Friday, September 2, 2011

At last, Zumsteeg

I browse through the latest International Record Review, fresh in my postbox today, and I come across a review that makes me smile. Many years ago, when I first began to get properly interested in classical music (and had plenty of time on my hands) I built up a database of composers and their works, with dates of composition, thanks largely to the Collins Encyclopedia of Music. Ultimately there were close to 10,000 entries in it. This was before teh internets of course.
So I got a very warm and fuzzy feeling to discover that conductor Frieder Bernius has gone right to the alphabetical end of that list and given us a recording of Die Geisterinsel by Johann Rudolph Zumsteeg, a version of Shakespeare's The Tempest first performed in 1798. IRR's Mark Pullinger says "Zumsteeg's opera may not quite be 'such stuff that dreams are made on', but it passes a pleasant two hours, in an assured, lively performance".
And now I notice that the Collins Encyclopedia of Music called it Der Geisterinsel.

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