Episode 197. Theatre Dreams

Episode 197. Theatre Dreams



Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Annie Krull in the original production of Elektra, 1908.

I’ve been plotting an episode on the subject of Dreams for a while. Given the profusion of music that references that altered state of consciousness, my challenge was narrowing down the topic. I chose to focus today on theater music (opera, operetta, and musicals) that references actual rather than figurative dreams. Even within these parameters, there was a plethora of material and as usual my repertoire choices are strangely and uniquely my own. So on this episode you’ll hear everything from a 1965 recording of Tevye’s Dream from Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, from the first Israeli production of the musical; Renata Scotto in late career essaying the haunted dreamscapes of Arnold Schoenberg’s monodrama Erwartung; Mattiwilda Dobbs in a rare 1952 recording of “Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben” from Mozart’s Zaide; excerpts from unusual French and German operettas featuring Robert Massard and Charles Kullman, respectively; the great Welsh bass Geraint Evans in a live performance of Bottom’s Dream from Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and birthday tributes to Birgit Nilsson and Richard Tauber. And much, much more, including a teaser of next week’s subject the Italian lyric tenor Cesare Valletti; and a preview of the first in a series of bonus episodes that will feature one rare LP from my personal collection per episode. As always, thanks for your support; enjoy!


Richard Wagner: Einsam in trüben Tagen (Lohengrin). Birgit Nilsson, Theo Adam, Eugen Jochum, Orchester und Chor der Bayreuther Festspiele [live Bayreuth 05.VIII.1954]

Robert Stolz, Roland Gilbert, Armin L. Robinson: Im Traum hast du mir alles erlaubt (Liebeskommando). Richard Tauber, Frieder Weissmann, Odeon-Künstler-Orchester [1931]

Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II: Out of My Dreams (Oklahoma!). Eleanor Steber, Harold Barlow, Firestone Orchestra [1950]

Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II: I Have Dreamed (The King and I). Lee Venora, Frank Porretta, Orchestra conducted by Franz Allers [1964]

Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields: Baby, Dream Your Dream (Sweet Charity). Emily Skinner, Alice Ripley, arranged and conducted by Todd Ellison [1998]

Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Shraga Friedman [Yiddish translation]: Tevye’s Dream (Fiddler on the Roof). Shmuel Rudenski, Lea Dulitzkaya, Hanna Binyamini, Zafrira Yaroni, Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Izhak Graziani [1965]

Mitch Leigh, Joe Darion, Jacques Brel [French adaptation]: La quête [The Impossible Dream] (L’homme de La Mancha). José Van Dam, Patrick Baton, Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie [live Radio Télévision Belge 1998]]

Jacques Offenbach, Ludovic Halévy, Henri Meilhac: Duo du rêve (La belle Hélène). Deva Dassy, Claude Devos, Jules Gressier, Orchestre de l’Association des Concerts Lamoureux [1952]

Louis Beydts, Léopold Marchand: Dans mes bras, rêve d’espérance [Berceuse] (À l’aimable Sabine). Robert Massard, Orchestra conducted by Jean Laforge [1960]

Eduard Künneke, Paul Knepler, J.M. Welleminsky: Ich träume mit offenen Augen (Die lockende Flamme). Charles Kullman, Eduard Künneke, Orchester Theater des Westens [1932]

Johann Strauss II, Ignaz Schnitzer [after Mór Jókai (Móric Jókay de Ásva)]: Ein Greis ist mir im Traum erschienen (Der Zigeunerbaron). Grace Bumbry, Biserka Cvejic, Nicolai Gedda, Franz Allers, Orchester der Bayerischen Staatsoper München [1970]

Carl Maria von Weber, Friedrich Kind [after Johann August Apel, Friedrich Laun]: Einst träumte meiner sel’gen Base… Trübe Augen (Der Freischütz). Edith Mathis, Leopold Ludwig, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra [live New York, 15.IV.72]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Andreas Schachtner: Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben (Zaide). Mattiwilda Dobbs, René Leibowitz, Orchestre Philharmonique de Paris [1952]

Jules Massenet, Henri Meilhac, Philippe Gille [after Abbé Prévost]: Instant charmant… En fermant les yeux (Manon). Cesare Valletti, Victoria de los Angeles, Pierre Monteux, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra [live New York 18.XII.1954]

Charles Gounod, Jules Barbier, Michel Carré [after William Shakespeare]: Ô présage alarmant!… Mab, la reine des mensonges (Roméo et Juliette). Arthur Endrèze [né Arthur Endres Kraeckmann], Orchestra conducted by Henri Defosse [1930]

Arnold Schoenberg, Marie Pappenheim: Das Mondlicht… nein dort… da ist der schreckliche Kopf des Gespenst (Erwartung). Renata Scotto, Spiris Argiris, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nationale di Santa Cecilia di Roma [Roma 30.I.94]

Giuseppe Verdi, Arrigo Boito [after William Shakespeare]: Era la notte (Otello). Lawrence Tibbett, Giovanni Martinelli, Ettore Panizza, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra [New York, 12.II.38]

Pietro Mascagni, Luigi Illica: Ein schwerer Traum hat mich geängstigt [Ho fatto un triste sogno] (Iris). Melitta Muszely, Mark Elyn, Nello Santi, Orchester von Radio Beromünster Bern [Radio Bern 1961]

Richard Strauss, Hugo von Hofmannsthal [after Sophocles]: Ich habe keine gute Nächte… Was bluten muss? (Elektra). Brigitte Fassbaender, Hildegard Behrens, James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra [live 22.I.1994]

Benjamin Britten, William Shakespeare [adapted Peter Pears]: When my cue comes, call me [Bottom’s Dream] (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Geraint Evans, Georg Solti, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden [live London 11.II.1961]

Bohuslav Martinů [after Georges Neveux]: Ah, I was afraid [End of Act One] (Julietta). Mária Tauberová, Ivo Žídek, Jaroslav Krombholc, Orchestra and Chorus of the Prague National Theatre [1964]

Gabriel Fauré, Romand Bussine: Après un rêve, Op. 7/1. Janet Baker, Martin Isepp. [live New York 02.XII.66]

Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil: J’avais rêvé d’une autre vie [I Dreamed a Dream] (Les Misérables). Daniel Gundlach, Lloyd Arriola [live New York, 25.X.15]

Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin: My Ship (Lady in the Dark). Christine Andreas, arranged and conducted by Lee Musiker [2002]

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