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Music Text

Arnold Schlönbach, after Milton (G)

Scoring

2(=picc).2.2.2-4.2.3.1-timp.perc(1):BD-harp-org-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
3/1/1858
Weimar
Conductor: Franz Liszt
Company: unknown

Roles

An Angel Soprano
Eva Soprano
Raphael Soprano
Michael Alto
Gabriel Alto
A Voice Tenor
Adam Baritone
Satan Bass
The Heavenly, The Outraged, The Apparitions, The Angels, The Infernal
Time and Place

Heaven - Hell - The Garden of Eden

Synopsis

God has gathered the heavenly spirits around him in order to create a being that is to govern the world at his side. Lucifer is upset about this new regime. A battle is fought between the heavenly hosts, during which the rebels are cast into hell, promising revenge. Since heaven is invincible, the new battlefield will be the world devised by God, with all its creatures. Satan calls forth Night, Sin, Death, Pride, Lechery and Frailty while God declares his creation to be compensation for all that is lost and for the pain inflicted during the victorious battle. He creates the Earth and gives it light, a firmament, water, continents, plants, animals and finally humans, to rule over everything else.
The almighty creator is praised with hallelujahs – at the same time, however, the hellish spirits celebrate their triumph: Adam and Eve have disobeyed God’s commands and eaten of the Tree of Knowledge which had been planted to put their obedience to the test. God appeases the host of heavenly servants: he had foreseen the victory of evil but decided to provide humanity with free will. They have to atone for their guilt by leading a finite, working life on Earth. As a consolation they are promised a new future that they can achieve of their own accord as well as with God’s benevolence.

Moods

Dramatic

Subjects

Religion




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