Der Mond – Ein kleines Welttheater (1939)

»I viewed the score as being my farewell from Romanticism.«[1]

›Der Mond‹, Orff’s first work for the stage was composed between 1936 and 1938 and was originally intended to be combined with › Die Kluge ‹ (1943) to be performed on a single evening. The pictorial qualities of the original subject matter provided an impulse for the conception of a dramatic framework for the entire work prior to the compilation of the text and the composition of the music.

Orff utilised about a half of the original, but extended the text with his own verses and altered the focus of the story without however changing the substance of the fairy tale. The additional dramatic scenes are characterised by a poetic language of dynamic gestures with repeats and shifts of emphasis.

The music is largely based on the elemental range of stylistic structures as developed in the Dorothee Günther School with the frequent utilisation of vocal and dance forms based on songs and street songs, interspersed with ironical and satirical quotations.[2]

 

(Clemens Krauss, Carl Orff, Rudolf Hartmann and Josef Kugler at work on the first performance 1939, from left to right)
(Clemens Krauss, Carl Orff, Rudolf Hartmann and Josef Kugler at work on the first performance 1939, from left to right)

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[1] CO-Dok V,14; [2] Werner Thomas in: Pipers Enzyklopädie des Musiktheaters, Band 4, München 1991, S.581 ff.
Abb.: OZM
Video: Kurt Eichhorn -Ariola Eurodisc 69 069 QR; Carl-Orff-Stiftung, 1994

Der Mond
Extract 1

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Der Mond
Extract 2

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First performance

Plot