Walter Braunfels described his opera The Birds as “a lyrical, fantastical game”. Based on Aristophanes, the opera became a triumph after its Munich premiere in 1920. For Bruno Walter it was “one of the most interesting new works” of his time in Munich, and the critic Alfred Einstein, who compared the opera with Wagner’s Meistersinger [The Mastersingers] and Pfitzner’s Palestrina, saw it as “a work of yearning for the pure realm of fantasy, art, poetry, and at once a fulfilment of this yearning, a leap into a world beyond time and bias”.
Braunfels began his opera in 1913. He completed it after the shocking experiences of the First World War, which changed his perspective ...more