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Susanna Välimäki
Helsingin Sanomat, October 2020

The newspapers were wondering why the works of Bronsart, who has Finnish roots, are not performed in Finland already 100 years ago. And the same wondering continues even today.

At last we have a complete recording of this opera – which at the same time is the first time any of Bronsart’s operas have been recorded. Malmö Opera Orchestra and Naxos have really made a great cultural act. © 2020 Helsingin Sanomat

Yorkshire Post, September 2020

This new Naxos release of Ingeborg von Bronsart’s opera, Jery und Bately, comes a most welcome discovery… First class sound. © 2020 Yorkshire Post

Records International, September 2020

A native of St. Petersburg, von Bronsart studied with Liszt in Weimar, her striking appearance earning her the nickname ‘Ingeborg die Schöne’. Goethe’s libretto for her 1871-72 Jery und Bätely is a charming and bucolic tale of unrequited romance between a pretty Swiss milkmaid and an eligible bachelor who are ultimately brought together by some farcical matchmaking. Bronsart brings life to this story with exquisite music, from an exciting overture through an uninterrupted evolution in melody and harmony to a spine-tingling finale, delivering a Singspiel that helped establish her reputation as a successful composer for the stage. © 2020 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2020

Ingeborg von Bronsart was born in St. Petersburg in 1840, her parents were Swedish, and both encouraged and financed her aspirations to become a pianist.

That education was to take her to Germany where she became a pupil of Franz Liszt, and there followed a glittering career, her attractive features gaining her the popular title, Ingeborg die Schone (Ingrid the Beautiful) photographs taken confirming that description. Sadly, like so many gifted women of this period, she, having married, would later sacrifice her concert appearances so as not interfere with the status of her husband in the Royal Court. She then turned her attention to composing, and it would be fitting to report that she became famous, and she did, at least, find her works accepted in many genre, particular in Lieder. Her first opera proved a failure, most probably due to a weak libretto, her repost being to use the proven source of Johann Goethe with his charming bucolic farce, Jery und Bately. It was composed in one act, Bately, both good looking and a strong milkmaid fends off all advances from the local young men including the prosperous, Jery. To gain her attention he enlists the help of his friend, Thomas, and from there things go terribly wrong, though, as in all good comedies, Bately realises she does love the gentle, Jery, and with her father's blessing they are married. The score—completed in 1872—owes more than a little to Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Weber, but is well fashioned and highly enjoyable, the orchestral part effective in their support of arias that are given to all three major characters. The American soprano, Caroline Bruker, is a rather subdued Bately, while Harrie van der Plas, is a powerful tenor for Jery. Laurence Kalaidjian, as Thomas, is suitably entrusted to much of the dialogue. The recording, in the hands of Sean Lewis, is perfectly balanced, the excellent Malmo Orchestra given a beautifully transparent and detailed quality. The Scottish-Italian conductor, Dario Salvi, must feel highly delighted in having discovered such a pleasing jewel. Not to be missed. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

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