WWUH Radio 91.3 FM

Make a secure online donation to WWUH

Follow University of Hartford Women's Basketball on WWUH!

University of Hartford

When the University of Hartford was incorporated just over 50 years ago by business and community leaders, they envisioned a center of education and culture for Greater Hartford. At its core, it would be a university for the community created by the community.

The University has come a long way since its humble beginnings on Hartford’s last remaining farm, evolving from a local school for commuters into a comprehensive university that attracts students from throughout the world. Yet it remains true to its original mission of serving as a valued resource for individuals, families, businesses, and communities throughout the Hartford region, offering hundreds of programs that serve the University and its neighbors every day. For over 45 years listener supported WWUH has served an important role in the University's community service mission.

Visit WWUH on Facebook    Follow WWUH on Twitter

Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Graun: Montezuma

06/02/2013 13:00
06/02/2013 16:30

 

Sunday Afternoon at the Opera Host Keith Brown writes:

This is one of the most singular operas of the entire eighteenth century. Carl Heinrich Graun (1703-59) was primarily a composer of operas at the court of King Frederick the Great of Prussia. The king himself provided the Italian language libretto for Montezuma (1755). It was the most politically radical operatic text of its time. Frederick was completely in sympathy with the conquered Aztecs and their hapless leader. The king shows an unashamedly anti-Christian bias.

Montezuma appears never to have been performed anywhere outside of Berlin, yet the opera made its mark on musical posterity. Its score was published way back in 1904, long before the modern revival of interest in baroque music. Montezuma even had a few revival performances in the twentieth century. Excerpts from it were set forth on a Decca LP circa 1968. The 1992 CD recording issued by Capriccio was its world premiere of the entire opera on disc. (Well, one aria has been edited out.)

Unlike his contemporary J. S. Bach, Graun was a musical progressive. His music for Montezuma prefigures many aspects of the "reform operas" of Gluck. Capriccio has given us Graun's masterpiece the best possible recorded treatment. Johannes Goritzki directs the Deutsche Kammerakademie, an excellent chamber orchestra, but not a period instrument ensemble. The instrumentalists are joined by the Kammerchor Cantica Nova and vocal soloists. Capriccio reissued Montezuma in 2011 on two compact discs. That reissue is what you'll be listening to today. You last heard the first issue of the CD's on Sunday, September 25, 2005 and prior to that on Sunday, February 12, 1995.