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The Sunday Opera: Anton Urspruch's "Das Unmoglichste von Allem" ("The Most Impossible Thing of All")

We’re very happy to bring you a long-forgotten opera from a forgotten composer on this week’s Sunday Opera (1/14 3:00 p.m.) with Anton Urpruch’s “Das Unmoglischste von Allem” (“The Most Impossible Thing of All”).

During his brief life (1850-1907), Urspruch, who was the favorite pupil of Franz Liszt, only penned two operas, one symphony, one piano concerto, and a collection of songs and piano works, but he was considered one of the most important composers of the late-Romantic period. Sadly, with his untimely death, he was quickly forgotten.

“The Most Impossible Thing of All” is based on a comedy by Lope de Vega that begins with a bet made between a queen (Rebecca Broberg) and one of the noblemen in her service, Roberto (Robert Fendl) that the most impossible thing of all is to stop a woman who is in love from pursuing that love. Roberto says he can, but his sister, Diana (Anne Wiebon) has other ideas. Who wins the wager? That’s the fun of the story.

Other members of the cast include Diana’s maid, Celia (Caterina Maier), the queen’s counsel, Lisardo (Matthias Gratzel) who inadvertently falls in love with Diana, and a host of others who help with all of the intrigues. They are played by Ralf Sauerbrey, Victory Petitjean, Martin Schmidt, Johannes Fottinger, Laurent Martin, and Stephanie Firnkes.

Israel Yinon conducts the PPP Music Theatre Ensemble of Munich and the Orchestra of the Sorbian National Ensemble.

The afternoon will continue with more music from the pen of Urspruch which is fortunately finally starting to be recorded. The work for which we’ll have time is his 1878 Piano Concerto in E flat major which he had dedicated to Joachim Raff. This charming piece features pianist Oliver Triendl who’s joined by the Northwest German Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by George Fritzsch.

Tune in for some delightful music by a composer who is too good to be forgotten.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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