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Franz Schreker

Dutch National Opera / Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra / Marc Albrecht

Der Schatzgräber

  • Type SACD hybrid
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917259124
  • Catalog number CC 72591
  • Release date 15 October 2013
Physical (SACD hybrid)

Let me know when available - € 14.95

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About the album

Franz Schreker (1878-1934, austrian composer) was born in Monaco and grew up during travels across half of Europe and, after the early death of his father, the family moved to Vienna (1888) where in 1892, with the help of a scholarship, Schreker entered the Vienna Conservatory. Starting with violin studies, with Sigismund Bachrich and Arnold Rosé, he moved into the composition class of Robert Fuchs, graduating as a composer in 1900.

Schreker is well known for his operas and worte the libretto and composed his opera "Der Schatzgräber" after the great success of "Der ferne Klang" (1912) and "Die Gezeichneten" (1918). "Der Schatzgräber", questioning the value of materialism versus love, was to prove particularly powerful in post-War Europe. After the Frankfurt premiere in January 1920, productions popped up in major cities across the continent and Schreker became one of the most performed composers of his generation. While his biggest competition Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal had pursued a similar path in the overtly Wagnerian "Die Frau ohne Schatten" – which opened in Vienna on 10 October 1919 – their ‘last Romantic opera’ lacked Schreker’s allegorical punch. Strauss retreated further into Gemütlichkeit, while Schreker continued to wrestle with the dilemma of being an artist in the modern world. 

The opera is set in legendary medieval times. The queen has lost her jewels, and with them her beauty and fertility. The fool knows about Elis, a wandering minstrel whose magic lute points out all hidden treasures to him. The king promises the fool that he will be allowed to choose a wife as a reward, if Ellis can find the jewels.

Els, daughter of the innkeeper, has to marry a brutal but rich young nobleman she despises. She therefore sends him away to find the queen's jewels, and has him murdered by Albi, her servant. The minstrel Elis presents Els with an ornament he has found in the woods. Els falls in love with the young minstrel, but then the body of the dead nobleman is found in the woods; the bailiff, who wants Els for himself, arrests Elis on suspicion of murder.

Elis is to be hanged. Els seeks the advice of the fool, who promises to help. The king's messenger stops the execution at the last moment, so Elis can go in search of the ornament. To avoid being exposed, Els orders Albi to steal the minstrel's magic lute.
During a night of love, Els shows herself to Elis in the full beauty of the jewels. She hands over the jewellery to him, on condition that he will never ask her about the provenance, and will always trust her.

Elis has returned the jewels to the queen. During a celebration, the bailiff intervenes and announces that Albi has confessed to the murder. Els is denounced as the instigator of the murder, and the bailiff demands her immediate execution. But the fool reminds the king of his promise: he chooses Els as his wife and thus saves her from being executed.

One year later, Els is dying. Only the fool has remained with her. He fetches the minstrel, who sings his most beautiful ballad for Els. She dies in the minstrel's arms.



Derek Bacon

February 16th 2014 19:03
Having just read the Gramophone Magazine review, I would like to have this recording in my collection but without an English translation, I will not do so. A shame!

David Brown

January 10th 2014 22:49
Are there in any cuts in this recording, or is it the complete original Schreker score?

Challenge Records

December 11th 2013 12:35
@ A. Linkner: Unfortunately, we do not have the English translation. But we are glad to hear you are enjoying the cd.

A. Linkner

December 7th 2013 00:32
I\'ve now listened to the recording and the performances and sound quality are stunningly good.

A. Linkner

December 6th 2013 00:14
I received this new recording of this opera only to find no translation of the libretto into English. Since I don\'t speak German, this is a big problem. Is there any way of getting a translation of this?


October 1st 2013 14:38
Hallo, Waarom is er zo\'n groot prijsverschil voor deze cd op de diverse webshops? De prijzen variëren tussen de 21-40 euro?? Groet, Kees

Challenge Records Int.

June 17th 2013 09:41
Dear Kevin, this release is scheduled for early September.

Kevin Mulder

June 15th 2013 01:32
Hello, Do you have a release date for this recording?

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