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There was a time, about 10 years ago, when the operas of Franz Schreker (1878-1934) turned up so consistently in the European opera calendar that a revival seemed to be under way. The vogue has abated but bequeathes a series of useful recordings, among which this recent Netherlands Opera performance of Der Schatzgräber (The Treasure Hunter) takes an esteemed place.

The work synthesises aspects of Schreker’s previous operas – a medieval setting, a fairytale plot, the destructive power of sexual repression. The allusive quality of the action is matched to voluptuous orchestration, endless arioso and ardent, sometimes aimless, melody. Albrecht conducts with clarity and impeccable taste, matched by Raymond Very, Manuela Uhl, Graham Clark and Tijl Faveyts in leading roles.

Schreker

Der Schatzgräber

Netherlands Philharmonic/Marc Albrecht

(Challenge Classics) 2 CDs

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