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PACIUS: The Hunt of King Charles (Kaarle Kuninkaan Metsastys)

Composer(s):Pacius, Fredrik
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.225317-18
Label Marco Polo
Quality   320kbps
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Regarded as the father of Finnish music, Fredrik Pacius was the composer of the first Finnish opera, The Hunt of King Charles, which had its première in Helsinki in 1852. At that time the language of the theatre and the opera house was Swedish, and accordingly the work has a Swedish text, although the opera is often performed in a translated Finnish version, as heard in this live recording. The plot, set in 1671, centres on King Charles XI, ruler of Sweden and Finland, immediately before he reached an age to assume control of his kingdom. The music itself remains close to models such as Weber’s Freischütz and Oberon, and there are also reminders of Beethoven, not least in the choice of the name Leonora for the heroine.


Review By David Denton,Naxos,January 2007

Frederik Pacius was born in Finland in 1809, and though now almost unknown, he became the 'father of Finnish music', contributing to the history of the country with the Finnish National Anthem. Though composed in the 19th century, The Hunt of King Charles from 1852 was the first truly Finnish national opera. That it never found a place in the international repertoire you will soon realise from this recording, for Pacius was composing in a style long gone. When you compare the fact that Verdi and Wagner at that time were offering their great masterpieces, The Hunt of King Charles never stood a chance. It took as its inspiration the early operas of Weber, and at times goes back to Mozart as it flits between opera and operetta, using



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