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Des Heilands letzte Stunden" - Autograph Musical Score Fragments
- Two autograph musical score fragments from the German composer, violinist and conductor's oratorio Des Heilands letzte Stunden ("The last hours of the savior," published in English as Calvary). The two score fragments, of 21 and 10 measures, are both from the oratorio's dramatic final chorus of priests and people (no. 32). The first, 4 pp. on a bifolium, is taken from the beginning of the number, with the text "[Welch] drohend Ungewitter, schwarz wie die Nacht, wälzt sich daher? Der Sonne Antlitzt verhüllet sich. Hört ihr's brausen? Hört ihr's winseln wie Todestimmen?" (corresponding English text: "What threat'ning tempest gathers, black as the night! Hither it rolls, and blots the sun from the firmament, Heard ye the whirlwind, how it howls like the moans of the dying.") The second, 2 pp. on recto and verso, unfortunately with a vertical split along a previous folding crease, is taken from the end of the number with the text "[Sein Geist kehrt] nicht zurück! Entflieht, entflieht dem Wetter Gottes! Hinauf zum Tempel, zum [Gnadestuhl]" (corresponding English text: "Away, from God's just vengeance. Away! and seek we the mercy seat!") Scored for choir and piano four hands. Neatly penned in the composer's hand, with autograph notes on both sheets in another hand identifying the piece, corresponding page of the published piano score, and composition date (Kassel, 1834). Overall toning, heavy on some pages; edge wear and tears; overall in very good condition with the exception of the vertical split. 13.5 x 10 inches (34.5 x 25.7 cm).Spohr's sacred oratorio Des Heilands letzte Stunden (1834-5) dates from a turbulent period in the composer's life. The political turmoil of the 1830's led to the closing of the opera in Kassel in 1832-3, interrupting the composer's involvement in composing operas. Departing from opera, Spohr returned to symphonies, chamber music, and oratorio. His first wife, the harpist Dorette Scheidler, died in November 1834, while he was at work on the oratorio, but he completed it the following year."In the field of oratorio, Spohr made a distinctive contribution to the music of his day. [.] In 1834-5, inspired by Bach's St Matthew Passion, of which he gave the first Kassel performance in 1883, Spohr composed his Passion oratorio, Des Heilands letzte Stunden, to a text of Friedrich Rochlitz. When introduced to England in 1836, however, its subject matter provoked considerable religious opposition, and despite its enthusiastic reception as music, especially after Spohr himself directed it at the Norwich Festival in 1839, it did not supplant Die letzten Dinge in general esteem. [.]For much of the 19th century, especially in England, Spohr's oratorios were considered, alongside Mendelssohn's (which may have overshadowed but did not supplant them), as the legitimate and, with the possible exception of Haydn's The Creation, the only worthy successors to Handel's." (Clive Brown, Grove Music Online.)
      [Bookseller: Schubertiade Music]
Last Found On: 2017-10-08           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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