Magazine article Opera Canada

Die Drei Pintos

Magazine article Opera Canada

Die Drei Pintos

Article excerpt

DIE DREI PINTOS

Weber/Mahler

Holzer, Furlong, Zechmeister, Marilley, Shaw, Svab. National Philharmonic Orchestra of Melarus, Paolo Arrivabeni, conductor.

Naxos 8.660142-43 (2 CDs)

This charmer of a comic opera, 68 years in the making, marks the unlikely "collaboration" between a pair of composers at opposite ends of the Romantic timeline. Weber began working on Die drei Pintos in 1820, but it remained scarcely more than a series of sketches when he died prematurely. His widow presented the manuscripts to Meyerbeer in hopes of his tackling the project, but he dawdled even more than Weber had and produced absolutely nothing.

It was left to the composer's grandson and namesake, Carl von Weber, to resuscitate Pintos. He offered young Gustav Mahler the job of completing his grandfather's work. Die drei Pintos finally reached the stage--very successfully--in Leipzig in January 1888. Mahler used whatever he could of the sketches, but not necessarily where Weber had placed them, and filled out the bulk of the score with other Weber pieces, reworked for their new context, as well as a couple of inventions of his own and all the orchestration. While there's no doubt Mahler did the lion's share of the work, his Drei Pintos sounds emphatically like Weber, and not like the composer of the Songs of a Wayfarer or the "Titan" Symphony from roughly the same time. …

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