Concert performance in two acts, in German, with Hungarian and English surtitles
Born in what is now Bratislava and speaking Hungarian as his mother tongue, the pianist Franz Schmidt started out as a pianist and then worked as a cellist for ten years in Mahler’s orchestra in Vienna. His talent as a composer was so evident to the great maestro that he predicted that one day Schmidt’s time would come. In spite of this, although Schmidt enjoyed great success with the two passages that made up his 1903 piece Intermezzo from an Incomplete Romantic Opera and later evolved into Notre Dame, Mahler still was not willing to present the finished opera, and thus this work that was completed in 1906 would not make it to the stage until April 1914.
After the premiere, the opera also gained fame in the Hungarian press: “It is not only for its masterful orchestration and melodic inventiveness that it can be ranked among the most valuable of modern operatic works, but also for what we find particularly interesting: Schmidt’s placement of Hungarian motifs here and there into his music. In fact, it has even been established that the orchestral Intermezzo in the first act, a lively and brilliant treatment of a warm and broadly flowing Hungarian theme, is the most impressive passage in the work.
The long forgotten work is a true treat for lovers of Romantic operas and a remarkably symphonically inspired piece that explores Victor Hugo’s greatly successful novel about everyone’s fatal attraction to a beautiful Gypsy girl.
The Archdeacon of Notre Dame
The old Falourdel
A Gypsy Man
A voice form the crowd