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Music Text

Libretto by Milos Kares after Schiller; German translation by Max Brod (Cz,G)

Scoring

2S,5T,Bar,2BBar,3B; chorus;
3.2(II=corA).2(II=bcl).2(II=dbn)-4.3.3.1-timp.perc-harp-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
11/18/1937
Operntheater, Wien
Dr. Lothar Wallerstein, director
Conductor: Wolfgang Martin
Company: Alfred Jerger (Wallenstein) / Fred Destal (Octavio) / Friedrich Ginrod (Max) / Esther Réthy (Thekla)

Roles

WALLENSTEIN, Duke of Friedland, General of the Emperor's forces Baritone
THEKLA, Princess of Friedland, his daughter Soprano
OCTAVIO PICCOLOMINI, lieutenant general under Wallenstein Bass Baritone
MAX PICCOLOMINI, his son, colonel in a regiment of cuirassers Tenor
COUNT TERZKY, Wallenstein's brother-in-law, commander of a regiment Bass
COUNTESS TERZKY Soprano
ILLO, Fieldmarshal, confidant of Wallenstein Bass Baritone
BUTTLER, leader of a dragoon regiment Bass
COUNT QUESTENBERG, imperial envoy Tenor
WRANGEL, a Swedish colonel Bass
GORDON, commanding officer of Eger Tenor
SENI, an astrologer Tenor
A SWEDISH CAPTAIN Tenor
Soldiers, watchmen, monks, maidens etc
Time and Place

1634, Northern Bohemia

Synopsis

General Wallenstein – whose army, a very motley crew, is devoted to him – conspires against the Emperor. A Capuchin friar berates the soldiers for carousing on a Sunday and fulminates against Wallenstein, whose negotiations with the Swedes have been discovered. Wallenstein, whose fatal flaw is indecision, puts his trusted lieutenant, Octavio Piccolomini, in charge of a large body of soldiers. The Emperor declares Wallenstein a traitor and replaces him by Piccolomini, who tricks Colonel Buttler, commander of the Dragoons, into deserting Wallenstein. Piccolomini’s son Max, commander of the Cuirassiers, and Wallenstein’s daughter Thekla fall in love, although her father intends her for a dynastic marriage. Max refuses to join his father, because he realises that he is motivated more by ambition than duty to the Emperor. When Wallenstein’s fall from grace becomes known several regiments change sides. The Cuirassiers, believing Max to be Wallenstein’s prisoner, march on his headquarters. Max’s duty lies with the Emperor: he leaves, and is later killed in battle. Wallenstein, meanwhile, is cut off at Eger; Buttler, Piccolomini’s henchman, convinces the garrison commander that Wallenstein must die and all his supporters are murdered. Piccolomini arrives with a message that Wallenstein is not to be killed, but it is too late.

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

History, Literary, Politics, Relationships

Recommended Recording
cd_cover

Roman Trekel / Dagmar Schellenberger / Martina Welschenbach / Ralf Lukas / Daniel Kirch / Wiener Singakademie / ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien / Cornelius Meister
CPO 7136596




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