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Listen What the Cat Dragged In: Walter Braunfels, Jeanne d'Arc

available at AmazonWalter Braunfels, Jeanne d'Arc - Szenen aus dem Leben der heiligen Johanna,
M.Honeck / Swedish RSO / Banse Stensvold et al.

Not yet available in the U.S. -- but hopefully soon: This is the first recording of Walter Braunfels' penultimate opera, "Szenen aus dem Leben der heiligen Johanna". The recording was made at the belated world premiere of the work in Stockholm in 2001. Manfred Honeck [read my interview with him about Braunfels here: "Braunfels Is an Obligation for Me"] conducted the Swedish RSO & Choir, the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, and a cast that includes Juliane Banse as Johanna, Monika Mannerström as St. Catherine, Katarina Böhm-Altéus as St. Margaret, Terje Stensvold as Gilles de Rais (= Bluebeard, fyi), and Per-Arne Wahlgren as Chevalier de Baudricourt.

The fact that Decca took to publishing this recording is a heartening step in the right direction for the company; away from predictable schlock and classic-pop toward something worthy of a label that once called itself "The Opera Company".

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