Meyerbeer Overtures Provide Light Entertainment

When I mentioned I was reviewing this new Meyerbeer recording, I discovered just how low my colleagues held his music. Robert Schumann didn’t care much for it, but I think he — and others — miss the point. Giacomo Meyerbeer wasn’t out to make pronouncements from God (like Wagner) — he wanted to write entertaining, successful operas. He achieved his goals, and the music in the collection demonstrates why.

Included are instrumental works from Meyerbeer’s biggest hits — “Robert le Diable,” “Les Huguenots,” and “L’Africaine” — along with selections from “Dianorah and Le Prophete. Meyerbeer wrote almost exclusively for the stage, and his works are unfailingly catchy and tuneful.

Darrel Ang conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with a certain amount of brio, never failing to bring out the drama of the music (without overplaying it), and keeping the energy level high. To me, this was a great collection of classical music for casual listening and I enjoyed it. I just need to be careful who I play it for.

Giacomo Meyerbeer: Overtures and Entr’actes from the French Operas
New Zealand symphony Orchestra; Darrell Ang, conductor
Naxos

More Recent Posts

  • The Old-Time Snake Milkers on Lambeth Live, Dec 16

    The Old-Time Snake Milkers will put on the December 16 edition of Lambeth Live (heard each Friday night from 8-9 on WTJU), and you are invited to be part of the studio audience for this FREE concert broadcast! 350 Emmet St N, Charlottesville on ye olde GPS will get you to the large lot (do […]

  • Discovering the Classical String Trio

    As the Vivaldi Project points out in the liner notes for this release, string trios from the classical era are woefully under-represented in the performing and recording repertoire. It’s not because instrumental grouping’s unusual — there were hundreds of string trios written between 1750 and 1827 (the approximate dates of the classical era). And, as […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 11/30/2016

    New Jazz Adds – 11/30/2016 Ryan Blotnick – Kush (Songlines): Ryan Blotnik (guitar) has been developing his musical horizons for the past decade. He has shifted direction from post bop to free jazz, mining “…the bittersweet melodic/harmonic vein balanced by an African-influenced rhythmic elan. Conceived as an antidote to the more aggressive forms of New York […]

  • Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus on WTJU, Dec 2

    WTJU is delighted to join the Prism Coffeehouse in presenting world renowned old-time musicians Dirk Powell and Riley Baugus in concert this Friday evening, December 2, at C’Ville Coffee (Details). Dirk and Riley will first stop by WTJU for a visit that afternoon at 4 to kick off Sunset Road.  You can listen around Charlottesville […]

  • Gabrielle Louise on Folk & Beyond, Dec 1

    Colorado singer/songwriter Gabrielle Louise will stop by WTJU this Thursday afternoon, December 1, at 4:30 (est) for a visit to Folk & Beyond. Gabrielle Louise is a nationally touring troubadour noted for her poignant lyrics and lush voice. The daughter of two vagabond musicians, Gabrielle inherited the predisposition to wanderlust and song. Gabrielle Louise’s music […]

  • In Memoriam: Early Music Show dedicated to former host Eric Betthauser

    WTJU’s Early Music Show on November 28, 2016 is dedicated to the memory of former host, Eric Betthauser, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident on November 22. Eric sang with The Rose Ensemble for about a decade before moving to Charlottesville in 2007. This episode comes entirely from Rose Ensemble recordings. Enjoy the […]