The clever

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Work data
Title: The clever
Original title: The clever
Original language: German
Music: Carl Orff
Libretto : Carl Orff
Premiere: February 20, 1943
Place of premiere: Frankfurt am Main
Playing time: about an hour and 20 minutes
Place and time of the action: Fairytale time
  • Die Kluge, Farmer's Daughter (teenage lyric soprano )
  • The king ( baritone )
  • First Tramp ( tenor )
  • Second Tramp (baritone)
  • Third Tramp ( bass )
  • The farmer (bass buffo )
  • The jailer (serious bass)
  • The man with the mule (baritone)
  • The Man with the Donkey (Tenor Buffo)

The Kluge is an opera in one act by Carl Orff , which the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm " The wise farmer's daughter " (KHM 94) to the original. The work is subtitled "The story of the king and the wise woman". The world premiere took place on February 20, 1943 in Frankfurt am Main .


3 large (also small ) flutes , 3 oboes (also English horn ), 3 clarinets (also bass clarinet ), 2 bassoons , 1 contrabassoon , 4 horns , 3 trumpets , 3 trombones , 1 tuba , timpani , percussion for 4 players ( large drum , 2 small drums , tenor drum, tambourine , triangle , stone game , sand rattles , various pools , fanfare , ratchet , clamp , castanet , tubular bells , xylophone , glockenspiel ), harp , celesta , piano , strings . Incidental music : Various drums, 1 small, brightly sounding drum, small bells, 3 trumpets, organ .


One day a farmer brings home a golden mortar without a pestle that he found in the king's field. He wants to take it to the king in anticipation of a reward. But his daughter warns him that the king would certainly ask for the pestle and accuse the finder of embezzlement. The prediction comes true, the farmer will be thrown into the dungeon, and in his desperation he keeps exclaiming (and the opera begins): Oh, if I had only believed my daughter! This comes to the ears of the ruler and he asks for the daughter. When she easily solves three puzzles he has asked, he releases the farmer and makes the daughter, “the clever one”, his wife. But this only works until she tries to help a donkey owner who has been treated unfairly by the king and is expelled from the castle for it. She is allowed to take whatever her heart is most attached to in a chest and chooses the king after she has given him a sleeping potion ( shoe-shoe, the king's eyes close ). In this way she succeeds in saving herself and completely defeating the ruler.


Orff received the newly created National Prize of the GDR III in 1949 for Die Kluge . Art and literature class. Orff later returned the award.

Recordings (selection)

Stage design by Helmut Jürgens for Die Kluge by C. Orff, first performance in Munich in 1948 in the Prinzregententheater


  • Kurt Pahlen , Rosemarie König: Carl Orff. The moon. The clever. Opera guide. Goldmann, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-442-33040-8 .
  • Andreas Liess: Carl Orff. Idea and work. Revised edition. Goldmann, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-442-33038-6 .
  • Werner Thomas: Das Rad der Fortuna ─ Selected essays on the work and impact of Carl Orff. Schott, Mainz 1990, ISBN 3-7957-0209-7 .
  • Werner Thomas: Orff's fairy tale pieces. The moon ─ the clever one. Schott, Mainz 1994, ISBN 3-7957-0266-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Weimar National Theater. In three classes . In: Der Spiegel . No. 36 , 1949, pp. 12 ( online - Sept. 1, 1949 ).
  2. Munich Marionette Theater | The smart one . In: . 2015 [last update]. Retrieved November 12, 2015.