...some of the delicate singing of Bror Magnus Tødenes (notably in the lullaby mentioned earlier) is absolutely beautiful in both placement and tone. Johan Reuter is also notable for the strength of his contribution as the villainous Noureddin, and the two principal female roles are admirably filled by the vibrant Dénise Beck and the warmly maternal Hanne Fischer.
[The] presentation of the set in its...imposingly handsome box, three discs in cardboard sleeves and 152-page booklet in Danish and English with complete libretto and translation, is absolutely excellent – just what is required if an altogether unknown opera such as this is to receive proper appreciation. One looks forward eagerly to further such revelations.
--MusicWeb International (Paul Corfield Godfrey)
Release Date: May 06, 2022
Catalog Number: 6200007
Number of Discs: 3
Composer: Christian Frederik Emil Horneman
Conductor: Michael Schønwandt
Orchestra/Ensemble: Danish National Symphony Orchestra