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MAYR: Amor coniugale (L')

Composer(s):Mayr, Johann Simon
Period(s) Classical (1750-1830)
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.660198-99
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Based, like Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, on the original French libretto by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, Mayr’s opera L’amor coniugale (Conjugal Love) won considerable success at its first performance in Padua in 1805. The story of the faithful wife seeking the release of her innocent husband from unjust imprisonment and imminent death, by disguising herself as a boy and serving as assistant to the gaoler, is transposed, in Mayr’s version, from real events during the French Revolution to personal conflict and inter-personal relationships in the exotic setting of seventeenth-century Poland.

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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

The farsa sentimental, an amalgamation of opera buffa and opera seria into what might be described as opera semiseria, arrived in the 1790s, and it is into this category that Mayr’s L’amor coniugale slips neatly. More remarkable is its plot, derived from the same source as Beethoven’s Fidelio, which it pre-dates, arriving in Dresden in 1804, shortly before Beethoven’s Leonora. However, Mayr’s libretto places the action in 17th-century Poland. The characters are much the same as in Beethoven’s opera, only with different names. The soprano role of Leonora is exchanged for Zeliska; her imprisoned husband Florestan becomes the tenor role, Amorveno. Rocco the gaoler is now Peters; his daughter is now


Review By David Denton, Naxos,March 2008

Simon Mayr had the ill-fortune of finding L’amor coniugale produced in the same year as Beethoven’s Fidelio, the two composers finding they had used the same story. Composing in a fashion belonging to a previous generation, Mayr’s score quickly faded from the repertoire, only resurfacing in the 1970’s as part of a reappraisal of the German-born composer. A native of Bavaria, Mayr’s artistic inclinations took him to live in Italy during his early twenties, first in Venice, but later moving to Bergamo. There he became a teacher and embarked on his massive output as a composer in many genres, much aimed at the church where he could be assured of performances. On his death in 1845 his catalogue numbered 1510 works, and after a century of



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