Ernst Krenek: Leben des Orest

  • Great opera in 5 acts (1928-1929)
  • 2 2 4 2 - 2 3 2 1 - timp, perc(3), harm, pno, bjo, str - behind the stage: tpt(3)
  • Duration: 120’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute (+picc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    clarinet in Eb
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    3rd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    bass tuba
    timpani
    percussion(3)
    harmonium
    piano
    bjo
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    contrabass - cont.aind the stage: 1st trumpet
    2nd trumpet
    3rd trumpet
  • Choir: SATB
  • Composer: Ernst Krenek
  • Librettist: Ernst Krenek

Work introduction

A trend toward returning to Greek mythology was in the air at time this opera was written. In his autobiography, Krenek points out similarly-based works by Stravinsky, Milhaud and Cocteau, all of which inspired him. He chose jazz – the lingua franca of the 1920s – as the musical idiom in order to give a timeless character to his classical material, so that “the ancient story still reveals eternal problems of the human heart, but expressed in our modern terms.”

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Neues Theater Leipzig, Leipzig (DE)
Date:
19.01.1930
Conductor:
Gustav Brecher

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