The opera is a Singspiel, containing much spoken dialogue between distinct musical numbers. The opera remains popular in Germany, and the overture is sometimes heard in concert in other countries.
The first performance was at the Hofoper in Berlin on 9 March 1849.
The story is close to that of Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff. Pistol and Bardolph are absent from this version, but Slender is present. The women have German names. Alice is Frau Fluth and Meg is Frau Reich.
"Horch, die Lerche singt im Hain" (Fenton)
"Als Büblein klein an der Mutter Brust" (Falstaff)
"Nun eilt Herbei" (Frau Fluth)
Deutsche Grammophon 2740 159: Edith Mathis, Hanna Schwarz, Kurt Moll, Bernd Weikl, Siegfried Vogel, Peter Schreier, Claude Dornoy; Chorus of the Staatsoper; Berlin Staatskapelle; Bernhard Klee, conductorLamb, Andrew, Review of recording of Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (1977). The Musical Times, 118 (1615): p. 737.