Gramophone Review: WEINBERGER Frühlingsstürme (de Souza)

GRAMOPHONE DVD OF THE MONTH

Jaromír Weinberger, Composer
Alma Sadé, Tatjana, Soprano
Berlin Komische Opera Orchestra
Dominik Köninger, Roderich Zirbitz, Baritone
Jordan de Souza, Conductor
Luca Schaub, Grand Duke Michailowitsch, Singer
Stefan Kurt, General Wladimir Katschalow, Speaker
Tansel Akzeybek, Ito, Tenor
Tino Lindenberg, Colonel Baltischew, Singer
Vera-Lotte Boecker, Lydia Pawlowska, Soprano

‘All that will be left of life will be the memory of spring storms’, muses the widow Lydia Pawlowska in Jaromír Weinberger’s Frühlingsstürme, and the publicity for Barrie Kosky’s staging at the Komische Oper Berlin described this ravishing work as ‘the last operetta of the Weimar Republic’. The first production was forcibly shut down, mid-run, within weeks of the Nazis taking power in 1933, and this latest rediscovery in Kosky’s ongoing revival of Berlin’s operetta tradition comes with weighty historical baggage. It’s also a funny, gloriously theatrical entertainment, complete with showgirls, pyrotechnics and sizzling saxophones. No living director walks that stylistic tightrope with more intelligence and verve than Kosky.