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Photo: Winfried Rabanus
Landeshauptstadt Munchen / Staatstheater Kassel

Schweinitz, Wolfgang von

Patmos (1989)

Duration: 150 minutes
'Azione musicale' in seven acts

Libretto adapted from the Book of Revelation by D E Sattler (G)

Scoring
Major roles: S,A,T,Bar,B; minor roles: 3S,3A,CT,T,Bar,B; boys' chorus; dancers 1.afl.1.corA.Ebcl.bhn.1.dbn-2.2.atrbn.ttrbn.0-timp.perc(2):glsp/xyl/ tubular bells/tgl/sleigh bells/cowbells/large cowbell/susp.cym/cyms/ tam-t/2 pairs of bongos (large and small)/tamb/SD/TD/BD/2wdbl/ 2tpl.bl/2maracas (different sizes)/guiro-harp-strings(5.0.4.3.1).
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
4/28/1990
Munich Biennale
Ruth Berghaus, director
Conductor: Adam Fischer
Company: Staatstheater Kassel

Roles

JOHANNES ITenor
JOHANNES IIBaritone
X Bass
ANGELUS NOVUSSoprano
ANGELUS ANTIQUUSContralto
TERZETT I3 Sopranos
TERZETT II3 Altos
QUATUOR (THE FOUR BEASTS)Countertenor/Tenor/Baritone/Bass
CHILDREN'S CHOIR (the 24 eldest)12 Sopranos, 12 Altos
2 CHILDREN'S VOICES FROM THE CHOIRSoprano/Alto
SPEAKING CHOIRPlayers in the orchestra
Angel with incense/The Wife/Fiance of the Lamb/Babylonian WhoreFemale Dancer
The Lamb/Michael/Angel with scytheMale Dancer
The Dragon/Angel with the heavenly hostMale Dancer
First BeastMale Dancer
Second BeastMale Dancer
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse1-4 Male Dancers
The four Angels of the Wind1-4 Male Dancers
The seven Angels of the Plague1-4 Male Dancers


Synopsis

According to the old Jewish calendar, the sixth millennium of our history is just beginning its last quarter, its ‘evening hour’. The advanced state of civilisation on our planet enables us to foresee the plagues and ruin to come – it even compels us to think of the end. Here we stand, looking back hopelessly across the generations and the millennia at the chances lost, the teachings neglected, and the prophetic spirit shunned or betrayed. That spirit informs a wonderful New Testament text that is about us and is our concern. The Apocalypse – the Revelation of St John the Divine – is at once a cultural critique and a penitential sermon. Both derive from the great tradition of the old Jewish prophecies, and spring directly from the early Christian era. Uniting them is a synoptic vision of finite history, with its metaphysical horizons vaulted above.
Wolfgang von Schweinitz


Moods
Poetic


Subjects
Religion, Society, Literary





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