LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  March 2009

CLASSICAL March 2009

Subject:

Henze and the Lord

From:

Steve Schwartz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 9 Mar 2009 18:34:02 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

Hans Werner Henze
Der junge Lord

Edith Mathis (Luise)
Donald Grobe (Wilhelm)
Barry McDaniel (Sekretaer)
Loren Driscoll (Lord Barrat)
Vera Little (Begonia)
Manfred Roehrl (Burgomeister)
Margarete Ast (Baronin Gruenwiesel)
Bella Jasper (Ida)
Schoeneberger Saengerknaben, Chorus and Orchestra of the Deutssche Oper
Berlin/Christoph von Dohnanyi.
Medici Arts DVD 2072398 Total Time: 135:30

Summary for the Busy Executive: Quite nice.

I know I'm in the minority, but I'm not a big fan of music DVDs.  Only
in rare cases -- watching a conductor's technique, for example -- do I
want to see a performance.  Since most opera production and especially
opera acting is so abominably amateurish, I don't feel I've missed all
that much.  I greatly prefer to listen to CDs.

The satirical Der junge Lord ranks as one of Henze's best works.  It's
not particularly deep, but does have wit, thanks not only to Henze's
musical jokes (at one point during a town's official welcome of an English
lord, the chorus breaks out into Mozart's praise of the pasha from Die
Entfuehrung aus dem Serail) but to poet Ingeborg Bachmann's devastating
libretto.

Big doings in a provincial German town: an English lord is taking up
residence.  All the leading citizens show up, the mayor has prepared a
speech (and insists on practicing it before the Englishman arrives), and
children are practicing their welcome anthem.  The lord is late, and the
townsfolk keep mistaking parts of his entourage for the lord himself.
When the lord finally alights from his carriage, his secretary tells one
and all that the lord will skip the ceremony and all the other delights
the town has planned.  We also meet the young lovers, Wilhelm, an
impoverished student, and Luise, the prettiest and richest girl in town.
Naturally, they are kept apart by her guardian, the snobbish Baroness
Flora Gruenwiesel.

It turns out that the lord, Sir Edgar, refuses all invitations (indeed,
he never leaves his house), and this turns the leading citizens against
him.  A small circus troupe comes to town.  Miracle of miracles!  Sir
Edgar appears to attend the street show.  The burghers are so enraged
that they insist on closing the troupe down and running them off.  Sir
Edgar invites the circus folk into his home.  Sensation!

In the dead of winter, the town lamplighter hears strange, horrible
noises coming from Sir Edgar's place.  The burghers show up at the door
and demand to know what's going on.  The secretary tells them that Sir
Edgar's son, Lord Barrat, has arrived for study at German universities.
The strange noises they heard were merely the young man learning German,
"a most difficult tongue," so that he can take his place among their
society.  This completely turns the town around, now pleased as punch
that Sir Edgar and Lord Barrat will condescend to them.

Lord Barrat turns out to be a little strange, but the town chooses to
regard his behavior as another charming example of English eccentricity.
The girls, including Luise, fawn over him, the men imitate his manner
and his dress.  This annoys Wilhelm, who regards the young lord as a
lout.  In a fit of jealousy, Wilhelm insults Barrat and loses Luise.

Cut to a ball.  The town expects an announcement of the engagement of
Barrat and Luise by evening's end.  Wilhelm is there, pining for Luise
and eating his heart out.  For her part, Luise seems a bit torn, but
she decides in favor of Barrat.  However, Barrat's behavior becomes so
strange, that Sir Edgar is forced to reveal the young lord's true identity:
an ape in men's clothing.  Wilhelm and Luise are reunited because even
in Germany there are laws against interspecies marriage.

The satirical point couldn't be plainer.

Musically, the work takes off from Stravinsky's Rake's Progress.  Although
not as monumental as that earlier score, Der junge Lord still beats out
most contemporary operas.  Henze has the ability to get at least three
separate plot points going in the same number and to make them crystal
clear.  I enjoy Henze's operas far more than his instrumental works, as
a matter of fact.  I think him a marvelous dramatist, if not necessarily
a manufacturer of hits.

The production is miles beyond almost anything you find in the United
States, including the Met.  If the script doesn't require much in the
way of acting, at least the singers know how to take a stage, and the
direction is superb.  I lived in a small German town for a while, and
the actors really have the types down.  The sets and costumes evoke the
Biedermeier era, with gentlemen in top hats and breeches and women in
lace caps and so many petticoats, they resemble gossamer toilet plungers.
All this helps the comedy.  Edith Mathis as Luise is simply adorable,
Barry McDaniel appropriately oily (and slightly sinister) as the secretary,
and the townspeople slightly grotesque, as befits a satire.  The camera
work isn't as spectacular as, say, Bergman's in The Magic Flute.  Indeed,
it captures a staged production.  Nevertheless, it's efficient and
clarifies the action.

Steve Schwartz

             ***********************************************
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery.  For more information,
go to:  http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager