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Dip Your Ears, No. 131 (Pfitzner Supreme)

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H.Pfitzner, Palestrina
Kirill Petrenko / Frankfurt Opera & Museum Orchestra & Chorus
P.Bronder, B.Stallmeister, C.Mahnke, W.Koch J.M.Kränzle et al.
Oehms OC 930

I have a soft spot for most of the irreputable Hans Pfitzner’s unabashedly romantic tone. But Palestrina, his supposed masterpiece, can be dull. While I suffered through a performance with Simone Young in Munich, the Frankfurt opera, too, performed Palestrina, and fortunately Oehms was there to capture it. Under Kirill Petrenko the score sounds the way I want to hear it: delightfully crisp, full of purpose, nuance, detail, and even joy. It turns Palestrina from admirable craftsmanship into a sanguineous musical drama. The quality singers add to the delight, but the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra and its conductor are the stars.