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James A. Altena
Fanfare, November 2012

LEHAR, F.: Graf von Luxemburg (Der) (Studio Production, 1972) (NTSC) 101626
LEHAR, F.: Zigeunerliebe (Studio Production, 1974) (NTSC) 101599

At long last, more of Lehár’s operettas are making it to DVD, and high time, too.

…this version is a studio film, dating from 1972. It is thoroughly traditional in setting, and reduces the dialog considerably, which some may consider an advantage even with foreign-language subtitles. As a studio film version, this production can do all sorts of things that a stage version cannot, such as present large crowd scenes in outdoor settings, and film director Wolfgang Glück takes full advantage of his opportunities to present a lavish and beautiful production. Presumably the soundtrack is recorded separately and the acting lip-synched, but if so, that is exceptionally well done…the singing is quite good; Lilian Sukis is a radiant Angèle Didier; Helga Papouschek and Peter Fröhlich make a fine pair of young lovers in the supporting roles; and it does the heart good to have that master of operatic buffo roles, Erich Kunz, taking on the role of Count Boris and doing it to a turn, even if his voice is past its prime. The Countess Kokozov—here, made a quite likeable figure instead of an imperious dragon lady—and Pélégrin, the registrar and matchmaker who is ultimately exposed as a well-intentioned fraud, play their cameo roles for all they are worth. The conducting and choral singing are right on the mark, and the video and sound quality quite satisfactory. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Ian Lace
MusicWeb International, July 2012

This production of The Count of Luxembourg is described as an ‘operetta film’; however, unlike Arthaus’s operetta film of Lehár’s Paganini, a good proportion of which was filmed en plein aire, this one is studio-bound. This is not such a bad notion considering how daft the plot is; a touch of realism might only point up its idiocies and destroy its charm. As is usual in operetta the story revolves around a series of preposterous notions and coincidences.

The costumes are gorgeous, lighting and sets attractive and the acting, for the most part, good. Most of the arias are waltz songs. Hunky Eberhard Wächter in the title role, rises with aplomb to its demanding part, the tessitura of which straddles baritone and tenor registers. Lilian Sukis as Angèle is beautiful and sophisticated, her golden soprano marvellously controlled across her range particularly in its high register. Helga Papouschek pouts sweetly and is a honeyed Juliette. Deep-voiced Erich Kunz makes a dapper and dashing but dignity-affronted Basil and nearly steals every scene in which he appears.

An enchanted evening of romance and comedy with some of Lehár’s loveliest waltz songs delivered by a first class ensemble of singers. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review, June 2012

The new Arthaus Musik DVD of Der Graf von Luxemburg presents a televised performance from 1972 that is one of the best offerings of the work in recent years, assuming it is fair to count a 40-year-old version as “recent.” What makes this presentation so good is its use of genuinely operatic voices…all in top form both vocally and in their acting…as a TV adaptation—which starts with an exuberant carnival scene and features some delightful touches, such as Brissard using some of his newly acquired funds to install an electric light in his Bohème-like studio—this is quite a fine performance both musically and dramatically…for those unfamiliar with Der Graf von Luxemburg, this DVD will come as something of a revelation. © 2012 Read complete review

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