OP0595. DER WAFFENSCHMIED (Lortzing), w.Leopold Hager Cond.Bayerischen Rundfunks Ensemble; John Tomlinson, Ruth Ziesak, Boje Skovhus, Kjell Magnus, Ursula Kunz, etc. (Germany) 2-Hänssler Profil PH0481. Very long out-of-print, Final Sealed Copy! - 881488408126
“Forget the plot and enjoy the music. It’s wonderful. The opera is tuneful in abundance, and if none of the music is particularly memorable, it is nevertheless bright and happy and will fill your life with enjoyable melodies for two hours. Stylistically, it’s somewhere between Carl Maria von Weber and Gilbert and Sullivan.
The title DER WAFFENSCHMIED is translated on the album cover as The Armorer of Worms. I’ve also encountered the title rendered into English as The Amourer. Allow me to translate the title as The Man Who Makes Armor in the City of Worms. Clumsy, yes, but less prone to misunderstanding when you know Worms is a city.
The story is based on Friedrich Wilhelm Ziegler’s comedy LIEBHABER UND NEBENBUHLER IN EINER PERSON, a play that Lortzing once acted in. It was the basis for two other operas before Lortzing’s successful attempt. Lortzing wrote several other comic operas and one very successful fantasy opera (UNDINE), most of which were popular and provided him with a modest income to supplement his earnings as a conductor. His works have enjoyed an enduring popularity in Germany, but regrettably are not well known elsewhere. Too bad, because Lortzing’s comic operas are so engaging they deserve more exposure.
This new Profil recording of DER WAFFENSCHMIED has much to recommend it. It’s studio recorded in warm, spacious sound with an ideal balance between singers and orchestra; all members of the cast are in good voice and make the most of their roles both dramatically and vocally. There is the feel of listening to a live stage performance throughout, including the dialogue. Don’t worry: there are no long, talky sections.
If you like tuneful comic operas and have not experienced Lortzing’s works, give this one a try. Unfortunately, no libretto is supplied, and the liner notes only give some overall details of the story.”
- David L. Kirk, FANFARE