'Dimitrij' was presented in several different versions during the composer's lifetime. It was premiered in 1882, with cuts and revisions occuring in the 1886 piano reduction. The work was further revised in 1894 (this version premiered in Prague in that year), however the final performances in Dvořák's lifetime (in Plzeň in 1904) consisted of the first version combined with the third act in the second version.
Gerd Albrecht was a leading German conductor. He was best known for his interpretations of late Romantic and 20th century German repertory. His father was Hans Albrecht (1902-1961), a well-known musicologist. He was a choral scholar at the age of 15 and began conducting when he was 16. He studied at the Hamburg Musikhochschule (Hamburg Music Academy) from 1955 to 1958.
Recordings of Bruckner’s last and greatest Mass are not exactly scarce but this most recent live performance from the celebrated Ebrach festival has claim to being regarded as special, not just for its own considerable merits, but also as it is presented by Profil in a double CD package in tandem with the barely known Psalm 146 and the further bonus of conductor-musicologist and performer Gerd Schaller playing six works on the Eisenbarth organ in the Abteikirche.
It is a concert performance, given and broadcast in Vienna in 1979, with one result being reasonably good sound. Another result is that the performers seem to warm up as they go, really hitting their strides about halfway through. In the case of Plácido Domingo, that could have been because he learned the role over a weekend, filling in for an ailing member of the planned cast. He is nevertheless one of the drawing cards of this recording, as is the presence of the young Italian soprano Mara Zampieri as the romantic lead Elaisa; her sheer dynamic range, with a slashing, edgy fortissimo, is impressive, as was the late-'70s engineering that captured it for posterity.