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Martin: Der Sturm ()

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Frank Martin's Der Sturm, a setting of The Tempest , which is recorded here for the first time, is one of the (happily dwindling) number of famous 20th century operas that many people have heard of but few people have actually heard. This performance makes its obscurity a little more understandable; it's a major work by an important composer, but overall, in spite of many beautiful moments, the whole fails to make the kind of dramatic and musical impact necessary to ensure it a place in the repertoire of 20th century classics. At its best, as in the understated, evocative prelude depicting the serenity of the sea before the storm, and the closing scene that develops some of the same material, the music is gorgeous. Other sections, such as those that deal with the comic characters in a jaunty style reminiscent of Weill, fall flat. Martin's daring, potentially intriguing decision to use an offstage chorus to sing Ariel's music comes across as a major miscalculation, as does the use of archaic... Hide synopsis

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