Malmö Opera | Naxos
A native of St Petersburg, Ingeborg von Bronsart studied with Liszt in Weimar, her striking appearance earning her the nickname ‘Ingeborg die Schöne’. Goethe’s libretto for Jery und Bätely is a charming and bucolic tale of unrequited romance between a pretty Swiss milkmaid and an eligible bachelor who are ultimately brought together by some farcical matchmaking. Bronsart brings life to this story with exquisite music, from an exciting overture through an uninterrupted evolution in melody and harmony to a spine-tingling finale, delivering a Singspiel that helped establish her reputation as a successful composer for the stage.
As soon as the beautiful overture begins softly and gravely like a national anthem, one feels the perfect mastery by conductor Dario Salvi of the homogeneous orchestra of the Malmö Opera House. Maestro Dario Salvi turns this symphonic piece into a veritable musical tableau, which he colours with his beautifully nuanced baton: romantic anxiety-torment, dramatic urgency, warm poetry, right up to the joyous triumphal motif with Beethovenian accents that crowns the overture.
[Salvi] provides his interpretation with romantic features. In the sound of the horns from far and near, the panorama of the mountains is created, against whose picturesque background the story takes place to great effect.
Conducted and reconstructed from the original manuscript by Dario Salvi with a stupendous orchestral sound, excellently recorded to make a really persuasive case for this little known work.
Bronsart brings life to this story with exquisite music, from an exciting overture through an uninterrupted evolution in melody and harmony to a spine-tingling finale, delivering a Singspiel that helped establish her reputation as a successful composer for the stage.
The recording, in the hands of Sean Lewis, is perfectly balanced, the excellent Malmo Orchestra given a beautifully transparent and detailed quality. The Scottish-Italian conductor, Dario Salvi, must feel highly delighted in having discovered such a pleasing jewel. Not to be missed.
Delicious music, beautiful melodies, arias and duets, and an exciting finale. A delicious farce performed with apparent pleasure by all involved.
★★★★ The music is strongly forward-thinking and classically spirited. Alternating light and shadow, the material creates musical jokes, with a hint to Mozart and folk tunes.
This recording of the opera/singspiel Jery und Bätely is a special event, and one that conductor Dario Salvi considers to be 'one of the operatic revelations of the decade… Imagine Hänsel und Gretel with a woman's touch to it. Put on top of it a text by Goethe, some inspired performers and a fully dedicated conductor who is completely in love with the work. Can it get any better?'
[Salvi's] familiarity with the romantic style benefits 'Jery and Bätely': the idyllic moods and the tone-painting nature descriptions are subtly worked out, lovingly modeling the easy-to-grasp melodies.
The lead voices, Harrie van der Plas as Jery and Caroline Brucker as Bätely, are quite superb... An important work by virtue of its being, allegedly, the first opera by a German female composer.
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine