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Libretto based on a fantasy poem by Mikhail Iurievitch Lermontov (R,G)

Scoring

S,M,2A,T,Bar,2B; chorus; ballet;
picc.2.2.corA.2.bcl.2-4.2.3.1-timp, perc-harp-pianino(or harp)- org-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
25/01/1875
Mariinski-Theater, St Petersburg
Company: unknown

Roles

PRINCE GUDAL Baritone
TAMARA, his daughter Soprano
PRINCE OF SINODAL, Tamara's fiancé Tenor
Tamara's Nurse Contralto
An old servant of the Prince of Sinodal Baritone
Messenger of the Prince of Sinodal Tenor
THE DEMON Baritone
ANGEL Mezzo Soprano
ZEPHYR Contralto
Time and Place

In Grusinia, during the time of the Tatar raids

Synopsis

The setting of the Demon is somewhere between heaven, hell and earth – just as the demon himself is a fallen angel, an inwardly torn character, a negating power and adversary of the angel at the same time. Unable to love and still be humble, he falls in love with Tamara, who is about to marry Prince Gudal’s son, and kills the bridegroom. The bride escapes to a convent and is visited by the demon, who promises to renounce evil and pictures their future as eternity and boundless power. Tamara, yielding to temptation, is killed when he kisses her. In the struggle for her soul, the angel keeps the upper hand, for "he who loves belongs to paradise". For the demon, nothing has really changed: he carries on living in eternal damnation and loses his hope in the shape of Tamara, with whom he shared his solitude, his longing for love, his thirst for knowledge and the sadness resulting from it all.

Moods

Dramatic, Romantic, Tragic

Subjects

Ethics, Mythology, Relationships, Religion

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

Egils Silins/Olga Alexandrova/Moscow Chamber Choir/Sofia Chamber Choir/Vladimir Fedoseyev
Schwann 365432
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