Frank Martin: The Tempest

  • First version
  • 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - windmascine, flute stage music, 1. horn stage music, 2. horn stage music, trumpet in C stage music, Jazz-percussion stage music, Violine I stage music, Violine II stage music, Viola stage music, Violoncello stage music, doublebass stag
  • Duration: 150’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd piccolo
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet
    2nd clarinet
    bass clarinet
    tenor saxophone in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    contrabassoon
    1st horn in F in D
    2nd horn in F in D
    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
    1st timpani
    2nd timpani
    windmashine
    percussion(4)
    celesta
    harp
    piano
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    double bass, flute stage music, 1. horn stage music, 2. horn stage music, trumpet in C stage music, Jazz-percussion stage music, Violine I stage music, Violine II stage music, Viola stage music, Violoncello stage music, doublebass stage music (the wind/brass instr. can be played by orchestra musicians)
  • Choir: TB, gemischter Kammerchor hinter der Szene
  • Composer: Frank Martin
  • Text author: William Shakespeare
  • Translator: A.W. von SchlegelPauline Martin

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Work introduction

Der Sturm (“The Tempest”) is a magical comedy numbering among Martin’s most important and creative compositions. He worked on it for three years before it premiered in 1956 at the Vienna State Opera (with Eberhard Wächter, Anton Dermota and Christa Ludwig in the main roles). Martin was a great admirer of the literary quality of August Wilhelm von Schlegel’s bold yet faithful German translation of Shakespeare, which became the libretto for his Sturm.

There are two versions of The Tempest. The original one has the figure of Ariel choreographed whereas the text is sung from behind the wings by a chorus. Frank Martin then decided to entrust the dancer with the text which has to be spoken in keeping with the music - in other words, one needs a dancer with exceptional musical talents.

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Wiener Staatsoper, Wien (AT)
Date:
17.06.1956
Conductor:
Ernest Ansermet

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