Joseph Weigl: Songs and Arias

Josef Weigl: Lieder und Arien

Donald George, tenor; Lucy Mauro, piano

Few are aware that Joseph Weigl (1766-1846) was both an acclaimed conductor and a highly successful composer whose fame – in his day – rivaled that of Cherubini, Rossini, Haydn, and even Beethoven. The godson of Haydn (who encouraged his talent), Weigl became a master of two different styles, first gaining recognition as a composer of opera in the Italian manner. But, with the dawning of the 19th century, he became increasingly known for his German operas – mainly in the lighter “Singspiel” form – that influenced generations of Romantic-era German composers to come. All the while, he continued writing Italian opera for Milan’s La Scala and other venues to considerable acclaim. His attractive, lively and melodious music in both styles catered to his era’s more popular tastes. But his operas’ general lack of serious themes and musical drama failed to establish him as a “serious” composer, and his remarkable music – sadly – soon drifted into obscurity.

Tenor Donald George and pianist Lucy Mauro have lately made it their musical mission in life to merge their talents in support of music by neglected, yet deserving composers. Most recently, they have teamed up to record for Delos the music of two pioneering, yet unjustly forgotten female tunesmiths of the late Romantic period: the Boston-based Margaret Ruthven Lang and Vienna’s Mathilde von Kralik. Here, working in cooperation with a concert series sponsored by the Esterházy Estate in Eisenstadt (Weigl’s birthplace), they offer an enchanting mix of his Lieder and arias – with the bonus offering of several interpolated arias from other well-known composers of his day. Mr. George’s burnished tenor voice is in top form, and Ms. Mauro provides lively, sensitive and historically informed support from a sweet-sounding fortepiano.

Album Highlights:

  • Charming, worthwhile, yet unjustly neglected music from an Austrian master whose reputation bears refurbishing
  • A varied and well-chosen program of Lieder as well as opera arias in both Weigl’s Italian and German styles
  • Vibrant, sensitive, and historically authentic performances (with fortepiano) from one of today’s leading vocal/keyboard duos

Track Listing:

Song Notes & Texts

    Songs – Lieder

  1. ‘S Mag sein (It could be) (1:35)
  2. Lasst uns im vertrauten Kreise (Let us in comfortable company) (1:08)
  3. Reiterlied (Rider’s song) (1:44)
  4. Trost an meine Mutter (Consolation for my Mother) (6:25)
  5. Die Täuschung (The disappointment) (2:18)
  6. In questa tomba oscura (In dieser dunklen Gruft/In this dark tomb) (1:25)
  7. Il Sogno (Der Traum/The dream) (2:11)
  8. Pria ch’io l’impegno (Eh’ ich entscheide/Before I decide) (2:07)
  9. Arias – Arien

  10. Nach dem Glanze, nach dem Scheine (It’s the glitter, the appearance) – from Adrian von Ostade (1:59)
  11. Ach, auch Könige sind Menschen (Ah, kings are people, too) – from Daniel in der Löwengrube oder Baals Sturz (1:43)
  12. Die Nacht entflieht (The night flees) – from Das Waisenhaus (4:06)
  13. Was Kümmert mich des Fremden Gold? (What care I for strangers’ gold?) from Das Waisenhaus (3:23)
  14. Wenn Sie mich nur von Weitem sieht (Even if she sees me from afar) – from Die Schweizer Familie (2:30)
  15. Vom weit entfernten Schweizerland (From the distant Swiss homeland) – from Die Schweizer Familie (3:26)
  16. Heil mir! Ich werde Liebe finden (Oh, Joy! I will find love) from Die Jugendjahre Peters des Grossen (4:25)
  17. Interpolated arias – Einlagearien

  18. Schwört mir Rache und Verderben (Swear revenge and ruin) – from Spontini’s La Vestale (5:31)
  19. Schweigt, Genug, O Quiriten! (Enough, silence, O Quirites!) – from Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito (3:44)
  20. Ah, di Nina il Core (Ach, Ninas Herz/Ah, Nina’s heart) – from Paisiello’s Nina o sia La pazza per amore (3:27)
  21. Arias from La Principessa d’Amalfi – Arien von La Principessa d’Amalfi

  22. Forse Abbastanza (Der Leiden Fülle/The depths of sorrow) (3:35)
  23. In qual barbaro cimento (In dieser harten Prüfung/In this barbaric ordeal) (3:36)