Victor Herbert: Eileen

Composer(s): Victor Herbert
Album Title: Victor Herbert: Eileen 
Cat. No.: 80733 (2 CDs)
Genre: Musical Theater/Opera
Release Date: 10/2012
Description: Lynda Lee, Eamonn Mulhall, Philip O’Reilly, Mary O’Sullivan
Andrew Ashwin, Joe Corbett, Karl Harpur, Rachel Kelly, Dean Power
Orchestra of Ireland, David Brophy, conductor

World-premiere recording of the complete score!!!

Dublin-born Victor Herbert (1859–1924) came to America in 1886. Although he went on to become a renowned composer, conductor, and recording artist, his greatest success came as a composer of music for the voice. He composed music for two operas, and over fifty operettas, musical comedies, revues, and plays. While his song output runs the gamut of styles classical and popular at the turn of the twentieth century, from parlor and concert song to anthem and popular song, his music for the stage reflected his European opera and light-opera background. His most well-known stage works, after The Fortune Teller (1898), include Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), The Rose of Algeria (1909), Naughty Marietta (1910), Sweethearts (1913), The Princess “Pat” (1915), and Eileen (1917).

For many, Eileen was considered Herbert’s finest composition for the stage. Even Herbert was inclined to view this work as his best effort. It was the goal of this project to recreate the sound of the music played opening night on Broadway and to capture the music that was originally written for Hearts of Erin but discarded during tryouts. Thus, this is the first recording of all existing music that Victor Herbert composed for Hearts of Erin and Eileen. As Hearts of Erin became Eileen, four numbers were replaced with new material. For whatever reasons the changes were made, the replacement numbers are much better choices for both the characters and the situations. Herbert’s score for Hearts of Erin was a strong one, but Herbert’s score for Eileen is glorious: nostalgic, heroic, cinematic, humorous, and in character. It captures the romantic soul of Herbert and epitomizes the romantic American operetta in its transition from Victor Herbert to Jerome Kern. 

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