70 years ago: Dantons Tod at the Salzburg Festival

Reading time: 1 min. Gottfried von Einem

In 1939, at the age of 21, Gottfried von Einem came across the first play written by 22-year-old Georg Büchner – and was overwhelmed. The result of this encounter, Dantons Tod, was the first opera by a living composer to be premiered at the Salzburg Festival – exactly seventy years ago, on 6 August 1947.

Unlike in Büchner’s play, the people – the revolution – play one of the leading roles and the chorus scenes are among the most effective that were composed by von Einem in his basically tonal score. The work has maintained its important role in the opera repertoire to this day.

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