Klassik  Operette
Seefestspiele Mörbisch & Rudolf Bibl Gräfin Mariza OC 337 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 337
Release date05/07/2004
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Kálmán, Emmerich

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      Gräfin Mariza
      Emmerich Kálmán

      Gräfin Mariza . . . . . . Ursula Pfitzner
      Populescu . . . . . . Gerhard Ernst
      Baron Koloman Zsupán . . . . . . Marko Kathol
      Graf Tassilo . . . . . . Nikolai Schukoff
      Lisa . . . . . . Julia Bauer
      Manja, Zigeunerin . . . . . . Natela Nicoli

      Festival Orchestra Mörbisch
      Mörbisch Festival Choir
      Harald Serafin, Intendant
      Rudolf Bibl, Dirigent / conductor
      Winfried Bauernfeind, Inszenierung / staging
      Rolf Langenfass, Bühnenbild / stage design

      Timeless Joy –
      „Countess Mariza“ by Emmerich Kálmán“

      Vienna 1924. By this time, there was no more Habsburg ceremonial in the imperial palace; the rose-edged beauty had gone from Schönbrunn castle; the once- .ourishing upper middle class had left the royal and imperial kingdom’s former realms on the Danube, there were no more pastoral village idylls around wells and vineyards; there were even no more shameful secret affairs between uniformed men of standing and milliners or “kept women”.

      Whether in Vienna, Munich, Berlin or anywhere else – new forms and .gures were becoming visible in the glow of the historical furnace which forged the 1920s. The only certainty seemed to be: “Nothing is as it once was”.

      When looking back, the fact that these years were one of the golden ages of operetta – in view of the wide-spread need to escape from worldly affairs, it probably even reached its prime during this period – seems to be one of the particular curiosities of this contradictory epoch; operetta of all genres, to whose popular strains the people of imperial Vienna and Berlin had danced, swayed, fallen in love – and marched.

      However, the public had now changed, and the texts and music of the operettas took account of this: people just wanted to enjoy themselves. The music had to be light and sparkling, frivolity or even straightforwardness lewdness were applauded, sultry eroticism and sentimentality were preferred. Jobbers sat in the circle along with war pro.teers and swindlers. They set the tone to a large extent. People revelled and showed off what they had – as long as they still had it. The aristocracy had lost its lustre. In the Austrian republic, it had even been abolished by decree. Money paid for luxury, or even better – for relationships.

      With the subject of “Countess Mariza”, Emmerich Kálmán plunged head.rst into this melange and achieved his ambition – after the “Csárdásfürstin” (Csárdás Princess, 1915) – of enjoying another sensational success. Two new momentous cooperations contributed to the creation of this work: Kálmán’s .rst contact with the librettists Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald and the collaboration with the multitalented operetta stager Hubert Marischka, who directed the Theater an der Wien in his role as star singer and impresario. Kálmán wrote most of his remaining works, which appeared regularly every two years, with Brammer/Grünwald and for Marischka and his stage.

      Meanwhile, work on “Countess Mariza” was more laboured than earlier. Kálmán had already had parts of the libretto for several years, but it did not appeal to him at .rst, with the result that he .rst collaborated with the librettists to produce the strictly ironic, socially critical and clever “Bayadere” (1921).

      It is true that people like the impoverished Count Tassilo in “Mariza”, who was suddenly forced to work for his daily bread, could be met in thousands on the streets after having lost the .rst World War. It was not necessary to use allegory when dealing with such a subject; it was starkly true to life, and at the same time was an ideal medium for conjuring up nostalgic yearning and memories of the glorious past. “Grüß mir mein Wien” (“Greet my Vienna for me”) and “Komm, Zigány” (“Come, Zigány”) are two of the most beautiful songs which Kálmán created for his Tassilo.

      The plot, spiced with love, jealousy and pride, brought forth such moments of musical suspense that the composer’s inspiration took .re from them and blazed .ercely. Although bound to the events of those times, the result was a timeless work of art. Therefore, “Countess Mariza” has remained in public favour since its premiere on February 28, 1924.

      Richard Eckstein


      Act 1: While the young Countess Mariza is globe-trotting, an industrious steward is taking care of her property. This steward, the former Count Tassilo Endrödy-Wittemburg, who now calls himself Török, had previously suffered great .nancial dif.culties, with the result that he had to mortgage his property and give up his of.cer’s commission. In this way, he hopes to earn the necessary dowry for his sister Lisa, who must not learn of the family’s impoverished condition. Mariza makes a surprise return to the estate with a swarm of guests and admirers, and announces that she today intends to celebrate her engagement to Baron Koloman Zsupán. However, the Countess is only pretending to become engaged in order to throw off her countless suitors. “Koloman Zsupán” is a name borrowed from Johann Strauss’ “Gypsy Baron”, and Countess Mariza believes that he is a successful invention. Her astonishment is all the greater when a Baron Koloman Zsupán actually turns up at the estate. The stricken Mariza cannot repudiate the joyful suitor without further ado. Tassilo, who has been in love with the Countess for some weeks, does not want this to be noticed, and sings a melancholy song, “Auch ich war einst ein feiner Csárdáskavalier!” (“I too was once a .ne Csárdás cavalier!”). When Mariza asks him to sing this song to her guests, he refuses. The Countess is offended.

      Act 2: Lisa, Tassilo’s sister, is also one of the guests. Her brother also wants her to remain incognito. Meanwhile, Zsupán has realised that he has no chance with Mariza, and takes up with Lisa. However, Tassilo and Mariza again become involved in a disagreement. Tassilo, who would like to dance with the Countess, makes her a declaration of love and is dismissed. Full of pain, he embraces his sister, which annoys the Countess and also makes her jealous. However, she then .nally learns that her steward is a Count and that Lisa is his sister.

      Act 3: On the morning after these events, Tassilo arrives to say farewell to Mariza. She believes him to be a fortune hunter and his affection to be feigned, as she has misinterpreted a letter of Tassilo’s which has fallen into her hands. However, both her contrariness and his pride prevent them from clearing the matter up. The appearance of Tassilo’s aunt, the Princess Guddenstein, brings about a happy transformation: she has heard of her nephew’s .nancially straitened circumstances and secretly bought back his mortgaged property. Now he may feel himself to be a worthy partner for Mariza. The two dif.cult lovers can at last become a couple, just like Zsupán, who may at last embrace his Lisa.

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • 1.Ouvertüre03:15
      • 2.Nr. 1 Wir singen dir03:13
      • 3.Nr. 2 Wenn es Abend wird05:03
      • 4.Nr. 3 War einmal ein reicher Prasser03:07
      • 5.Nr. 4 Lustige Zigeunerweisen06:21
      • 6.Nr. 5 Sonnenschein, hüll’ dich ein04:24
      • 7.Nr. 6 Ich bitte, nicht lachen03:11
      • 8.Nr. 7 Finale 1: Auch ich war einst07:36
      • 9.Ei braver Herr Verwalter03:51
      • 10.Will die Frau.08:05
      • 11.Nr. 9 Herrgott, was ist denn heut´ los03:14
      • 12.Nr. 10 Wenn ich abends schlafen geh03:26
      • 13.Nr. 11 Mein lieber Schatz04:53
      • 14.Nr. 11a Ja! Heut´ um Zehn sind wir.02:02
      • 15.Nr. 12 Junger Mann ein Mädchen liebt03:09
      • 16.Nr. 13 Finale 2: Hei, Mariza10:02
      • 17.Nr. 14 Braunes Mädel von der Puszta Ungarmädel02:31
      • 18.Nr. 16 Finale 302:07
      • Total:01:19:30