Album release of Horneman's Aladdin

The opera 'Aladdin' is a cornerstone in Danish music history, a problem child and C.F.E. Horneman's life's work. He worked on the score through 40 years. Now the opera has been recorded in full for the first time.

Horneman's Aladdin has been recorded by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Danish National Concert Choir, conductor Michael Schønwandt and the solists Bror Magnus Tødenes, Dénise Beck and Johan Reuter in the central roles. The album is released by Dacapo Records today, Friday 6 May. 

The score used for the recording is a new critical edition published in collaboration between Danish Centre for Music Editing at the Royal Danish Library and Edition·S in 2020. 

The opera was decided to be premiered as a part of the celebration of King Christian IX's 25th accession anniversary in 1888. The decision was made just six weeks before the celebration, despite the fact that the musical parts were not ready – a rash decision which caused last minute cuts and emotions running so high that Horneman was banned from attending rehearsals.

In 1902, Horneman was rehabilitated with a new performance of the opera which was an overwhelming succes. Despite of 18 sold out performances, the opera has not been performed at The Royal Danish Theatre since then. The score was put aside and when researchers started restauring the music for a newly revised version (2020), they were in such bad condition that they were crumbling when touched.

Watch an interview with conductor Michael Schønwandt

The ouverture for Aladdin is the only part of the opera that has held a place in the Danish concert repertoire. "I've been excited from day one when I opened up the score, because the ouverture is indeed fantasic – but the rest of the music is also fantastic!", says conductor Michael Schønwandt.

"From both the orchestra and the singers I've been sensing an excitement, an engagement and a curiosity about this music saying 'why don't we know this?'".

Watch an interview with singer, Dénise Beck.

The new, critical edition of the score for Horneman's Aladdin includes illustrations of the composers many handwritten revisions and appendixes to the original score. All in all Horneman worked on the opera through 40 years.

The critical edition is edited by Niels Bo Foltmann, Peter Hauge, Bjarke Moe and Axel Teich Geertinger. 

Danish Centre for Music Editing closed down in 2020 and as a successor Edition·S has established the publishing series Danish Classical Music with the purpose of making Danish, classical music of special value and interest available in elaborate, reliable editions. Learn more about the publishing series here >>

Find the recording of C.F.E. Horneman: Aladdin here >>

Find the score for C.F.E. Horneman: Aladdin here>>

One of Horneman's numerous revisions of the original score for <i>Aladdin.</i>
One of Horneman's numerous revisions of the original score for Aladdin.