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Weinberger composed Wallenstein to a Czech libretto based on Schiller’s trilogy about the Bohemian general who rose and fell in the Thirty Years’ War – it was translated back into German for the premiere in 1937. It then sank without trace, which is a shame, for it has much to offer. If you enjoy Korngold this is probably for you, likewise Zemlinsky. There are strains of Strauss, a large debt to Wagner, and some curiously operetta-style music reminiscent of Kálmán. Yet Weinberger has his own voice and the work isn’t pastiche: it packs quite a powerful musical punch, with some vivid and memorable scenes, moving skilfully from bombast to introspection using a wide and orchestral palette. Recorded live in concert in 2012, this recording makes a strong case for Wallenstein, not least because of Cornelius Meister’s accomplished marshalling of his massive forces. He enjoys the large-scale moments, but also creates great atmosphere in the more introverted scenes. Roman Trekel is a strongly voiced and perceptive Wallenstein and the rest of the cast works hard to maintain the level of excitement. Not everyone is perfect, but there is a strong sense of collective commitment. A Late Romantic curiosity well worth investigating.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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