Walter Braunfels: Jeanne d'Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna

Walter Braunfels Jeanne d'Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna
Jeanne d'Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna

Walter Braunfels: Jeanne d'Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna

Opus:
op. 57
Year of composition:
1939-1943
Subtitle:
Dichtung nach den Prozessakten von 1431
Composer:
Walter Braunfels
Translator:
Stewart Spencer
Librettist:
Walter Braunfels
Roles:
Johanna, juvenile-dramatic soprano Hl. Michael, heroic tenor Hl. Katharina, soprano Hl. Margarete, mezzo-soprano Karl von Valois, König von Frankreich, tenor Erzbischof von Reims, high bass Cauchon, Bischof von Beauvais, tenor Vicar-Inquisitor, bass Jakob
Choir:
Richter (TB), Volk, Gesinde (SATB), Chorknaben (Knabenstimmen)
Instrumentation:
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(5), hp, pno, alto sax, str; stage music: tpt(4)
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
alto saxophone in Eb
1st clarinet in A (+cl(Bb))
2nd clarinet in A (+cl(Bb))
bass clarinet in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
contrabassoon
1st horn in F (+hn in E, Eb)
2nd horn in F (+hn in E, Eb)
3rd horn in F (+hn in E, Eb)
4th horn in F (+hn in E, Eb)
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
bass tuba
timpani
percussion(5 players): celesta, glockenspiel, xylophone, triangle, bells, cymbals, snare drum, bass drum
harp
piano (+org)
violin I
violin II
viola
violoncello
contrabass
stage music: 4 trumpets in Bb (cont.aind the scene)
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Jeanne d'Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna
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Work introduction

While completing his Grillparzer opera, Der Traum ein Leben, Braunfels decided to compose yet another work for music theatre: he wrote Jeanne d’Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna (Jeanne d’Arc – Scenes from the Life of Saint Joan) between 1938 and 1942.

He was inspired by Hindemith’s opera Mathis der Maler, having travelled to Zurich in 1938 to attend the world première. The choice of Saint Joan as the protagonist of his next opera was motivated by George Bernard Shaw’s play of the same title. Life in Nazi Germany, marked by anxiety, suffering and insecurity, may also have played a role.

The concert premiere of Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna took place in 2001 in Stockholm, followed by the first German concert performance in Munich in the same year. The staged world premiere was seven years later, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

World première

Location:
Berlin
Date:
27.04.2008
Orchestra:
Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Conductor:
Ulf Schirmer

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