Thursday, 6 September 2012

Daniel Auber

So the next French composer to catch my fancy is Daniel Auber - yes the alphabet is a powerful influence on the order of things. I haven't forgotten Adolphe Adam either, I just skipped him cause that was weeks ago for me.

Auber was predominantly an opera composer and mainly wrote comic ones. From what little I can gather that fits his personality, a kind, witty man who was prominent in French society for much of the 19th century. Now it seems his music is reduced to fragments for the most part. Quick searches bring up overtures and arias as parts of compilation recordings. It looks like the operas get some performances but I don't think they're big on most companies' repertoires.

I'm not a huge fan of opera arias but I do love overtures and Auber seems to have written some good ones. The Bronze Horse seems to have been picked up by military bands now and the link on the Classic 100 voting page leads to a video recording of a live performance by one such band. It's good but fortunately there was another link on that page which leads to a full orchestral version - the BBC Philharmonic - and I'd recommend it. It's light, lively and engaging.

One interesting thing that's turned up in terms of the voting list is the option to vote for Masaniello and The Mute Girl of Portici - when they're the same opera. Guessing whoever collates the votes will be aware of that. The two youtube links are thankfully different, one of them however is a video of an LP being played and it has the sound quality you'd expect. There is another version of it I found - it being the overture by the way - which is still an LP but it was put up properly and does sound okay. It's here.

In all not a composer I'll be exploring too much, not being an opera fan per se, but I'm very glad to have found out about these overtures.

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