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*Deutsch

Smyth, Ethel

Der Wald (1902)

Duration: 65 minutes
A Music Drama with Prologue and Epilogue in one act

Libretto by the composer (G,E)

Scoring
S,S(orM),T,2Bar,B; chorus; 1.1.1.bcl.1-4.3.3.1-timp.perc:cyms/tgl/tamb/BD/SD-harp-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.



World Premiere
4/9/1902
Konigliches Schauspielhaus, Berlin
Conductor: Karl Muck
Company: Konigliches Schauspielahus

Roles

LANDGRAVE RUDOLFBaritone
IOLANTHE, his mistressSoprano (or Mezzo Soprano)
HEINRICH, a young woodcutterTenor
PETER, a woodmanBass
ROSCHEN, his daughter, betrothed to HeinrichSoprano
A PEDLAR, with a bearBaritone
Peasants, HuntsmenChorus (TB)
Chorus of Wood SpiritsChorus (SATB)


Time and Place
A forest in the Middle Ages


Synopsis

In the prologue, wood spirits sing of the peace of the eternal forest. The action begins on the day before the wedding of Röschen with the young woodcutter Heinrich. Peasants celebrate the happy event and buy trinkets from a pedlar to give to Röschen, who sings of her happiness. Suddenly a weird horn-call is heard: it signals the sinister Iolanthe, mistress of Rudolf, the local Landgraf. Heinrich comes to find Röschen, bringing with him a forbidden present: a newly killed deer, which they hide down the well. The lovers look forward to the morrow, and Röschen goes into her cottage. Iolanthe next comes upon Heinrich and, impressed with his good looks, attempts to lure him into her service. He refuses and she vows vengeance. Her chance comes when the deer is revealed in the well. Iolanthe forces Heinrich to choose between going with her, or suffering the penalty for killing the deer. He chooses the latter, and her huntsmen stab him. In the epilogue, the wood spirits resume their commentary on the transience of human concerns.


Moods
Poetic, Tragic


Subjects
Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Society





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