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Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke

An Oprea Vision after Rainer Maria Rilke

By Siegfried Matthus

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Voices and piano (solos: SSSMezABarB - choir: SATB - 4.0.0.0. - 1.0.0.0. - timp.perc(2) - 2hp.e-bassguit - storm bell)
An Oprea Vision after Rainer Maria Rilke. Composed by Siegfried Matthus (1934-).


World premiere: Dresden (reopening of the Semper Opera), 1985

20th Century (after 1950). Vocal score. Breitkopf and Haertel #DV-6139. Published by Breitkopf and Haertel (BR.DV-6139).

Item Number: BR.DV-6139

ISBN 979-0-2004-6022-3. 8.5 x 11.5 in inches.

Text by the composer after Rainer Maria Rilke
English Translation: B. Jacobson
Place and time: Hungary, during the Turks' War 1683 or anytime, in the Countess' Palace, in dream and reality

Characters: Cornet Christoph Rilke von Langenau (mezzo-soprano) - his Voice of Thought (alto) - Countess (soprano) - her Voice of Thought (soprano) - Marquis (baritone) - Count Spork (bass) - a young Woman (soprano) - Soldiers, Maids, Guests at the Castle Feast (chorus)

Young Christoph Rilke von Langenau has joined his troops to fight in the war against the Turks. He befriends the Marquis, who gives him a rose petal at his departure, a gift the young man constantly carries with him. They ride through a land of endless vastness until they finally encounter the enemy army. Rilke is named standard bearer - cornet - by Count Spork. The horrors he witnesses weigh heavily upon the young cornet, and visions lead him to the verge of madness. While spending the night in a castle, Rilke enjoys a few hours of peace and rest for the first time in months - along with his first night of love with the Countess. An enemy attack shatters the idyll: the palace goes up in flames, Rilke rushes into the battle and dies. The opera is preceded by the chorus In solchen Nachten / war einmal Feuer in der Opera (It was on such a night that there once was a fire in the Opera), which is based on a Rilke poem from the Buch der Bilder. The choral piece was originally conceived solely to introduce the world premiere of the opera for the reopening of the Semper Opera in Dresden in 1985, forty years after its destruction. It has since become an inseparable component of the work.


CD:
Christina Ascher (mezzosoprano), Claudia Eder (alto), Marcella Polidori (soprano), Birgit Fandrey (soprano), Hermann-Christian Polster (bass), Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks / Ein Instrumentalensemble, cond. Hartmut Haenchen
CD Musik in Deutschland 1950-2000
Deutscher Musikrat 74321 73543

CD (excerpts):

Christina Ascher (mezzosoprano), Claudia Eder (alto), Marcella Polidori (soprano), Birgit Fandrey (soprano), Hermann-Christian Polster (bass), Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks / Ein Instrumentalensemble, cond. Hartmut Haenchen
CD BMG 74321 73543 2


Bibliography:

Dieckmann
, Friedrich: Die gefesselte Jugend. Rilkes ,,Cornet als Oper einer Vision, in: Weimarer Beitrage 6/1986.
Gennrich, Judith: ,,Ich bin ein Sanger ohne Stimme. Siegfried Matthus' Kompositionsweise fur die Singstimme am Beispiel der Opern ,,Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke und ,,Judith. Musiklehrer-Diplomarbeit Mainz 1997.
Matthus, Siegfried: Meine ,,Cornet-Oper, in: Programmheft der Urauffuhrung an der Dresdner Staatsoper 1985.
ders
.: ,,Cornet oder Uber die Kunst, zu erben. Ein Werkstattgesprach, in: Musik und Gesellschaft 1/1985.
ders
.: Uber die Harmonik meiner ,,Cornet-Oper, in: Musik und Gesellschaft 8/1987.
ders
.: ,,Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke. Interpretationserfahrungen, in: Wanderer zwischen Musik, Politik und Recht. Festschrift fur Reinhold Kreile zum 65. Geburtstag, hrsg. von Jurgen Becker, Baden-Baden 1994, p. 403ff.

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