Suppe: Overtures, Marches / Jarvi, Royal Scottish NO

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SUPPÉ Overtures: Leichte Kavallerie; Boccaccio; Pique-Dame; Dichter und Bauer; Das Modell; Isabella; Die schöne Galathée; Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Aband in Wien. Boccaccio-Marsch. Humoristische Variationen. Marziale nach Motiven aus der Operette “Fatinitza.” Über Berg, über Thal. Juanita-Marsch Neeme Järvi, cond; Royal Scottish Natl O CHANDOS 5110 (SACD: 79: 42)

If your familiarity with Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere Suppé Demelli (Franz von Suppé to most of us) is limited to the Overtures to Light Cavalry and Poet and Peasant , then this disc is for you. It can be summed up in two words: GREAT FUN! Thirteen numbers spanning half a century (1844-1895) make up this 80-minute program, and few will disappoint. Right from the opening trumpet fanfare of Light Cavalry —bright, boisterous, splendidly assured—one senses that this disc is going to be a total delight. Tight rhythms, crisp articulation, immense verve, and Chandos’s vividly brilliant sound inform every number.

Unless you are already a die-hard Suppé fan, there are bound to be joyful surprises at every turn. The coda to the Queen of Spades Overture will have you positively jumping out of your seat and cheering with exhilaration. The March after Motifs from Fatinitza (arranged by the 20th-century Max Schönherr) is curiously reminiscent of the March from Beethoven’s Ruins of Athens . Listeners who know Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture will recognize one of its themes in the Humorous Variations , although it should be remembered that Suppé’s overture preceded Brahms’s by more than 30 years. And make no mistake, there is humor aplenty in Suppé’s work.

Exclusively Suppé discs are not common. Those that exist are almost all devoted only to the overtures, and I haven’t found any released since 2001, when Marco Polo issued Vol. 6 of its Suppé Overtures series (Volumes 1, 2, 4, and 5 have been reviewed in Fanfare 18:4, 18:6, 19:4, and 22:6). That makes the present item under consideration all the more welcome as it includes four marches and a variation set in addition to eight overtures, some well known, others not.

Extensive program notes by Calum MacDonald about each work add further sparkle to this outstanding release. Definitely a Want List candidate.

FANFARE: Robert Markow

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: CHSA 5110

  • UPC: 095115511022

  • Label: Chandos

  • Composer: Franz von Suppé

  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra