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Karol Rathaus: Der letzte Pierrot

  • 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
  • Duration: 55’
  • 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
    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
    violin I(16)
    violin II(14)
    stage music: alto saxophone in Eb
    trumpet in Bb
  • Composer: Karol Rathaus
  • Writer of pre-existing text: Karol RathausMax Terpis

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the virulent rejection of his two symphonies (the first of which was published by UE), the Schreker student had withdrawn from musical life.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. 

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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