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Meyerbeer: Overtures & Entr'actes from the French Operas

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Customer Reviews

Light listening from heavy operas

When I mentioned I was reviewing this new recording, I discovered just how low my colleagues held Meyerbeer's music. Robert Schumann didn't care much for it, but I think he -- and others -- miss the point. Giacomo Meyerbeer wasn't out to make pronouncements from God -- he wanted to write entertaining, successful operas. He achieved his goals, and the music in the collection demonstrates why.

Included are instrumental works from Meyerbeer's biggest hits -- "Robert le Diable," "Les Huguenots," and "L'Africaine" -- along with selections from "Dianorah and Le Prophete. Meyerbeer wrote almost exclusively for the stage, and his works are unfailingly catchy and tuneful.

Darrell Ang conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with a certain amount of brio, never failing to bring out the drama of the music (without overplaying it). To me, this was a great collection of classical music for casual listening. I just need to be careful who I play it for.

Biography

Formed: 1946 in Wellington, New Zealand

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Since the mid-20th century, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has generally been considered the finest full-scale symphony orchestra from New Zealand. Holding the status as the national orchestra of New Zealand, it is government-funded and thus less constrained by commercial factors that hamper independent ensembles. The NZSO consists of about 90 players and performs its 100-plus yearly concerts throughout New Zealand, with a larger portion of its programs presented in the cities of Wellington,...
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Meyerbeer: Overtures & Entr'actes from the French Operas, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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