Saturday, June 11, 2011

score choice awards

Dear Reader(s),

I am in need of your help. I discovered an awesome used book store a few blocks from me--where I recently purchased scores for Hindemith's Cardillac and Mathis der Maler for 2.50 Euro each (and the complete Brecht plays for 5 Euro). They apparently have no idea they are sitting on a treasure trove of scores, which were tucked away behind the counter. Here's the thing, though. I'm moving back to New York (and then down south) in a month and don't have the suitcase space to take back too much stuff. So I made a list of all their interesting big scores--things that I probably couldn't find in the U.S. for cheap--and need to decide among them. If you were to pick 2-4 of these, which would you go for? I'm seeking A) good music B) things that aren't easy to find the States.

Most of these are operas, a couple are oratorios or weird other things.

Smetana, Prodana Nevesta (The Bartered Bride)

Prokofiev, The Duenna

Delius, Messe des Lebens (Mass of Life)

Hans Stieber, Till Eulenspiegel

Otto Nicolai, Die lustige Weiber on Windsdor

Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet

Weismann, Die pffifge magd

Gottfried von Einem, Dantons Tod

Franz Schreker, Der Schatzgräber

Jörg Widmann, Gesicht im Spiegel (really random; only a score of the third scene)

Handel, Jephta

Pfitzner, Von Deutsche Seele cantata

Pfitzner, Das Christ-Elflein (with its most hilarious plot)

Joseph Haas, Die heilige Elisabeth oratorio

Pfitzner, Der arme Heinrich

Felix Weingartner, Dame Kobold (didn’t even know Weingartner was a composer?)

Hans-Heinrich Dransman, Munchhausens letzte Luge (I have no idea what this is)

Siegfried (yes, Siegfried) Wagner, Der Bärenhäuter

Violeta Dinescu, Hunger und Durst (looks potentially interesting?)

Smetana, The Secret

Smetana, Der Kuβ

Carl Maria von Weber, Silvana

Dvorak, Geisterbraut and Rusalka

Flotow, Martha (of Joyce fame)

There were a few other less obscure things--Wagner and Verdi operas, Bach passions--which shouldn't be hard to come by in the U.S.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Pfitzner stuff and the Schreker.

Anyway, comment if you have suggestions or tweet at @seatedovation

Here's the overture to Christ-Elflein, which is actually quite pretty. Met Christmas revival?


  1. If it were me, I'd also go for the Pfitzner and Schreker, whose music I think is absolutely awesome. I'd probably also make room for that von Einem score as well. I think Schreker should be far better known than he is. And I remember from reading the Berg-Schoenberg correspondence a long time ago, that Alban and Arnold regarded Schreker as their real competition. He was very much on their minds.

  2. You can't pack it all in a box and ship it?