Universal Edition - Alexander Zemlinsky – The Birthday of the Infanta

Alexander Zemlinsky

Alexander Zemlinsky
The Birthday of the Infanta

Opus: op. 17
Year of composition: 1920-1921
Subtitle: Ein tragisches Märchen für Musik in einem Akt
Version: New critical edition by Antony Beaumont
Composer: Alexander Zemlinsky
Edited by: Antony Beaumont
Text Source: ‘Geburtstag der Infantin’ (The Birthday of the Infanta) by Oscar Wilde
Librettist: Georg Klaren
Original Language: Deutsch
Parts: Donna Clara, soprano
Ghita, soprano
Don Estoban, high bass
The Dwarf, tenor
3 Maids, 2 sopranos and 1 mezzo-soprano
The playmates of the infanta, sopranos and altos
Servants (silent roles)
Choir: SA
Instrumentation: 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(4), hp, cel, mand, guit, str; stage music: 2 cl(C), bsn, 2 hn(F), 3 tpt(C), tamb, mand, vln.I(4), vln.II(3), vla(2), vc(2), cb(1)
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+picc)
3rd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe (+c.a)
1st clarinet in A (+cl(Bb))
2nd clarinet in A (+cl(Bb)
3rd clarinet in A (+cl(Bb)
bass cl(Bb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon (+cbsn)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
bass tuba
violin I
violin II
stage music: clarinet in C(2)
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
violin I(4)
violin II(3)
Scenery: 1
Duration: 90′
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Audio Excerpt

Der Zwerg, op. 17

World Première

Location: Stadttheater Köln / Germany
Date: 28.05.1922

Work Introduction

On 3 May 1921, Alexander Zemlinsky received the following telegram: “have read your opera the dwarf with great enjoyment cologne is prepared to accept sole rights for world premiere would you be prepared to entrust your work to us Klemperer.” Der Zwerg received its world première one year later, on 28 May 1922 in Cologne under Otto Klemperer. During this era of change, audiences displayed a growing enthusiasm for ‘Zeitoper’ (opera of the times), neoclassicism and New Objectivity. Apparently exaggerated, late-romantic music like Der Zwerg began to lose popularity. Following a series of performances, the work vanished from the stage for half a century and only made a triumphant return to concert programmes in 1981, along with A Florentine Tragedy. Friends and acquaintances did not necessarily share Zemlinsky’s enthusiasm for this “drama of the ugly man”, primarily because Georg C. Klaren, the librettist, had depicted the title role – if perhaps inadvertently – as the composer’s Doppelgänger. By identifying himself with a figure so closely modelled on his own physical traits, it was feared that Zemlinsky would expose himself to public ridicule.

Study score – Der Zwerg

  • Edition type: study score
  • Language: German
  • UE17571
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-2996-6
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-07712-8
EUR 106,95

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Piano reduction – Der Zwerg

  • for soloists, choir and orchestra
  • Edition type: piano reduction
  • Edition info: Text by Georg C. Klaren based on Oscar Wilde's play "The birthday of the infanta"
  • UE33137
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-3016-0
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-07728-9
EUR 68,95

Prices incl. VAT plus shipping costs

Pay by credit card, PayPal and direct bank transfer (in some countries)

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