Second volume of Auber opera overtures distinct improvement

Volume two of Daniel-François-Esprit Auber overtures builds on the strengths of the first. As before, maestro Dario Salvi and the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice present several world premiere recordings — including a violin concerto.

While I enjoyed the performances of the ensemble in volume one, I had some complaints about the quality of the recorded sound. The sound is much improved in volume two.

The ensemble has a clean, cohesive blend. It’s a pleasant sound for pleasant music. And these overtures and entr’acte selections are pleasantly tuneful and entertaining.

Not all of the works featured here are opera-comiques (as the French defined the genre). Léocadie, for example, involves a continually imperiled heroine. Even these selections are full of melody and good spirits.

For me, though, the standout track was the Violin Concerto in D major. The opening theme of this 1805 work seems to pre-echo Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony. Lyricism, rather than technique, seems to be Auber’s focus.

Violinist Markéta Cepická plays with a clear, pure tone. Auber knew how to write a melody, and Markéta’s phrasing makes it sing. Her playing in the upper register was particularly poignant and beautiful.

I don’t think I’ve heard any music by Auber that wasn’t related to opera. This concerto was a real treat — and I hope future volumes include some non-operatic works. Really looking forward to Volume 3.

Daniel-François-Esprit Auber: Overtures, Volume 2
Le Concert á la cour; Fiorella; Julie; Léocadie; Couvin; Violin Concerto
Markéta Cepická, violin; Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice; Dario Salvi, conductor
Naxos 8.574006

More Recent Posts

  • Classical Interviews – Arthur Zanin

    Charlottesville Symphony’s Principal Trumpet, Arthur Zanin, spoke with WTJU about discovering their orchestral passion, the versatility of the trumpet, and the significance of music in education. For more on Arthur Zanin, For more on the Charlottesville Symphony, visit: How I found the Orchestra The Different Sounds of the Trumpet Practicing for Trumpet The […]

  • Eric Coates Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 continues to entertain

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

    This release picks up where the first volume left off. It’s another collection of wonderful music by Eric Coates. Coates’ output was fairly consistent. it’s instantly appealing, modest in scope, and always effective in entertaining the listener. This release includes popular favorites such as “London Bridge,” and “Calling All Workers.” The cornerstones of the program […]

  • New Jazz Adds – 1/12/2021

    New Jazz Adds – 1/12/2021 Craig Brenner – Passages (Self-produced): “Craig Brenner explores the jazzy side of blues and boogie woogie piano. Called “a fine and funky pianist” by Living Blues, Craig has received multiple Indiana Arts Commission grants and he has been voted “Best Musician” in Bloomington, IN, in the Bloomington Independent; Craig & The Crawdads has […]

  • New Blues News – 1/12/2021

    New Blues News – 1/12/2021 John Fusco & The X-Road Riders – John The Revelator (Self-produced): “More than three decades after a teenaged Fusco ran away from his New England home to Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta — returning with a semi-autobiographical screenplay called Crossroads (and an unlikely discovery as a Hollywood screenwriter) — the […]