Die Harmonie der Welt

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Die Harmonie der Welt (The Harmony of the World) is an opera in five acts by Paul Hindemith. The German libretto was by the composer.

The title of the opera is taken from Harmonices Mundi by the astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) who is the subject of the opera. Hindemith used the planetary system as a metaphor for his own musical arrangement of the chromatic scale.

Performance history[edit]

It was first performed on 11 August 1957, at the Prinzregententheater, Munich, conducted by the composer.[1]

A truncated monaural recording of the opera appeared on the Stradivarius label, but a complete recording of the work had to wait until the digital era, when Marek Janowski conducted the entire opera for the Wergo label (see section Recordings). Hindemith proponent Yan Pascal Tortelier has also openly expressed an interest in conducting a recording of the opera.[citation needed]

Roles[edit]

Johannes Kepler
Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 11 August 1957
(Conductor: Paul Hindemith)
Susanna, Kepler's wife/Venus soprano Liselotte Fölser
Young Susanna, Kepler's daughter soprano
Katharina, Kepler's mother/Moon contralto Hertha Töpper
Wallenstein, warlord/Jupiter tenor Richard Holm
Ulrich Grüßer, Kepler's pupil/Mars tenor K. Wehofschlitz
Christoph Kepler tenor
Johannes Kepler, the astronomer/Earth baritone Joseph Metternich
Emperor Rudolf II/Emperor Ferdinand II/Sun bass Kieth Engen
Daniel Hizler, priest/Mercury bass Joseph Knapp
Tansur, astrologer/Saturn bass Marcel Cordes
Baron Starhemberg baritone
Richter baritone

Synopsis[edit]

Set in the 17th century, the opera is the story of the search for universal harmony by the astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Recordings[edit]

In 2002 WERGO released the world premiere recording as part of their Paul Hindemith Edition. This recording was made in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin-Dahlem in February/March 2000, with Marek Janowski conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and François le Roux in the role of Johannes Kepler.[2][3]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Die Harmonie der Welt". Schott Music. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "On-line catalogue entry - Paul Hindemith - Die Harmonie der Welt". WERGO. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Review - Hindemith - Die Harmonie der Welt". MusicWeb International (Paul Shoemaker). September 2003. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
Sources