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Karol Szymanowski: Hagith

  • Opera in 1 act (1911/1913)
  • 4 4 5 4 - 6 4 4 1 - timp, perc(6), hp(2), cel, harm, org, str - behind the scene: tpt(4), tbn(4), timp, tr
  • Duration: 95’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute
    4th flute (+picc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    3rd oboe
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    3rd clarinet in Bb
    4th clarinet in Eb (+cl(A))
    bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    3rd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    5th horn in F
    6th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    4th trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    4th trombone
    bass tuba
    1st harp
    2nd harp
    violin I
    violin II
    1st trumpet in D (+music on stage)
    2nd trumpet in D (+music on stage)
    3rd trumpet in D (+music on stage)
    4th trumpet in D (+music on stage)
    1st trombone (+music on stage)
    2nd trombone (+music on stage)
    3rd trombone (+music on stage)
    4th trombone (+music on stage)
    timpani (+music on stage)
    triangle (+music on stage)
  • Choir: SATB
  • Roles: Der alte König, tenor Der junge König, tenor Hagith, soprano Der Hohepriester, bass Der Arzt, baritone Ein Diener, silent role
  • Composer: Karol Szymanowski
  • Librettist: Felix Dörmann
  • Writer of pre-existing text: Felix Dörmann
  • Translator: Stanislaw Baracz

Work introduction

It was in 1912 that Karol Szymanowski made the first sketches of his one-act opera Hagith, a work dedicated to Prince W?adys?aw Lubomirski, who supplied him with the libretto by his friend, Vienna-based writer Felix Dörmann. The score was ready in October 1913, yet the first performance did not take place until nine years later. On 13th May 1922 the opera, based on the Biblical story of King David (Old King) and the girl Abishag (Hagith), was performed at the Warsaw Grand Theatre, with Maria Mokrzycka, Ignacy Dygas and Stanis?aw Gruszczy?ski in solo parts and Emil M?ynarski conducting.

Find out more about Hagith on

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

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