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  • Schmidt: Notre Dame
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Schmidt: Notre Dame


Price: $14.64 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, July 30, 2013
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Schmidt: Notre Dame + Schreker: Der Schatzgraeber
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
  • Conductor: Perick
  • Composer: Schmidt
  • Audio CD (July 30, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Capriccio
  • ASIN: B00D6UUSO4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This world premiere recording of Schmidt's Notre Dame is dominated not by Paris or Quasimodo, but by Esmeralda, played by Gwyneth Jones. She is the center of the stories which make up the plot and the Esmeralda motif is the principal theme of the opera.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AndrewCF on November 1, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hugo von Hofmannsthal considered the libretto of Franz Schmidt’s Notre Dame as “silly,” although he was an admirer of the music and the ability Schmidt had to spotlight the singing against the orchestra background (it seems to me that this is a function of the conductor and not the composer). While I hardly would consider the libretto of Notre Dame as silly (aren’t Der Ferne Klang, Die Tote Stadt, and Der Traumgorge even sillier), the attempt to concentrate the Victor Hugo novel is admittedly problematic. Since Schmidt and Leopold Wilk have determined that Esmeralda is the central character, there has not been enough effort to flesh out a child/woman whose admirers end mostly in their own destruction. The notes of this CD set speak of a transformation of a virginal child-bride to a more mature woman, but there is little evidence of this. We can only be sure that Phoebus, who dies at the jealous hand of Esmeralda’s husband, has awoken her heart to a more adult possibility of love. Another problem is the death of the villainous Archdeacon is not at all cathartic; in fact, musically speaking, it is understated to the point of languor.

The libretto aside, the music of Notre Dame is just plain gorgeous. Anyone who loves the operas of Richard Strauss can’t fail to respond to this score. I was pleased to discover the good performance of Dame Gwyneth Jones (who can be squally under pressure), but she is far too old to take on the role of the teenage Esmeralda. It is unfortunate that Hartmut Welker and Kurt Moll (the Archdeacon and Quasimodo, respectively) have such a similarity of tone, but in a few instances (especially in the first act), Welker does sound rather wooly.
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