Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Hartmann Die Witwe von Ephesus

A short sample of K A Hartmann's Die Witwe von Ephesus. The whole opera is only 11 minutes but go get the CD for more. Highly recommended. Beware anyone who thinks this is "opera" in the usual sense. Two main protagonists, "He" and "She" with four lesser parts, one of which is spoken and another a Cat that miaows. Some of the parts are interchangeable, so it's probably not stageable. How do you get a hanged man to sing? Extremely spare, but tightly written orchestration, which fits the essence of Hartmann's ethos. No waste, no fuss. Sharpness of delivery, quick timing. A man is condemned because "He who doesn't work, doesn't eat. Who doesn't eat, can't live. Ergo, we hang him". Ephesus 2000 years ago uncannily like the present. And his "widow" soon changes her mind. Please see my other pieces on Hartmann including Simplicius Simplicissimuss and Gesangsszene.

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