Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Marschner - Der Vampyr full download

Complete download from Opera Today of  Der Vampyr the short(ish) opera  by H A Marschner (1795-1861) which has been enjoying quite a revival in the last few years. Follow THIS LINK which contains a full  recording from a live performance in Vienna in 1951, with complete original libretto. There are at least four recordings available, but this is the first. This version was created by Hans Pfitzner in the 1930's.

Marschner's Der Vampyr isn't Bram Stoker at all, whose Dracula was only written in 1897.  Marschner's vampire is based on a novel by John Polidori who was English, but of Italian descent, and a friend of Lord Byron and eventually the uncle of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The story was written in 1819, the year after Mary Shelley published Frankenstein. Did the British invent Goth culture as art in the first place? Walter Scott too inspired mid European audiences with his high Romantic glamour.

Polidori's characters are pesudo-Scottish aristocrats - Lord Ruthven, Sir Humphrey Davenant, Sir John Aubry and John and Janthe Berkley. (Not Berkeley which is more "English".) Several of them are already undead. The plot revolves around corrupting young virgins, which, given the Byron and Hellfire Club connections may be social comment as much as psychological horror story. A German language play was written based on the novel. Marschner's opera followed in 1828.

Marschner's Der Vampyr is more than a curiosity because it was so popular in its time. Marschner worked with Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden, hence the tradition of magical hi-jinks and horror that we know from Der Freischütz and Euryanthe. Der Vampyr isn't quite in that league and I can't take the idea that it's an "influence" on Wagner as wiki suggests. But Der Vampyr is fun in a kind of campy potboiler way. I know two of the recordings besides this one, but have never seen it staged - what a hoot that would be - fake aristos scamming each other, chasing pretty brides-to-be on the eve of their weddings etc. A bit racy ! Have fun and enjoy. The full F W Murnau film Nosferatu Der Vampyr (1922) is available in FULL DOWNLOAD on this site, just click on the link. this is brilliant.  Also Carl Th Dreyer's Vampyr HERE.  On BBC TV2 iPlayer until 27/12 is Werner Herzog's 1979 remake with Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani which is atmospheric and well shot. See that and compare.


Kevin said...

Great find. I'll be downloading it in a moment.

I can't help but to think that there are many more operas of this variety, which also will resurface in a timely manner.

Either way, they're sure to be better than their movie counterparts.

Thanks again.

Doundou Tchil said...

Hi Kevin, the 1922 movie is really creepy. And all the ideas were "new" then. It must be hard to write a really creepy opera about vampires because they hardly talk and don't sing. The suspense is making you tense so the fear comes from your own brain. I might upload another silent era classic "Vampyr" in the next few days. Also not the Bram Stoker tale but different.

Ryan said...

For a campy potboiler, have you seen this?: