STRAUSS, Johann Baptist II (1825 ¡V 1899)
Zurich Opera, Franz Welser-Möst
Cast: Martin Zysset (Simplicius),
Rolf Haunstein (General von Vliessen)
Elizabeth Magnuson (Hildegarde)
PAL 100 364
Running Time: 132 minutes
Picture Format: 16:9 (Wide screen)
Sound: PCM Stereo,
Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Region Code: 2, 5
Menu Languages: GB, D, F, SP
Subtitles: GB, D, F, SP
Recording Date: 2000
World premiere recordings of Johann Strauss's stage works are rare occurrences. Arthaus is delighted to present a lavishly presented version of Simplicius, never before heard or seen on DVD.
The British director David Pountney lets the entertaining tale unfold accompanied by the many spectacular effects for which he has become internationally famous. Monumental props are embellished with skilled, clean-cut directing work, seasoned with a healthy portion of black humour. In the final scene the audience sees dramatic gallows dangling with numerous corpses, all turning in time to the music of a waltz.
Strauss himself loved this work. It was the last of his stage works for which he conducted the premiere performance. He described it as "generally speaking a much more cheerful work than Der Zigeunerbaron."
Strauss's felicitous orchestration, languorous melodies, and endless inventiveness ensure over 2 hours of pleasure for all who invest in this unique piece of theatre.