The Swiss Romantic opera sensation: My label Schweizer Fonogramm produces the world premiere recording of the Lohengrinian ’Musikdrama’ SAMSON (ca. 1854 !) by Swiss composer Joachim Raff.

CHF 15’500

103% of CHF 15’000

103 %
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The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

36 backers

Successfully concluded on 11/5/2023

Swiss Romantic opera SAMSON as world premiere recording project

«And now this monumental, subtle, gripping and perfectly fitting into our explosive time environment «Samson»! A great hit.» Neue Musikzeitung, Roland H. Dippel

This coming August/September, an important recording project will take place at the Stadttheater Bern: Together with the Bern Symphony Orchestra, the choir of the Bühnen Bern and an international cast of amazing soloists under the direction of Philippe Bach, my classical label Schweizer Fonogramm will produce the opera SAMSON by Joachim Raff (1822 - 1882). This opera is a sensation for Swiss Romanticism and as a native of Schwyz I am especially pleased to immortalize Raff, who was also born in the canton of Schwyz in central Switzerland, with a world premiere recording.
The five-act opera with its five main roles, a weighty choral part and large orchestral cast including incidental music was never heard by the composer during his lifetime - making this CD recording all the more significant. Under the artistic direction of Frédéric Angleraux and his studio ADCSound, we will make the story of the biblical hero Samson available to an opera-mad audience worldwide as a Swiss cultural heritage in the aesthetic environment of Wagner’s Lohengrin. I would like to say thank you in advance for your support!

  • Philippe Bach, musikalische Gesamtleitung
    Philippe Bach, musikalische Gesamtleitung
  • Magnus Vigilius, Tenor | SAMSON
    Magnus Vigilius, Tenor | SAMSON
  • Olena Tokar, Sopran | DELILAH
    Olena Tokar, Sopran | DELILAH
  • Thomas E. Bauer, Bariton | ABIMELECH
    Thomas E. Bauer, Bariton | ABIMELECH
  • Christian Immler, Bassbariton | OBERPRIESTER
    Christian Immler, Bassbariton | OBERPRIESTER
  • Michael Weinius, Tenor | MICHA
    Michael Weinius, Tenor | MICHA
  • Mirjam Fässler, Mezzosopran | OBERPRIESTERIN
    Mirjam Fässler, Mezzosopran | OBERPRIESTERIN
  • Chor der Bühnen Bern, Zsolt Czetner Leitung
    Chor der Bühnen Bern, Zsolt Czetner Leitung
  • Berner Symphonieorchester
    Berner Symphonieorchester
  • Joachim Raff (1822 - 1882 )
    Joachim Raff (1822 - 1882 )
  • Raffs Reflexionen über Wagners Lohengrin
    Raffs Reflexionen über Wagners Lohengrin
  • Producer Schweizer Fonogramm
    Producer Schweizer Fonogramm
  • Frédéric Angleraux, artistic recording director ADCSound
    Frédéric Angleraux, artistic recording director ADCSound

A singular musical heritage for Switzerland rediscovered

The Swiss music history of the 19th century is - to say the least - not overwhelming in terms of opera compositions - all the more sensational is the opera SAMSON by Joachim Raff, published by Nordstern Verlag, for the musical reinterpretation of Swiss Romanticism. Raff’s partly critical, but in any case intensive preoccupation with Wagner’s Lohengrin was the catalyst for his work on the libretto and the musical elaboration of the SAMSON material in the 1850s. Raff’s opera is considered one of the first music dramas ever written, and for the Swiss classical and opera scene this monumental work, which includes choral as well as intimate duet scenes, solo arias, orchestral interludes and spatially fanned-out incidental music, represents a milestone in cultural heritage. With the opera specialist Philippe Bach, a pronounced connoisseur of the Lohengrin epoch could be found for the musical direction. With Magnus Vigilius, Olena Tokar, Thomas E. Bauer, Christian Immler and Michael Weinius, internationally renowned opera stars bring the complex roles to life - and this after more than 170 years since the completion of the opera.

Acoustic concert shell for the opera house of Bern
Acoustic concert shell for the opera house of Bern

How can you support our project?

The 10-day studio recording of the Musikdrama SAMSON around the Old Testament hero who brings down the temple by sheer force will take place next September at the Stadttheater Bern, the capital of Switzerland: A special concert shell will be set up for this purpose. To finance the complex installation of this acoustic shell, we need your support. For the challenging overall budget for this 3-hour recording with symphonic orchestra, 5 principal roles, choir and stage music, however, all contributions are also welcome.

  • My label Schweizer Fonogramm
    My label Schweizer Fonogramm
  • Frédéric Angleraux' recording studio ADCSound
    Frédéric Angleraux' recording studio ADCSound
  • Bühnen Bern - opera, theatre, ballet, orchestra
    Bühnen Bern - opera, theatre, ballet, orchestra