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Schreker: Christophorus


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Audio CD, April 19, 2005
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Ulrich Windfuhr
  • Composer: Franz Schreker
  • Audio CD (April 19, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: CPO
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • ASIN: B0007XHL2K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,617 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Christophorus, opera: Glocken
2. Christophorus, opera: Prelude. Scene 1. Ihre Augen
3. Christophorus, opera: Prelude. Scene 2. Kennst du denn, Frederik
4. Christophorus, opera: Prelude. Scene 3. Ein Quartett?
5. Christophorus, opera: Prelude. Scene 4. Dort, dort seht hin!
6. Christophorus, opera: Prelude. Scene 5. Schäm dich, du!
7. Christophorus, opera: Prelude. Glocken
8. Christophorus, opera: Act 1. Part 1. Scene 1. Ein Akt fügt sich ein
9. Christophorus, opera: Act 1. Part 1. Scene 2. Niemand zu Hause?
10. Christophorus, opera: Act 1. Part 1. Scene 3. Der zweite Akt, der formet sich klar.
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Christophorus, opera: Glocken
2. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Scene 2. Bravo etc.
3. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Scene 4. Komm, komm - es schleichen Gespenster
4. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Scene 5. Hier sehen Sie, meine Damen und Herren
5. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Ich kann - nicht sehen - ein zweiter Wille / Scene 6.
6. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Scene 7. Verdammt, ein Licht
7. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Scene 8. Ihr lieben Leute, gebt eine Gabe
8. Christophorus, opera: Act 2. Zwischenspiel
9. Christophorus, opera: Postlude. Wie die Motte dem Licht
10. Christophorus, opera: Postlude. Nun bin ich gewandert
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G.D. TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 6, 2011
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If you have let yourself be blown away by some of Schreker's earlier, gorgeously opulent, ragingly dramatic and hyper-romantic works (Der Ferne Klang or Irrelohe, perhaps), you may be in for a slight disappointment. This is pared down Schreker - the textures are relatively spare and chamber-like, and if you listen to it waiting for the music to rise to dizzying heights or for some orchestral thunder (and the music often sounds as if it is on the verge of doing that), you will wait in vain. That is not to say that Christophorus does not display Schreker's mastery of the orchestra; the scoring is absolutely fabulous; listen, for example to the flickering, strangely distorted fire music at the end of the first disc. But the point remains - this is not the Schreker you may suspect (and I would hate for anyone investigating the composer to make this opera their first stop).

The music is heavily chromatic, often atonal and more radical than in Schreker's more famous operas; there are few if any touches of Richard Strauss, Mahler, Zemlinsky or Pfitzner here. There is still some Wolf-style harmonic sequences, some early Schoenberg (and some later Schoenberg), but also touches of Hindemith and neo-classicism. The subject of Christophorus ("the vision of an opera") is, on the surface level, a composer writing an opera, although as with all of Schreker's operas, there are multiple layers of symbolism and existential drama. It is also a very difficult work on many levels, though it is ultimately quite rewarding.

The orchestral playing is generally superb, and Windfuhr paces the drama extremely well (indeed he seems to have a very sure grasp of the idiom), always retaining the dramatic nerve and sustaining the forward momentum.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eren Tasar on May 23, 2013
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I find Christophorus immensely compelling and beautiful. There are hints of Wozzeck and especially Lulu (which it appears to presage) here but all in Schreker's own unique and sophisticated voice. Schreker began work on this opera only three years after completing Irrelohe; this rapid and dramatic evolution in his style is not something to disparage but rather to appreciate!
The vocalists and orchestra are all on the highest order here. The booklet contains a very helpful essay setting forth the work's historical and intellectual setting that sheds significant light on the opera's place in Schreker's evolution. It also provides Schreker's introductory essay (complete with a selection from the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi!).
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Classic Music Lover on January 16, 2009
This later Schreker opera was never performed in the composer's lifetime -- and it shows. While probably of interest to the die-hard Schreker fan, it comes across as episodic, with the music and characters strangely unrealized. There are also a good deal more "modern" musical idioms in this opera than one hears in Schreker's other stage works.

I count myself a Schreker afficionado, yet I find this work difficult to love (or even like). There are so many other good operatic works of his that are more fulfilling on musical, storyline and stagecraft levels. My recommendation is to stick with Schreker's other operatic fare ... my two personal favorites are Die Gezeichneten ("The Branded Ones") and Irrelohe ("Crazy Fire").
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin Pitchon on January 19, 2007
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Schreker dedicated this opera to Schönberg... You have great moments and som jazz and some dodecaphonic music also. Great!
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