Opera SAMSON by Joachim Raff
by schweizer fonogramm - Producer Graziella Contratto
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!
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.
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.