Pfitzner / Donath / Grumbach - Little Elf Of Christ (2pk) | RECORD STORE DAY

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To many contemporaries it might seem incomprehensible that Pfitzner had his poetic and musical masterpiece Palestrina followed by this slight fairy-tale opera, whose libretto could scarcely satisfy higher artistic demands. Pfitzner was captivated by the cozy sphere, reminiscent of old picture-books, of this typically German Christmas fable (in which also appear folklore figures like Knecht Ruprecht). The sound of Christmas bells and carols awakens in an elf the wish to draw close to humans. Although the old fir tree warns the elf of the heartlessness of the human race, he has his way and leaves his forest home. He in fact becomes acquainted with grief and illness and at last offers himself to be taken to heaven instead of Trautchen. The Christ-child agrees to the exchange, Trautchen is cured, and from now on the elf will come to earth from heaven each year at Christmas as a Christmas elf. The piece ends with a happy Christmas party by Trautchen's family. The present recording is a production by the Bavarian Radio in which the original texts that Pfitzner placed between the individual numbers are replaced by a text by German journalist and literary writer Alois Fink. Sung and spoken in German language, the booklet contains a synopsis in English.