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

  • SPICMACAY at UVA on Lambeth Live, March 31

    Three members of SPICMACAY at UVA will put on the March 31 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 […]

  • New Blues & Soul News – 3/21/2017

    New Blues & Soul News – 3/21/2017 New Blues: Terry Davidson & The Gears – Transmission (Bangshift): Singer/songwriter/guitarist Terry Davidson is a mid-western blues rocker who mixes blues, rock and a little soul and dares his audience not to dance. This is a solid roadhouse band determined to let the good times roll. In addition […]

  • Jazz at 100 Hour 5: Up in Harlem – The Bands

    In the last hour, we explored the jazz of King Oliver’s Chicago in the 1920s, and heard from The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, clarinetists Jimmy Noone and Johnny Dodds, pianists Earl Hines and Lovie Austin, cornetist Freddie Keppard and trumpeter Jabbo Smith. Now we move to the other emerging center of the music, New York. […]

  • Handsome Hound Concert on April 1 – No Fooling!

    As part of WTJU’s 60th anniversary celebration, D.C. band Handsome Hound will put on a concert Saturday night, April 1, from 8-9 (edt), and you are invited to be part of the studio audience! 350 Emmet St N, Charlottesville on ye olde GPS will get you to the large lot (do NOT use Lambeth Lane […]

  • WTJU celebrates 60 years of broadcasting!

    “WTJU is my sonic life raft.” — WTJU listener, January 2017 For 60 years, WTJU has been a sonic life raft for UVA, the Charlottesville community, and beyond. That longevity is a remarkable achievement itself. Fifteen years before NPR’s first broadcast, WTJU signed on with volunteer curated music to enrich our community, and we have […]

  • Horacio Gutiérrez – Chopin and Schumann

    Sometimes liner notes can make a difference. In the booklet for this release, Stephen Wigler suggested that Chopin’s Op. 28 Preludes might be considered a single cycle comprised of very short works, as opposed to a collection of 24 self-contained preludes. While they certainly work as the former, the idea that each prelude was part […]