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The Apprentice

Donald Macleod focuses on Meyerbeer's apprentice years, from his earliest compositions as a student, to his first international success with the opera Il crociato in Egitto.

The passage of time has not been kind to Giacomo Meyerbeer. The most successful opera composer of his day, whose transformation of the medium helped to set the stage for Wagner, Verdi, Mussorgsky and a host of others, his work is now seldom performed. All this week, Donald Macleod explores the life and rediscovers the work of this king of Grand Opera, in conversation with one of the composer's leading advocates, Robert Letellier.
Born Jacob Liebmann Beer (the prefatory 'Meyer' was added on the death of his maternal grandfather, Liebmann Meyer Wulff), Meyerbeer's family background was super-rich and hyper-cultured, so there was no obstacle to the development of his precocious talents. In 1815, his good friend Carl Maria von Weber pronounced him "one of the best pianists, if not the best pianist of our time". His ambitions, however, lay not on the concert platform but on the operatic stage, and in 1816, after a decade of study, he left his native Berlin for Italy, where a short visit turned into a protracted stay - of eight years. Here, with Rossini in the ascendant, he learnt the craft of Italian opera during one of its most dynamic phases. Today's programme focuses on these apprentice years, from Meyerbeer's earliest compositional efforts as a student of the celebrated Abbé Vogler in Darmstadt, to his first international success with his farewell to Italian opera, Il crociato in Egitto.

'Udite or alto arcano', from Il crociato in Egitto, act 2 scene 20
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir (chorus master: Geoffrey Mitchell)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry (conductor)
OPERA RARA ORC10 CD 4 tk 5

6 canzonettes italiennes (1810) - nos 1, 3, 4 and 6
1. Sceglier fra mille un core
3. Giura il nocchier
4. Bei labbri che amore
6. Basta dir ch'io sono amante
Ning Liang (mezzo-soprano)
Ilmo Ranta (piano)
CPO 999 269-2 tks 6, 8, 9, 11

Quintet in E flat for clarinet, 2 violins, viola and cello (1812) - 3rd mvt (Rondo)
Dieter Klöcker (clarinet)
Philharmonia Quartet Berlin:
Daniel Stabrawa (violin 1)
Christian Stadelmann (violin 2)
Neithard Resa (viola),
Jan Diesselhorst (cello)
ORFEO C 213 901 A tk 1

Wirth und Gast (Alimalek) (1813) - overture
Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra
Ola Rudner (conductor)
ARS PRODUKTION ARS 38 083 tk 3

Margherita d'Anjou (1820) - Act 1 scene 2 (opening) ('Miei fedeli!')
Annick Massis (Margherita)
Alastair Miles (Carlo)
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry (conductor)
OPERA RARA ORC25 CD 1 tks 3-4

Il crociato in Egitto (1824) - Act 2 scene 17 (concl.)-18 ('Suona funerea')
Bruce Ford (Adriano)
Ian Platt (Aladino)
Della Jones (Felicia)
Ugo Benelli (Osmino)
Geoffrey Mitchell Choir (chorus master: Geoffrey Mitchell)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
David Parry (conductor)
OPERA RARA ORC10 CD 3 tks 17-20

Producer: Chris Barstow.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 29 Apr 2013 18:30

Music Played

  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Udite or alto arcano, from Il crociato in Egitto, Act II

    Performer: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir (chorus master: Geoffrey Mitchell) Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: David Parry (conductor)

    • OPERA RARA ORC10.
    • 5.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 1. Sceglier fra mille un core

    Performer: Ning Liang (mezzo-soprano) Performer: Ilmo Ranta (piano)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 6.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 3. Giura il nocchier

    Performer: Dieter Klöcker (clarinet) Performer: Philharmonia Quartet Berlin: Performer: Daniel Stabrawa (violin 1) Performer: Christian Stadelmann (violin 2) Performer: Neithard Resa (viola), Performer: Jan Diesselhorst (cello)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 8.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 4. Bei labbri che amore

    Performer: Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Ola Rudner (conductor)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 9.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 6. Basta dir ch'io sono amante

    Performers: Ning Liang (mezzo-soprano) Performers: Ilmo Ranta (piano)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 11.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Quintet in E flat for clarinet, 2 violins, viola and cello - 3rd movement: Rondo

    Performers: Dieter Klöcker (clarinet) Performers: Philharmonia Quartet Berlin: Performers: Daniel Stabrawa (violin 1) Performers: Christian Stadelmann (violin 2) Performers: Neithard Resa (viola), Performers: Jan Diesselhorst (cello)

    • ORFEO C 213 901 A.
    • 1.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Wirth und Gast - overture

    Performer: Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Ola Rudner (conductor)

    • ARS PRODUKTION ARS 38 083.
    • 3.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Margherita d'Anjou, Act I (excerpt)

    Performer: Annick Massis (Margherita) Performer: Alastair Miles (Carlo) Performer: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: David Parry (conductor)

    • OPERA RARA ORC25.
    • 3.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Il crociato in Egitto, Act II - 'Suona funerea'

    Performers: Bruce Ford (Adriano) Performers: Ian Platt (Aladino) Performers: Della Jones (Felicia) Performers: Ugo Benelli (Osmino) Performers: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Performers: Geoffrey Mitchell (chorus master) Performers: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Performers: David Parry (conductor)

    • OPERA RARA ORC10.
    • 17.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Udite or alto arcano, from Il crociato in Egitto, Act II

    Performer: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir (chorus master: Geoffrey Mitchell) Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: David Parry (conductor)

    • OPERA RARA ORC10.
    • 5.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 1. Sceglier fra mille un core

    Performer: Ning Liang (mezzo-soprano) Performer: Ilmo Ranta (piano)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 6.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 3. Giura il nocchier

    Performer: Dieter Klöcker (clarinet) Performer: Philharmonia Quartet Berlin: Performer: Daniel Stabrawa (violin 1) Performer: Christian Stadelmann (violin 2) Performer: Neithard Resa (viola), Performer: Jan Diesselhorst (cello)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 8.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 4. Bei labbri che amore

    Performer: Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Ola Rudner (conductor)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 9.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    6 Canciones Italiennes, No 6. Basta dir ch'io sono amante

    Performers: Ning Liang (mezzo-soprano) Performers: Ilmo Ranta (piano)

    • CPO 999 269-2.
    • 11.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Quintet in E flat for clarinet, 2 violins, viola and cello - 3rd movement: Rondo

    Performers: Dieter Klöcker (clarinet) Performers: Philharmonia Quartet Berlin: Performers: Daniel Stabrawa (violin 1) Performers: Christian Stadelmann (violin 2) Performers: Neithard Resa (viola), Performers: Jan Diesselhorst (cello)

    • ORFEO C 213 901 A.
    • 1.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Wirth und Gast - overture

    Performer: Württemberg Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: Ola Rudner (conductor)

    • ARS PRODUKTION ARS 38 083.
    • 3.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Margherita d'Anjou, Act I (excerpt)

    Performer: Annick Massis (Margherita) Performer: Alastair Miles (Carlo) Performer: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra Performer: David Parry (conductor)

    • OPERA RARA ORC25.
    • 3.
  • Giacomo Meyerbeer

    Il crociato in Egitto, Act II - 'Suona funerea'

    Performers: Bruce Ford (Adriano) Performers: Ian Platt (Aladino) Performers: Della Jones (Felicia) Performers: Ugo Benelli (Osmino) Performers: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir Performers: Geoffrey Mitchell (chorus master) Performers: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Performers: David Parry (conductor)

    • OPERA RARA ORC10.
    • 17.

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