Peter Joseph von Lindpaintner (1791-1856) was born in Koblenz, conductor at Munich’s Isartortheater from 1812, and Kapellmeister at Stuttgart from 1819, where he gained a fine reputation for his conducting and was ennobled as ‘von’ by the King of Württemberg. Of his 20 operas, several treat supernatural subjects in the Schauerromantik vein of Weber’s celebrated Freischütz
. Lindpaintner’s Der Bergkönig
(1825) and Der Vampyr
(produced in the same year—1828—as Heinrich Marschner’s opera on the same subject) perfectly illustrate this contemporary fascination with the thrill of the macabre. Just as songs reflected the agendas addressed on a larger scale in opera, so there are famous examples of the Schauer-Lied: Goethe’s Erlkönig
(most famously set by the young Schubert) and Heine’s Die Loreley
(as vividly set by Liszt). As with Schubert’s boy and Liszt’s fisherman, the music leaves no doubt that Lindpaintner’s shepherd is drawn to his doom by enchantment. In this large-scale virtuoso setting the enticements of the mermaid’s song have a dramatic inevitability: he is lured to the fatal waters.
from notes by Derek Watson © 2011