Ernest Ansermet enthusiasts will be thrilled by the items chosen for inclusion in this six-disc set dedicated to the Swiss conductor with L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the orchestra he founded and led. Many of them are first international CD releases – Haydn's Symphony No. 22, Beethoven's Symphony No. 4, and Sibelius' Symphony No. 4, along with nine others – while some of them are well-known and well-loved recordings from the conductor's huge catalog – Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite, Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin, and Honegger's Le roi David, along with 14 others.
It was through a colleague of his in the civil service, Regierungsassessor Itzig (later Hitzig), that Hoffmann became acquainted with Schlegel's translations of Calderon in Warsaw in 1804. During an illness in 1807 he again read Schlegel's Spanisches Theater and in it discovered Die Scharpe und die Blume, which for him was an ideal opera subject. Hoffmann began composing the opera in Warsaw, finished it in Berlin, and in the same year, 1807, tried in vain to have it performed at the Berlin National Theater. In addition, the Leipzig music publisher Ambrosius Kuhnel refused to print Hoffmann's compositions. Liebe und E'tfersucht was accepted neither in Vienna, where Itzig established contacts for him, nor at other theaters. Despite two attempts it was also not accepted at the Bamberg Theater (1808 and 1810), where Hoffmann had moved in 1808. When the Bamberg theater director Holbein was appointed to the Wurzburg Theater in 1812, he took the manuscript of the libretto there with him (or had it sent to him there). This is probably why this manuscript found its way into the Wurzburg City Archive, while the score remained with Hoffmann and then after his death was archived in the Royal Library in Berlin (today's German State Library).
This CD brings together repertoire that is not often performed. The Cappella Coloniensis made this recording in the 80s staying true to historical performance practice, defining the large symphonic sound by the seek, clear sound from original instruments.