Ernst Krenek: Orpheus und Eurydike

Ernst Krenek Orpheus und Eurydike
Orpheus und Eurydike

Ernst Krenek: Orpheus und Eurydike

Opus:
op. 21
Year of composition:
1923
Subtitle:
Opera in 3 acts
Composer:
Ernst Krenek
Text adapter:
Franz Werfel
Writer of pre-existing text:
Oskar Kokoschka
Roles:
Orpheus, tenor Eurydike, soprano Amor, silent part Psyche, soprano First, second, third fury, mezzo-sopranos Ein Betrunkener, bass Ein Krieger, baritone Ein Matrose, tenor Der Narr, baritone
Choir:
SATB
Instrumentation:
3 2 4 3 - 6 4 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, str
Instrumentation details:
piccolo
1st flute
2nd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
clarinet in Eb
bass clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
contrabassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
5th horn in F
6th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
4th trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
bass tuba
timpani
percussion(3)
harp
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Scenery:
6
Duration:
105’
Dedication:
Oskar Kokoschka gewidmet
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Orpheus und Eurydike
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Work introduction

The myth of Orpheus – presiding over the birth of opera 400 years ago, and repeatedly reworked over the centuries – also provided operatic inspiration for Ernst Krenek. In his Orpheus und Euridyke Op. 21, the tender, tragically misled singer becomes the man of sorrows of the fragmented 20th century. For the work’s 1926 première in Kassel, Krenek described his approach in these terms: ‘Eurydice’s ghost appears for the final showdown with Orpheus. She wants to be free from him forever. Both find rest only when Eurydice gives all her suffering back to Orpheus and kills him. With their deaths, the bad luck perishes.’ The libretto, incidentally, is by Oskar Kokoschka, who wrote it during his imprisonment in Russia.

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Orpheus und Eurydike

Ernst Krenek: Orpheus und Eurydike

piano reduction
, 105’
Instr.: 3 2 4 3 - 6 4 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, str

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