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Title: Christoph Colomb
Label: mode 35           Country: USA
Format: CD           Status: AVAILABLE           $15.00

Text: William Aguet
Music: Arthur Honegger
Stratton Rawson The Magician
Neil Garvey Christopher Columbus
Elaine Knecht Queen Isabella
Anthony Furnival King Ferdinand
Opera Sacra of Buffalo Orchestra & Chorus
Charles Peltz , conductor
The art of the radio-play was a very important and respected creative mode of entertainment in Europe before the age of television, where subsidized radio stations encouraged experiments in this medium. Composers such as Britten, Hindemith, Gerhard, and Honegger were quick to take up the challenge, composing memorable scores which were designed from the start as close collaborations with poets and dramatists.
Honegger was keen to reach the widest possible public while retaining his own musical ideas. He had already collaborated with numerous distinguished writers for the theater and had supplied scores for films, such as Abel Gance's Napoleon. All of this experience made readied him for a collaboration with William Aguet when Christoph Colomb was proposed for Radio Lausanne in 1940.
Christoph Colomb is an ambitious radio-play, scored for 10 actors, an orchestra of 40 musicians, plus a large chorus with soloists. Perhaps it is due to these unusual forces that the piece faded into obscurity after its radio premiere.
Through much hard work, Opera Sacra of Buffalo, New York reconstructed Christoph Colomb from the original manuscript and performed it with a new English translation of Aguet's surprisingly astute and politically correct text.
For the first time on record, Mode is proud to present this major addition to the Honegger discography. The deluxe slipcase packaging includes a 64-page libretto with complete texts in English, French and German along with liner notes by music historian Jeremy Noble.
Released 1989.
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