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Friedrich Kuhlau
1-22. Lulu – Romantic opera in three acts

CD 2

Friedrich Kuhlau
1-9. Lulu – Romantic opera in three acts

Bonus tracks

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Händel
10. Priva son d’ogni conforto (Giulio Cesare, sung in Danish)

Christoph Willibad Gluck
11. J’ai perdu mon Eurydice (Orphée et Eurydice)

Asger Hamerik
12. To Denmark (Marie Grubbe)

Peter Heise
Drot og Marsk
13. You kept me waiting, pretty maid! (Of gold I know but the name!)
14. Where is Lady Ingeborg?

The Launy Grøndahl Legacy, Vol. 6 Š
By Martin Granau

Danish State Radio broadcast opera and song from its earliest years. Songs and arias were played over the airwaves even during that period of 1922-25 when radio broadcasting took place in small and competing private radio clubs. The practice continued in Denmark once radio had become a state enterprise from 1 April 1925 onwards. With the foundation of the Danish State Radio Orchestra in October 1925, more and more programmes featured extracts from opera and operetta, often arranged into suites, and the orchestra included them in its ‘Popular Orchestral Concert’ broadcasts.

As the orchestra’s unofficial principal conductor, Launy Grøndahl worked with its affiliated music consultant, the composer Ludolf Nielsen, to find suitable passages of opera and ballet, both familiar and unfamiliar, foreign and native, which could be extracted for this purpose. Ludolf Nielsen found piles of unprinted music in Copenhagen’s Royal Library. Once Grøndahl had given his approval, Ludolf Nielsen would copy and rearrange the music for performance by the – at that time – small orchestra. In this way, the orchestra’s music library soon contained arias and other extracts from operas which had been almost lost to time.

Live broadcasts from The Royal Theatre of Copenhagen began as early as September 1925, but practical and financial considerations limited these transmissions to once a week. The theatre itself was not an easy place to broadcast from, and the budget for live outside broadcasts also had to cover concerts given by the Tivoli and other privately run orchestras. And so, in addition to extracts, the DRSO put on some complete operas, such as The Little Match Girl and The Princess and The Pea by August Enna. The national play Elverhøj, with text by Johan Ludvig Heiberg and music by Friedrich Kuhlau, was performed twice. The orchestra made its public debut as an opera orchestra in the spring of 1927, giving three concert performances of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia under the baton of Egisto Tango.

This public appetite for broadcast opera, combined with Grøndahl’s advocacy of native Danish composers, gave rise to the performance of several Danish operas during his 31 years in regular charge of the orchestra. The last of these took place on 15 May 1956, shortly before Grøndahl’s retirement, in a live broadcast performance reissued for the first time on the present release.

This abridged version of Lulu reduced the opera’s running time from over three hours to under 100 minutes, omitting several numbers entirely and making judicious cuts in the others (despite its success at the box office, Lulu had often been criticised for its excessive length). The show was directed for radio by Torben Krogh, with a narrator (Hans Riis-Vestergaard) explaining the story and filling in the missing sections.

RELEASE DATE: April 2021


EAN: 5709499886007