By Adriano Martinolli D'Arcy, Aljaz Farasin, Giorgio Surian, Ljubomir Puskaric, Marco Fortunato, Mariukka Tepponen, Rijeka Opera Choir, and Rijeka Opera Symphony Orchestra. By Franz von Suppe. Classical. CD. CPO #555120-2. Published by CPO (NX.555120-2).
Yes, there is such a thing: an opera, not an operetta, by Franz von Suppe, through-composed and Italian in its dramatic character - which is hardly surprising from a man who was Donizetti's distant nephew! Des Matrosen Heimkehr was a commissioned work for the Hamburg Opera, but our recording of this romantic work does not draw on the textual circumstances of the Hamburg premiere, during which Anton Langer's original text was performed. The Italian version, whose translator has remained unknown, is found in the piano reduction published by August Cranz of Hamburg and in part in Suppe's manuscript score, housed today in Vienna's City and State Library. The Italian version is also the better medium for the Italian character of the music. The Suppe biographer Roser then was also justified in terming it >>magnificent music,<< and the Vienna magazine Die Lyra praised the >>fine attractive appeal, charmingly enthralling melodies<< avoiding the >>high-flown style of the grand opera<< and mentioned the >>avoidance of the shallow and the ordinary.<< In any case, the recording represents a successful pioneering effort that once again has found a place for a forgotten work from a neglected genre - the opera oeuvre of Franz von Suppe - in musical and cultural memory.