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Libretto by Heinrich Bulthaupt (G)

Scoring

2S,M,T,3B; male chorus
3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3(III=bcl).2.dbn-4.3.3.1-timp.perc-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
17/02/1900
Berlin
Company: Unknown

Roles

ADAM Bass
EVE Soprano
CAIN High Bass
ADAH Soprano
ABEL Tenor
ADAM Bass
LITTLE HANOCH Mezzo soprano or child's voice
LUCIFER Bass
THE VOICE OF THE LORD Male Chorus
Time and Place

The hut of the first human beings, late in the afternoon, in Biblical times

Synopsis

The first human beings are sitting in front of their hut: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Cain’s wife Adah and their son Hanoch. While Abel is praising the creation, Cain sits there brooding gloomily. When night falls, he remains alone and asks God to reveal the meaning of life. Instead of God, he is answered by Lucifer, the fallen angel, who tells him about sin and death. On the following morning, when Abel steps out of the hut in order to offer Jehovah fruit on the sacrificial altar, Cain starts a quarrel. He destroys the altar and strikes Abel dead. God punishes the fratricide with eternal damnation and marks him. Under thunder and lightning, Cain sets out to the mountains with his family.

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Ethics, Mythology, Relationships, Religion, Society




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