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Wolf Ferrari A Legend in Three Acts

‘That my present stage-work is a legend and not a comic opera is to many a matter of surprise; yes, it can be that many people think I am attempting here territory that is new to me. Whoever knows my choral work La vita nuova that I wrote 25 years ago, will know otherwise. I was then surprised myself that, barely a year after La vita nuova, I started to write Le donne curiose, a comic opera. Today I am not surprised, since I now know much that I did not know then. Strictly speaking, every man, seen from outside, is a comic figure, and inside is a tragic one …’

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
21 April 1927
on the premiere of
Das Himmelskleid

8.660518-20 [3 Discs]

Ermanno WOLF-FERRARI (1876–1948)
Das Himmelskleid
(‘The Garment of Heaven’)

Angelina Ruzzafante, Soprano • Anna-Maria Dur, Mezzo-soprano
Sibrand Basa, Reinhard Leisenheimer, Peer-Martin Sturm, Michael Kurz, Tenors
Sergio Gómez, Bass • Stefan Adam, Baritone
Hagen Opera Chorus • Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra • Gerhard Markson

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari is best known for his comic operas. With this reputation established, the appearance of Das Himmelskleid in 1927, with its ‘symbolical twilight world… that rises musically to religious greatness and a world of dreams’ was a surprise for critics of the day. The narrative is a parable of a young princess who is born with the ‘Garment of Heaven’, but she forgets this true gift in her greedy pursuit of wealth and power. Das Himmelskleid is perhaps the most profoundly mature of Wolf-Ferrari’s operas, with an amazing sensitivity and feeling for sound and colour that were never bettered.

Listen to an extract from Act I:
Oh du, du Unget üm
About the Artists
More recordings of operas by Wolf-Ferrari
La vedova scaltra
Sollied • Muraro • D’Aguanno • Milhofer • Zanellato • Rossi • Esposito • Zancopè • Favaron • Casagrande • Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice, Venice • Martin
‘The pleasure I have had from listening to the disc version of this production of La vedova scaltra makes me keen to see the companion DVD.’
MusicWeb International
Also available on DVD
I Gioielli della Madonna
Ushakova • Kim • Čapkovič • Bernhard • Slovak National Theatre Opera Chorus
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra • Haider
‘This disc is a jewel for any Wolf-Ferrari fan. Splendid from beginning to end.’
Il Segreto di Susanna
Serenade for Strings

Howarth • Òdena • Oviedo Filarmonía • Haider
‘This [recording] captures all the charm and wit of the rich, multifaceted score.’
Opera News

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