OP2860. SCHWANDA DER DUDELSACKPFEIFER (Weinberger), Broadcast Performance, 1948, w.Zillig Cond. Hessischen Rundfunks Ensemble, Frankfurt; Karl Schmitt-Walter, Betina Brucker, Karl Friedrich, Christa Ludwig, etc. (E.U.) 2-Walhall 0377. - 4035122653779
“ŠVANDA THE BAGPIPER (Schwanda the Bagpiper), written in 1926, is an opera in two acts (five scenes), with music by Jaromír Weinberger to a Czech libretto by Miloš Kareš, based on the drama STRAKONICKÝ DUDÁK ANEB HODY DIVÝCH ŽEN (The Bagpiper of Strakonice) by Josef Kajetán Tyl. Its first performance was in Prague at the Czech National Opera on 27 April 1927. It premiered in German, with the translation by Max Brod, at Breslau on 16 December 1928. Other productions quickly followed: Ljubljana, 5 October 1929 (in Slovenian translation), Riga, 6 December 1930 (in Latvian translation), Sofia, 6 November 1931 (in Bulgarian translation) & Metropolitan Opera, New York, 7 November 1931.
At the time, the opera, with its use of Czech folk material, enjoyed considerable success, with translations into 17 languages. Since that time, the opera has fallen from the repertory, although in orchestral performances and recordings, the ‘Polka and Fugue’ now together form a concert work that is heard more often than the opera itself.”
“Schmitt-Walter made his key début at the Berlin State Opera in 1935, as Luna in IL TROVATORE, which led to a long association with this important theatre, where he would sing wide repertory of lyric parts for the baritone voice. He also performed often at the Hamburg State Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, and, from 1950, the Munich State Opera. Outside the Austro-German operatic heartland, he made guest appearances at the Paris Opéra, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Liceo in Barcelona, La Monnaie in Brussels and the Holland Festival, among other major European venues.
Schmitt-Walter possessed a comparatively light, high-baritone voice of great beauty and was equipped with an exceptionally good singing technique. He was particularly admired in Mozart and Wagner roles, notably Papageno, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Beckmesser, which role he often sang at Bayreuth. Schmitt-Walter also performed in Verdi operas such as ERNANI, LA TRAVIATA and UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, mostly in German translation. He enjoyed considerable success in light German operas by Lortzing and also in operetta. He was an excellent lieder interpreter, too. From 1962, he taught in Munich and Copenhagen and died in Bavaria at the age of 84.”
- Ned Ludd
“Winfried Zillig was a German composer, music theorist, and conductor who was born in Würzburg. After leaving school, Zillig studied law and music. One of his teachers there was Hermann Zilcher. In Vienna he was a private pupil of Arnold Schönberg, later following him to Berlin. His first compositions date from this time.
In 1927 he became the assistant of Erich Kleiber at the Berlin State Opera. A short time later he became repetiteur to the Oldenburg Opera. In the years 1932 to 1937, he acted as repetiteur and Kapellmeister at the Düsseldorf Opera. Positions followed as Kapellmeister in Essen and at the beginning of the 1940s as the musical leader of the Posen Opera. After the end of World War II he became the first Kapellmeister of the Düsseldorfer Oper. In the years 1947 to 1951 he occupied the position of conductor at the HR-Sinfonieorchester. After 1959 he led the musical division of Norddeutscher Rundfunk. Zillig died in 1963 in Hamburg.
Winfried Zillig was very productive as a composer. His output includes operas, oratorios, passions, choral music, serenades, string quartets, and other Chamber music, as well as lieder and suites. He was also responsible for completing the score of the oratorio DIE JAKOBSLEITER, which his former teacher Arnold Schönberg had left unfinished, at the request of Schönberg's widow. Furthermore, he made a name for himself as a music theorist with an emphasis on twelve-tone technique.”
- Loyal Bluto