Monday, January 06, 2014

Hindemith's Sancta Susanna in the IMSLP

About a dozen years ago, around the time I started writing my opera Sister Beatrice, I became interested in Hindemith's 1921 Opera Sancta Susanna, a work he set to a 1914 play by August Stramm. There were no recordings available in 2002, and, because of the sacrilegious nature of the work and non-availability of the music, nobody performed it. All I could get my hands on (through interlibrary loan) was a piano-vocal score.

Now (as of yesterday) both the piano-vocal score and the orchestral score of this unusual and brilliant one-act opera are in the IMSLP (the music is now in the public domain in America).

This recording (not a video, but it does have subtitles) of the prelude and the final scene is the best performance I have found. Since my first "viewing" of the opera was in the theater inside my head, no staging I have seen on the half a dozen YouTube videos lives up to the staging I imagined, but Hindemith's orchestration surpasses my imagination.

If you have any interest in my Sister Beatrice (which, even though it was published in 2006, still hasn't had a performance outside of the theater inside my brain), you can hear a computer generated recording (with brass instruments as the vocalists) on this page of my Thematic Catalog or through these links.

Opening [Scenes 1 and 2]
track 2
track 3
track 4
track 5
track 6
track 7
track 8
track 9 (Ave maris stella)
track 10 [Scene 3]
track 11
track 12
track 13

1 comment:

claire said...

Elaine, I don't know you but I should, this blog is great in many ways. Thanks for the article on Schoenberg which is why I landed on your blog. I have to talk about him in my class and I'll just derive on dodecaphonism as well. I just wanted a deeper understanding on why he converted to christianity in the first place. Thank you.

I am a professional recorder player and baroque flautist.