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Libretto after the novel by Jens Peter Jacobsen (G,E)

Scoring

Major roles: S,2M,T,Bar,B; minor roles: 3S,2M,T,5Bar; chorus 3(III=picc).2.corA.bass ob.3.bcl.3.sarrusophone-4.3.3.1-timp.perc: glsp/tgl/cyms-2harps-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
21/10/1919
Frankfurt
Conductor: Gustav Brecher
Company: Frankfurt Opera

Roles

CONSUL CLAUDI Bass
HIS WIFE Mezzo Soprano
FENNIMORE, their daughter Mezzo Soprano
NIELS LYHNE, Claudi's nephew Baritone
ERIK REFSTRUP, Niels's cousin Tenor
A SQUIRE Baritone
A TAX COLLECTOR Baritone
A TUTOR Tenor
A BRANDY DISTILLER Baritone
A DOCTOR Tenor
COUNCILLOR SKINNERUP Bass
GERDA, his daughter Soprano
INGRID, his daughter Soprano
LILA, his daughter Soprano
MARIT, his daughter Soprano
Maidservants, Girls and Farm-hands Chorus
Time and Place

Denmark, around 1910

Synopsis

The first of the eleven pictures takes place in a room at the home of Consul Claudi at Fjordby in Denmark. Claudi’s nephew Niels Lyhne is talking to the Consul’s daughter Fennimore, with whom he has fallen in love. Her reaction leads him to believe his love is returned. In the next picture, in Claudi’s garden by the fjord, however, Niels sees Fennimore embraced by his cousin Erik, to whom he is also very close, and realises his mistake. Three years pass before the third picture, set in the home the married Fennimore and Erik have made together. They are unhappy, however, and Niels’s visit gives Fennimore a chance to express her dissatisfactions. That evening Erik also opens up his heart to Niels. Later during Niels’s stay, Erik is lured out for the evening by his drinking companions and, left alone, Niels and Fennimore are drawn together. The following morning Erik comes back drunk. Niels and Fennimore go for a walk in the forest and he kisses her. They declare their love for one another. That winter, as Fennimore waits at home for Niels’s arrival, she receives a telegram with news that Erik has fallen from a cart and been killed. Consumed with guilt she rushes off to meet Niels and finishes their relationship. Three years pass. At a farmyard on his estate at harvest-time, Niels finds solace in nature. One year later, in the garden of Councillor Skinnerup, he is entranced by the Councillor’s daughter, Gerda. He proposes to her and is accepted.

Moods

Poetic, Romantic

Subjects

Literary, Relationships

Recommended Recording

Elisabeth Söderström, Brian Rayner Cook, Danish National Radio Choir, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Meredith Davies
EMI CDM5663142

Randi Stene, Judith Howarth, Danish National Radio Choir, Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox
Chandos 9589

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Fennimore and Gerda


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