Prior to World War One, Franz Lehar (1870-1948) had been one of the leading lights of Viennese-style operetta, composing "The Merry Widow" (1905), "The Count of Luxembourg" (1909), and "Gypsy Love" (1910) ... But it proved to not be so easy to, either capture the old carefree vein of such gay works, nor draw the sombre, depressed public's attention to such work, after the Great War.
Lehar, then, found a new vein of romantic realism, in which to express himself, where his characters experienced both real emotional love, and also profound sorrows ; where the end of the work could be sad, hopes unresolved.
If "Frasquito" (1922) was Lehar's learning curve, in this new, rich vein, then "Paganini" (1925) was the realisation ... and, after several more operettas, came this triumphant work, "The Land of Smiles" (1929), with the libretto by Fritz Lohner Beda and Ludwig Herzer.
Some of the cast, in this 1953 recording (made approximately five years after Lehar's passing) are :-
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Lisa ; Erich Lunz - Gustl ; Nicolai Gedda - Prince Sou-Chong ; Emmy Loose - Mi ; Otakar Kraus - Tschang.
The conductor is the redoubtable Otto Ackermann.
Disc One :-
1) Overture (8:48)
2)-11) Act One (28:23)
Disc Two :-
1)-12) Act Two (28:45)
13)-17) Act Three (12:09)
Disc One is in EX+ condition.
Disc Two is in EX condition.