The second of two landmark DG recordings remastered and re-released today, Erich Kleiber’s Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber was also remastered in 24 bit/96kHz. It is presented on Blu-ray Audio in 2.0 LPCM plus 2 CDs produced from the new remastering.
When, in 1973, Carlos Kleiber made his first venture into the recording studio, it was with Der Freischütz. The scrupulousness in preparation that marked his entire career delayed this step until he was 43; for Freischütz he went back to the score and restudied the instrumental instructions in Weber’s beautifully lucid manuscript. Weber was himself an opera director of great originality and, though still in his mid−30s when he wrote this opera, he had wide experience by the time this opera seized the imagination of his countrymen. In a reaction to the concurrent splendidness of Spontini’s French grand opera Olympie, the official court offering, Weber chose to enthrall ordinary Berliners with a work that spoke directly to their experience, to the tale of the huntsman and his bride, of the ordered rustic German society that had foresters deferring to their head ranger, the head ranger deferring to the Prince, and the Prince deferring to the Man of God. And, of course, there was the Romantic frisson of the supernatural.