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Music Text

Libretto by Julius Rodenberg (G)

Scoring

T,Bar,B, 4 children's voices; mixed chorus, children's chorus; 2.picc.2.2.2-4.2.3.1-timp.perc-harp-organ-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
2/9/1870
Königsberg
Company: unknown

Roles

NIMROD Bass
ABRAM Tenor
OVERSEER Baritone
FOUR ANGELS children's voices
Nimrod's retinue, People, Hosts of Angels, Spirits of Hell
Time and Place

Babylon, in Biblical times

Synopsis

The overseer calls the people to work, so that the building of the grand tower can be completed the same day. Nimrod, the king, comes to inspect the site. When he declares his wish to become equal to Jehovah and to snatch all heavenly secrets by taking his seat on the tower, the young shepherd Abram emerges from his suite and calls the King a sinner. He is thrown into an oven, but steps out again without being harmed. Continuing to accuse Nimrod, Abram is condemned to be thrown from the tower, but suddenly the building collapses beneath thunder and lightning. The whole city is destroyed, and the people find that they are speaking in different tongues. Abram explains that God wants his people to disperse, and a rainbow appears to symbolise their enduring unity and their contract with Jehovah. Nimrod recognises his error, repents and praises God. Among the choirs of angels and men are mingled voices from hell, for Satan's power will last as long as human life.

Moods

Dramatic

Subjects

History, Religion




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