Tiefland

Eugen d’Albert is largely forgotten as a composer but his seventh (of twenty) opera, Tiefland, is still performed occasionally in German speaking countries.  It’s an odd work.  The plot is melodramatic with a cloying degree of sentimentality; sort of Mascagni meets Gounod, while the music is like pastoral Wagner (think the way the woodwinds are used in Tristan) with touches of Carmen and, just occasionally, hints of Sullivan (one of d’Albert’s teachers).  For a 1903 work it feels curiously retro.

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