Das Land des Lächelns : Work information

Composers
Franz Lehár ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Bernard Sinclair (Tenor), Ana Maria Miranda (Soprano), Philippe Fargues (Bass), Brigitte Krafft (Alto), Jean Doussard (Conductor)

This work

Work name
Das Land des Lächelns
Work number
n/a
Key
n/a
Genre
A
Composed
1929-01-01 02:00:00

This recording

Label
Forlane CI
Producer
Bernard Sinclair
Engineer
n/a
Recording date
n/a

The Composers

Franz Lehár

Franz Lehar was born on 30th April 1870 in Komaron (then part of Hungary but now Slovakia), the eldest son of a military bandmaster.  He studied at the Prague Conservatory from the age of 15, learning violin and music theory, but on the advice of Dvorak concentrated on composition.  After he graduated Lehar joined the Austro-Hungarian army and played in his father's orchestra, and at twenty became the youngest bandmaster in the army.  He met the librettist Felix Falzari, and together they wrote Lehar's first opera Kukuschka.  After being posted to Vienna he wrote a waltz for Princess Metternich's ball in 1902, which attracted much attention and allowed Franz to take up the post of Kappelmeister at the Theater an der Wien.  There he wrote the operetta Wiener Frauen (also in 1902), and at the same time Der Rastelbinder to the libretto of the chief producer at a rival theatre - when his duplicity was dicovered, he was forced to resign.

Three years later Die Lustige Witwe (the Merry Widows) was premiered at the Theater an der Wien, and was a huge success all across the world.  At one time Buenos Aires saw it running simultaneously at five different theatres in five different languages.  It retains its popularity still, selling out performances, and being played on television and in film, as a ballet and on ice.  Other major works composed in the next few years were The Count of Luxembourg (1909), Gipsy Love, and Eva.  Lehar's output diminished during the war, but in 1922 he met and was inspired by the young tenor Richard Tauber, for whose voice he created six operettas - Paganini (1925), The Czarevitch (1926), Frederica (1928), The Land of Smiles (1929), Schon ist die Welt (1931) and Giuditta (1934).

In 1935 Lehar founded his own publishing house in order to have control over his works, acquiring the rights to his works from other publishers and publishing various definitive editions.  He died on 24th October 1948, famous for his operettas but also having written sonatas, symphonic poems, marches, and dances.

Related composers: Dvorak

Track listing

  • Overture 1:14 min
  • Act I - Aria: 'Da Kommt Lisa!' 2:45 min
  • Act I - Aria: 'Ich trete ins Zimmer, von Sehnsucht durchbebt...' 4:58 min
  • Act I - Duet: 'Ach trinken Sie vielleicht mit mir ein Täßchen Tee?' 3:24 min
  • Act I - Aria: 'Von Apfelblüten einen Kranz, ah...' 4:14 min
  • Act I - Recit: 'Wir sind allein...' 7:59 min
  • Act II - Aria: 'Dich sehe ich, und nur dich sehe ich, Lotusblume!' 4:37 min
  • Act II - Duet: 'Als Gott der Welt erschuf...Meine Liebe, deine Liebe...' 2:30 min
  • Act II - Aria: 'Dein ist mein ganzes Herz...' 3:43 min
  • Act II - Aria: 'Alles vorbei!...Ich möcht' wieder einmal die Heimat sehn...' 1:49 min
  • Act II - Scene: 'Mit welchem Recht?...Ich bin dein Herr!' 6:23 min
  • Act III - Scene: 'Dieselbe Sonne, die über Europa scheint...' 4:48 min

Notes

A touching story that tells of the hopeless love of a Chinese Prince for the daughter of a Viennese aristocrat, Das Land des Lachelns (The Land of Smiles) was a revision of Lehar's earlier operetta Die gelbe Jacke (The Yellow Jacket). Written in 1929 and first performed in Berlin at the Metropoltheater on 10th October, its first English production at the Drury Lane theatre featured the famous tenor Richard Tauber in the role he was to make his own, Prince Sou-Chong.

When Prince Sou-Chong visits Vienna he falls in love with Lisa, the daughter of Count Lichtenfals. Returning to China as Prime Minister, he takes Lisa back with him, but she becomes homesick and attempts to escape with Count Gustl von Pottenstein. Their plan fails but the Prince reluctantly allows her to return home.

The operetta is particularly famous for Sou-Chong's 'Dein ist mein ganzes Herz' (You are my Heart's Delight), but other highlights include Lisa and Sou-Chong's duet 'Wer hat die Liebe uns ins Herz gesenkt' (Who has planted love in our hearts) and the description of Chinese customs in 'Von Apfelblüten einen Kranz'(A garland of apple-blossom).