Karol Rathaus: Der letzte Pierrot

Karol Rathaus Der letzte Pierrot
Der letzte Pierrot

Karol Rathaus: Der letzte Pierrot

Opus:
op. 19
Year of composition:
1927
Composer:
Karol Rathaus
Writer of pre-existing text:
Max Terpis; Karol Rathaus
Instrumentation:
2 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(9), hp, cel, pno, str(16 14 12 10 8), stage music: alto sax, tpt, tbn, perc, pno, bjo, vln
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
1st clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb))
2nd clarinet in Bb (+cl(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
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
tuba
timpani
percussion(9)
harp
celesta
piano
violin I(16)
violin II(14)
viola(12)
violoncello(10)
contrabass(8)
stage music: alto saxophone in Eb
trumpet in Bb
trombone
percussion
piano
bjo
violin
Scenery:
3
Duration:
55’
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Polish composer Karol Rathaus (1895–1954) wrote the ca. 40-minute ballet Der letzte Pierrot in 1925/26 for Max Terpis, who was himself co-author of the libretto. Following the virulent rejection of his two symphonies (the first of which was published by UE), the Schreker student had withdrawn from musical life. This ballet was an attempt to change his means of expression, and indeed Rathaus went through a considerable stylistic transformation. In an essay on the piece, Martin Schüssler writes: Rathaus’s music is of such illustrative power that it is easy to follow the plot without seeing the scenery on the stage – the characters can be recognised by musical motifs. 

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