Universal Edition - Sir Harrison Birtwistle – Punch and Judy

Sir Harrison Birtwistle

Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Punch and Judy

Year of composition: 1966-1967
Subtitle: A tragical comedy or comical tragedy in 1 act
Composer: Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Librettist: Stephen Pruslin
Original Language: Englisch
Translator: Iris Brendel
Parts: Puppenpolly (witch), high soprano
Judy (fortune-teller), mezzo-soprano
Punch, high baritone
Lawyer, high tenor
Choregos (Jack Ketch), low baritone
Doctor, bass
5 Dancers (mimes): 2 women, 3 men
Instrumentation: 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, str.quin
Instrumentation details:

Commissioned by: Commissioned by the English Opera Group
Duration: 110′
Dedication: dedicated to "my Pretty Polly"
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Audio Excerpt

Punch and Judy

World Première

Location: Jubilee Hall Aldeburgh / Great Britain
Date: 08.06.1968
Conductor: David Atherton
Scenery: Anthony Besch
Main Soloists: English Opera Group: Jenny Hill, Maureen Morelle, John Winfield, John Cameron, Geoffrey Chard, Wyndham Parfitt

Work Introduction

Harrison Birtwistle based his full-length one-act piece on traditional county fair entertainment, working together with American pianist Stephen Pruslin, a long-time London resident. Composer and librettist created a stylised and ritualistic theatre piece in which the aggression and violence of the traditional material and Punch’s love for Pretty Polly are juxtaposed. Birtwistle’s music is a tour de force from the outset; Punch’s smile is simultaneously a terrifying grin, a father’s tenderness towards his baby is a murderous gesture as he throws the infant into the fire.

Punch and Judy (c) Universal Edition



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Piano reduction – Punch and Judy

  • Edition type: piano reduction
  • Language: English
  • UE14191
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-4376-4
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-04419-9
EUR 158,95

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Libretto – Punch and Judy

  • Edition type: libretto
  • Language: English
  • UE14191A
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-2221-9
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-07050-1
EUR 12,50

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