Friday, October 1, 2010

Carl Maria von Weber - Oberon - Martinpelto, Kaufmann, Gardiner







A few years back now I heard all three of Weber's large scale operas at the Edinburgh Festival, two of them for the first time! Of 'Oberon' all I had heard was the old war horse 'Ocean, thou mighty monster'. What a revelation those performances were and what a pity that Weber only left us with three works but they are all excellent and fascinatingly different in style.

'Oberon' has little to do with Shakespeare and indeed the title character doesn'tCarl_Maria_von_Weber get very much to sing though Steve Davislim makes a good job of what there is. The main characters are Huon, one of Charlemagne's heroic knights and Reiza whom he falls in love with in a vision and rescues from a harem. They undergo a number of trials, courtesy of Oberon, in order to prove their undying love. Luckily they pass all of these and in doing so release Oberon from a 'fatal vow' made to his estranged wife Titania (who never appears) allowing them to also reunite.

The libretto (much mocked at the time) is actually very entertaining and generally light hearted and a lovely example of English musical theatre at the time. In this recording, John Eliot Gardiner conducts with a wonderful lightness of touch. The main roles are taken by Jonas Kaufman as Huon and Hillevi Martinpelto as Reiza. Kaufman is really excellent, particularly so in the vigorous 'From boyhood trained'. I think the role of Reiza must be incredibly difficult to sing ranging as it does from Rossinian coloratura at the end of Act 1 to the Brunnhilde-like 'Ocean, thou mightly monster' in Act 2; Martinpelto does a good job though I agree that a little more weight in 'Ocean' would have been good - hear what Karita Mattila does with it in her German arias recital disc! The secondary lovers are well taken also (Marina Comparato as Fatima gets quite a lot to sing and her lilting English accent is actually rather attractive).



flac, scans


  1. Part 1 is fall,Otto.Do you want repair this problem?
    Thank you,so much

  2. Dear Otto: Can you upload teh Oberon with Nilsson-Domingo-Prey/Kubelik in FLAC? Thanks.

  3. Part 2 is missing from FileFactory. Please upload it

    1. ditto to electroloco of 2014
      Link 2 is missing on FileFactory


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