The Return of Frankenstein!!
Twenty years after its premiere, the first internationally available recording of HK Gruber's most popular work, Frankenstein!!, has finally been released by EMI Classics on an all-Gruber disc featuring the composer as chansonnier, with the Camerata Academica Salzburg conducted by Franz Welser-Möst.

click to enlarge
This 'pandemonium' for chansonnier and orchestra has been one of the success stories of contemporary music, having received over 1,000 performances since its 1978 premiere conducted by Simon Rattle. Released in Octrober, the disc was selected by the Times critic as one of the 'best classical CDs of 1997.'

"...this recording is long overdue. How to describe it to anyone who has not heard it? It is a setting of children's rhymes, mostly comically scary or gruesome, by the Viennese poet HC Artmann. The music touches all those areas of culture to which the texts (in which Frankenstein and Dracula rub shoulders with James Bond and Goldfinger) refer. So pop music and hints of folk-song, Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler are all thrown into the mix to fuse with Stravinskian neo-classicism and the long tradition of Viennese cabaret. The humour is black but quizzically exuberant, but there is something to the musical style of Frankenstein!! which taps deeper roots and protects it from being no more than an entertaining jeu d'esprit... A first class introduction to a composer whose urbanely delightful wit should not blind one to his importance." (Gramophone)

An avid interpreter of the works of Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler, Gruber started out 1998 with a New Year's Day concert in Frankfurt conducting and singing with Ensemble Modern in an all-Eisler programme, surely the first Eisler event in celebration of the centenary of his birth! The repertoire was subsequently recorded for release by BMG later this year, a welcome addition to Gruber's growing catalogue of discs with Ensemble Modern, which also includes George Antheil's Breaking the Waves (BMG) and Kurt Weill's Berlin im Licht (Largo). On New Year's Eve Gruber joined Daniel Barenboim to sing Berlin im Licht at the Silvester concert in Berlin, televised throughout Europe by ZDF. Plans are already being set for major Gruber projects celebrating the Weill centenary in 2000.

return to more news

Home | Artists | Tours & Projects | Promotions | Newsletters | About Us | Contacts

go to top of page

Copyright © 2003 Intermusica. All Rights Reserved.