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Johann Strauss II had another hit with Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice, 1883) after a rocky Berlin premiere. It’s a pastiche 18th- century farce involving the operetta cliché of two pairs of star-crossed lovers plus gondolas, domino masks, clocks striking midnight and oysters. Say no more. It is not as taut as Fledermaus but it is popular, with several audio versions still available, including one conducted by Otto Ackermann starring Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Nicolai Gedda (EMI / Cantus Classics). This current release does not surpass it unless you are desperate for a modern version recorded in stereo. It has ‘nice’ written all over it. Korngold revamped the whole thing in 1923 to great success, and that is what is used here (as in the Ackermann). A problem with the CPO releases is that there is scant dialogue and no libretto, just a synopsis. That puts this recording out of the running. What happens in Venice stays in Venice.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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