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Robert STOLZ (1880-1975)
Wien wird bei Nacht erst schön (from Wienerlied) [3:28]
Johann STRAUSS Jr. (1825-1899)
*Uhren-Duett (from Die Fledermaus) [4:40]
Eduard KÜNNEKE (1885-1953)
Ich bin nur ein armer Wandergesell (from Der Vetter aus Dingsda) [2:52]
Carl MILLÖCKER (1842-1899)
Hab’ kein Geld, bin vogelfrei (from Der Bettelstudent) [2:06]
Emmerich KALMAN (1882-1953)
Grüß mir die reizenden Frauen (from Gräfin Mariza) [5:09]
Johann STRAUSS Jr.
Als flotter Geist (from Der Zigeunerbaron) [2:55]
Lagunen-Walzer (from Eine Nacht in Venedig) [3:51]
Komm in die Gondel (from Eine Nacht in Venedig) [5:10]
*Wiener Blut (from Wiener Blut) [6:29]
Als ich ward ihr Mann (from Wiener Blut) [3:56]
Carl Michael ZIEHRER (1843-1922)
Verliebt-Romanze (from König Jérome) [2:59]
Carl ZELLER (1842-1898)
Wie mein Ahn’l zwanzig Jahr (from Der Vogelhändler) [3:51]
Franz LEHÁR (1870-1948)
Gern hab’ ich die Frau’n geküßt (from Paganini) [3:08]
Es steht ein Soldat am Wolgastrand (from Der Zarewitsch) [4:54]
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (from Das Land des Lächelns) [3:58]
Jörg Schneider (tenor), Nina Berten (soprano*), Wiener Salonorchester
rec. July 2010, Vienna. DDD
Texts are not included.
CAPRICCIO C5109 [60:16]

The Austrian tenor Jörg Schneider may appear in roles by Mozart, Rossini or Donizetti, but it’s in the realm of operetta where he really belongs and feels most at home. The present disc is a collection of tenor arias from operettas by Strauss, Lehár and company. Schneider shows himself as a perfect presenter for the noble love stories of the Viennese aristocracy. 

The program is full of smiling, sparkling spirit of Schöne Wien. The well-known gems are evenly spread around and mixed with numbers that may be less widely known but are no less beautiful. You’ll recognize some of Strauss’s melodies from his waltzes - recycling in its basic form. The overall temperament is evenly warm and laid-back; many numbers are slow, well-fed waltzes. The Viennese perfume is heavy in the air. Misty-eyed elegies and heroic drinking songs create a mood that is both sensual and upbeat.
 
Schneider’s voice has sweetness, but not in excess. His singing is smile-colored and calorie-rich, firm yet not hard. He is good on long and high notes. His German diction is perfect, as expected. He does not cut corners and avoids any hint of Sprechgesang singing his way through those interminable bundles of German consonants. He can pump up the romance and melodramatic passion, yet does not become steely or bring unnecessary edge to his climaxes. He revels in those opportunities to show off afforded him by these composers. Schneider sings with equal power in the lower and upper registers, and gets through the sweeping melodic falls and rises with style and ease.
 
He is joined by soprano Nina Berten in two numbers - the coquettish Watch Duet and the fruity Wiener Blut. Hers is also a faultless operetta voice, natural on the high notes and rounded on the transitions. They sound very well together: duets of equals, where no one eclipses the other.
 
The orchestral support is rich and expressive, lush yet not too heavy. Apparently conductorless, the Vienna Salon Orchestra plays with energy and warmth, quite in the right vein. The booklet lacks texts and does not refer to the works in any way. In German and English, it contains the singer’s curriculum vitae. There’s also a lengthy interview where Jörg Schneider talks about his views on operetta in the modern musical world, and about the path that led him to the present day. Schneider seems to me one of those voices that were born to throw light on the gems and jewels to be found in the treasure caves of operetta. 

Oleg Ledeniov  

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