Schreker – Der Schatzgräber Interlude

Last updated Jan 30, 2024 | Published on Jun 3, 2021

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.

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The name of Franz Schreker, unfortunately, will not sound familiar to many of you. Schreker was a composer who, in his lifetime, went from being hailed as the future of German opera to being considered irrelevant.

He was influenced in his music by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss but eventually, he developed a very personal language that, while still remaining tonal, explored extreme chromaticism and even polytonality.

His fame peaked during the early years of the Weimar Republic when he was the most performed living composer in the German-speaking world after Richard Strauss. First-rate conductors like Otto Klemperer and Erich Kleiber were premiering his works. But a couple of mixed receptions of his operas along with the rising of antisemitism changed his fortunes. In a few years, he was completely marginalized and died of a stroke in 1934, 2 days shy of his 56th birthday.

Portrait of Franz Schreker by Heinrich Gottselig (1922)

Der Schatzgräber (The Treasure Hunter) was written between 1915 and 1918. Schreker wrote also the libretto of the opera. The premiere took place in 1920 in Frankfurt.

This was Schreker’s most successful opera with more than 350 performances in over fifty cities between 1920 and 1925.

Der Schatzgräber interlude

Should you need a score you can find one here.

The interlude opening the third act is a real symphonic fresco roughly 14 minutes long.

It’s the opening of the curtain, grabbing your attention right away with a powerful entrance of the woodwinds, violas, and cellos sustained by the horns and basses, and an energic timpani hit. The first violins enter on the second bar doubled by the second on the third. Everything is very dark, with everyone playing in the lowest register of their instrument

Schreker - Der Schatzgräber Interlude ex1

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Gianmaria Griglio is an intelligent, exceptional musician. There is no question about his conducting abilities: he has exceptionally clear baton technique that allows him to articulate whatever decisions he has made about the music.

Harold Farberman

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