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Two Serenatas for the Dublin Court

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Conductor: MATE' BALAZS
  • Composer: KUSSER Johann Sigismund
  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hungaroton
  • ASIN: B004283170
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 563,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Two Serenatas for the Dublin Court - Various Performers

Product Description

HUN 32633; HUNGAROTON - Ungheria; Classica vocale

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Format: Audio CD
Baroque fans who have noticed the recent appearance of some fine discs of orchestral music by Kusser, may well take an interest in this CD. Hungarian by birth, Johann Sigismund Kusser was an eminent and successful opera composer in his day; but sadly nearly all his vocal works have been lost and these two Serenatas, written in the early 1700s for the Dublin Court theatre, are just about all that remains.

The first of these two works is a memorial piece for King William III, and unfortunately the libretto is absolute nonsense, characterised by xenophobia, royalist sycophancy and sectarian bigotry - with, for example, catholicism being compared to a plague of locusts. Not surprisingly, the composer found little inspiration in the words by the anonymous librettist: the work begins with a rather unimpressive overture, followed by a string of largely forgettable arias with just a couple of more attractive numbers to be found. There are also two short choruses, vigorous and dramatic music but sung to entirely unworthy texts.

Things improve somewhat in the second Serenata, a celebration of the Treaty of Utrecht. The poetry is still bad enough to make William McGonagall look like a towering genius but at least the sentiments expressed, in praise of peace and all that sort of thing, are acceptable this time. The overture is a more substantial movement with an interesting, rhythmically complex fast section. Some of the remaining music is tuneful and inventive, with a graceful aria sung by Peace, an arresting outburst by Discord with lively orchestral support, and an attractive duet between Peace and Victory.
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