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Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen (‘Murderer, Hope of Women’)locked

  • Geoffrey Skelton

Extract

Opera in one act, op.12, by Paul Hindemith to a libretto by Oscar Kokoschka; Stuttgart, Landestheater, 4 June 1921.

Hindemith’s first operatic work (composed in 1919) uses the words, with a few omissions, of Kokoschka’s expressionist play of 1907. Set in antiquity, it depicts a violent erotic encounter (which includes a branding and a stabbing) between a Man (baritone) and a Woman (soprano), observed by two trios of warriors and serving women. It ends with the tower, outside which the action takes place, in flames. The through-composed musical treatment is symphonic rather than episodic, bearing many traces of late Romanticism....

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