Lehar : Paganini (excerpts)1937 (Audio)
Director: Robert Stolz
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Glinther Arndt Choir.Berlin Symphony Orchestra .
Paganini was first produced in Vienna in 1925.
It did not reach England until 1937, when haying a cast headed by Tauber and Evelyn Laye it only achieved 60 performances, possibly because despite his lovely voice and charm Tauber had not the figure or appearance which we associate with Paganini. Its success in other countries was and always has been greater than here.
Despite all this I fell for it in 1937 and it remains one of my favourite Lehar operettas, partly perhaps because it is nearer to opera and further from musical comedy than many of Lehar's stage works.
Here is a first-class performance and a good recording. We get off to a splendid start with the excellent playing of the violin solo in the Overture.
Margit Schramm is a charming Anna Elisa, Rudolf Schock a rich voiced Paganini and Dorothea Chryst a sympathetic prima donna. That the whole is greater than the sum of the parts is mainly due to the affectionate and sympathetic conducting of the ever-young Robert Stolz.