Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai  
Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai
Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai (9 June 1810 – 11 May 1849) was a German composer, conductor, and founder of the Vienna Philharmonic. Nicolai is best known for his operatic version of Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor as Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In addition to five operas, Nicolai composed lieder, works for orchestra, chorus, ensemble, and solo instruments.

Otto Nicolai
  Otto Nicolai, in full Carl Otto Ehrenfried Nicolai (born June 9, 1810, Königsberg, Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia]—died May 11, 1849, Berlin, Prussia [Germany]), German composer known for his comic opera Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor), based on William Shakespeare’s comedy.

In his youth Nicolai was exploited as a musical prodigy by his father.
He studied in Berlin in 1827 and later under Giuseppe Baini in Rome.
From 1838 onward he produced successful operas in Italy and Vienna.

In 1841 he became court conductor in Vienna, and he founded the Philharmonic Society there in 1842.

In 1847 he became conductor of the Berlin Opera, where he produced Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor in 1849.

It remains one of the most popular comic operas of the 19th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Carl Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) - Messe D-dur - Gloria
Messe D-dur
Moviment: Gloria
Intèrprets: Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, Staats- und Domchor Berlin, Berliner Domkantorei, Kammersymphonie Berlin, Kai-Uwe Jirka (conductor).

Pintura: Paisatge d'hivern, obra de Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), pintor alemany.

Otto Nicolai - Te Deum (c.1839)
Te Deum (c.1839)

Soprano I: Bozena Betley
Soprano II: Zofie Kilanowicz
Alto: Katarzyna Suska
Tenor: Henryk Grychnik
Baritone: Czeslaw Galka
Bass: Jerzy Gruszcynski

Solo violin: Miesczlyslaw Szlezer

Chorus: Cracow Philharmonic Chorus

Orchestra: Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor: Roland Bader

Otto Nicolai "Weihnachts-Ouverture""Christmas-Overture"
"Weihnachts-Ouverture" "Christmas-Overture"
after the Coral "Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich
her" by Otto Nicolai
Evangelische Kantorei Siegen
Philhamonie Südwestfalen
David Stern, conductor
Otto Nicolai "Fantasy about Bellini`s Norma"
Fantasy about Bellini`s Norma for piano
and orchestra, op 25 by Otto Nicolai
Claudius Tanski,piano
Südwestfälische Philharmonie
David Stern, conductor
Otto Nicolai - Symphony No.2 in D-major, WoO 99 (1835)
Symphony No.2 in D-major, WoO 99 (1835)

Mov.I: Andante - Allegro 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio 17:32
Mov.III: Scherzo 27:49
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro vivace 34:33

Orchestra: Südwestfälische Philharmonie

Conductor: David Stern

Otto Nicolai: "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
The Merry Wives of Windsor (in German: Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor) is an opera in three acts by Otto Nicolai to a German libretto by Salomon Hermann Mosenthal based on the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare.

The opera is a Singspiel, containing much spoken dialogue between distinct musical numbers. The opera remains popular in Germany, and the overture is sometimes heard in concert in other countries.


Composition history

Otto Nicolai composed the music from 1845 to 1849. He had previously achieved great success with a few Italian operas, but this opera was to become his masterpiece in the German language. The composer himself make some changes to the libretto.

Performance history
It was difficult at first to find a stage that was willing to mount the opera, but following the premiere at the Konigliches Opernhaus (Royal Opera House, now Berlin State Opera) in Berlin on 9 March 1849 under the baton of the composer, it achieved great success and its popularity continues to this day. Though the libretto and the dramaturgy may seem old-fashioned to today's audiences, the music is of such high quality that the work is nevertheless performed with increasing regularity.

23 performances of four productions were planned in four German cities between March and July 2012.

The Overture
The Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor inspired the short musical film, Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor. In addition, Peter Richard Conte transcribed the score for the Wanamaker Organ.


Act 1

Scene 1

Two married ladies, Frau Fluth and Frau Reich, discover that they both received love letters from the impoverished nobleman Falstaff at the same time. They decide to teach him a lesson and withdraw to hatch a plan. Now the husbands of Frau Fluth and Frau Reich come in. Anna, Frau Reich's daughter, is of marriageable age and three gentlemen seek her hand in marriage: Dr. Cajus, a French beau, is her mother's favorite, and her father wants the shy nobleman Spärlich as his son-in-law, but Anna is in love with the penniless Fenton.

Scene 2

Frau Fluth has invited Falstaff to a supposed tryst, and he enters with grand romantic gestures and clumsily attempts to ensnare her. As Frau Reich reports the return of the distrustful Herr Fluth, which had been previously arranged, the old gentleman is hidden in a laundry basket, the contents of which are quickly emptied into a ditch. Herr Fluth has searched the whole house in the meantime without success and is forced to believe his wife, who protests her innocence.

Act 2
Scene 1

At the inn, Falstaff has recovered from his bath and sings bawdy drinking songs. A messenger brings him a letter, in which Frau Fluth proposes another rendezvous. Her husband appears in disguise and presents himself as Herr Bach to get Falstaff to talk about his trysts. He unsuspectingly brags about his affair with Frau Fluth, which provokes her husband's rage.

Scene 2

Spärlich and Cajus sneak around Anna's window, but before they attempt to go near, they hear Fenton's serenade and hide in the bushes. From there they observe a passionate love scene between the two lovers.

Scene 3

Falstaff is again with Frau Fluth, and Frau Reich again warns them both that Herr Fluth is on his way home. This time they dress the fat knight in women's clothes to try and pass him off as the maid. Herr Fluth enters and finds only the old maid, whom he angrily throws out of the house.

Act 3
Scene 1

Fluth and Reich are finally let in on the plan by their wives and the four of them decide to take Falstaff for a ride one last time. The knight is expected to show up at a grand masked ball in Windsor Forest. Additionally, Herr and Frau Reich each plan to take advantage of the confusion to marry Anna off to their preferred suitor. Instead, however, she has arranged a nighttime meeting with Fenton in the forest.

Scene 2

After the moonrise, depicted by the chorus and orchestra, the masked ball in the forest begins. At first, Falstaff, disguised as Ritter Herne, is lured by the two women, but then he is frightened by various other guests disguised as ghosts, elves, and insects. After the masks are removed and Falstaff is mocked by everyone, Anna and Fenton, who got married in the forest chapel, appear. In a cheerful closing number all of the parties are reconciled.

The opera follows the Singspiel tradition, in which musical numbers are connected by spoken dialog. Nicolai referred to the work as a "komisch-fantastische Oper" ("comic/fantasy opera"), reflecting its fusion of romantic opera in the style of Carl Maria von Weber and the comic operas of Albert Lortzing, which were very popular at the time. On the romantic side are the love scenes between Anna and Fenton, the ghost and elf music and, naturally, the moonrise. The opera buffa element comes into play with the figure of Falstaff, the husbands, and both of the suitors spurned by Anna.

Noted arias
"Horch, die Lerche singt im Hain" ("Hark! The lark sings in the grove") (Fenton)
"Als Büblein klein an der Mutter Brust" ("As a little rascal on my mother's breast") (Falstaff)
"Nun eilt Herbei" ("Now hurry here") (Frau Fluth)


The opera is scored for two flutes (second doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, tenor drum, triangle, harp, strings, plus offstage harp and offstage bell in G.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nicolai - DIE LUSTIGEN WEIBER VON WINDSOR - Kiel - March 15, 2014
Kiel, Opernhaus
March 15, 2014

Sir John Falstaff : Timo Riihonen
Anna Reich : Susan Gouthro
Frau Reich : Rosanne van Sandwijk
Herr Reich : Christoph Woo
Frau Fluth : Heike Wittlieb
Herr Fluth : Jörg Sabrowski
Fenton : Michael Müller
Junker Spärlich : Fred Hoffmann
Doktor Cajus : Andreas Winther

Chor und Orchester der Oper Kiel
Conductor : Leo Siberski

Otto Nicolai - Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor: Ouverture
Staatskapelle Berlin, Bernhard Klee
O.Nicolai (D.Barenboim) - The Merry Wives of Windsor (Overture)
Otto Nicolai - Overture: Il templario (The Templar)
Overture to the melodramma "Il templario" (The Templar) by German composer Otto Nicolai (1810-1849). Better known for his Singspiel "Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor" (The Merry Wives of Windsor) based on Shakespeare's play, Nicolai chose another classic of English-language literature as the basis of Il templario, Walter Scott's famous novel "Ivanhoe." Many 19th-century composers chose to adapt this novel for the opera house, including Rossini (Ivanhoé), Arthur Sullivan (Ivanhoe) and Heinrich Marschner (Der Templer und die Jüdin).

Interesting fact: Otto Nicolai founded the Philharmonische Academie in 1842 - now it is known as the Vienna Philharmonic (Wiener Philharmoniker).

In this performance Frank Beermann conducts the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie.

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