Rosamunde (acting)

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Rosamunde is a “great romantic play in four acts, with choirs, musical accompaniment and dances” by Helmina von Chézy . The first performance with the incidental music by Franz Schubert (D 797) took place on December 20, 1823 in the Theater an der Wien . The original text of the piece was long thought to be lost, but has been preserved in the Stuttgart State Library (changed by later editing by the author) and was published in 1996.


Rosamunde, Princess of Cyprus, is destined to take over the rule at the age of eighteen, previously she was raised as a shepherdess by the ship's widow Axa incognito. The governor Fulgentius (new version: Fulvio), who had been appointed for this time and who already had Rosamunde's parents on his conscience, tried, however, to thwart their reign, first through intrigue, then through a marriage proposal and finally by means of a poisoning attack. Rosamunde, who is legitimized by a document from her father's hand, receives broad support from the Cypriots and from the Cretan Prince Alfons, her intended bridegroom. Eventually all attacks by Fulgentius (Fulvio) are foiled, and he dies from his own poison. But Rosamunde ascends the throne.

The incidental music

The theatrical music of this work includes the overture and ten other musical numbers, the original order of which is not certain - with Chézy's revised text version it cannot be easily and authentically combined. The overture chosen for the premiere was that of the opera Alfonso und Estrella D 732 (1822), which was not performed during Schubert's lifetime . Later, however, the overture to the melodrama Die Zauberharfe D 644 (1820) became known in connection with Rosamunde . It is unclear whether Schubert made this decision himself.

  1. Entr'acte No. 1, B minor, Allegro molto moderato . The movement is also considered the finale to his unfinished works, originally conceived by Schubert .
  2. Ballet music No. 1, March, B minor, Allegro moderato , G major, Andante un poco assai .
  3. Entr'acte No. 2, D major, Andante . Related to the ghost choir No. 5 in terms of motif.
  4. Romance, "The full moon shines on Bergeshöh'n", F minor, Andante con moto , Axa (alto) and orchestra.
  5. Spirit choir, "In the depths lives the light", in D major, Adagio , accompaniment for the poisoning of Fulgentius.
  6. Entr'acte No. 3, B flat major, Andantino , the main theme was also used in the second movement of the string quartet in A minor D 804 , and, modified, in the Impromptu in B flat, D 935, No. 3.
  7. Shepherd Melodies, Andante . Sextet for clarinets, bassoons and horns.
  8. Shepherd's choir, “Here in the hallways”, Allegretto .
  9. Hunter's choir, "How happy it is to live in the country", Allegro moderato .
  10. Ballet Music No. 2, Andantino , G major.

During the lifetime of Schubert and Helmina von Chézy, the play was only performed in Vienna in 1823 and in Munich in 1824.


Editions and Literature

  • Rosamunde , score, ed. by Christine Martin - New Schubert Edition (Kassel 2015)
  • Rosamunde, drama in five acts by Helmina von Chézy. Music by Franz Schubert. First publication of the revised version. With an afterword and unknown sources, ed. by Till Gerrit Waidelich, Tutzing 1996
  • Till Gerrit Waidelich: A fragmentary autograph draft for the first version of Chézy's play “Rosamunde” , in: Schubert through the glasses . Internationales Franz Schubert Institute, Mitteilungen 18, Tutzing 1997, pp. 46–57
  • Till Gerrit Waidelich: The supposedly lost Rosamunde. On the sources of Helmina von Chézy's drama and Franz Schubert's related incidental music (part 1), in: Sullivan-Journal . Magazine of the German Sullivan Society V. (Ed. By Meinhard Saremba) - No. 11 (June 2014), pp. 63–72. ISSN  2190-0647 .
  • Till Gerrit Waidelich: “not the merit of the Englishmen who came to Vienna in 867”? - Legends and facts about Sullivan's and Grove's viewing of the “dusty” performance material of Schubert's Rosamunde music (Part II), in: Sullivan-Journal . Magazine of the German Sullivan Society V. - No. 13 (July 2015), pp. 18–32. ISSN  2190-0647 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rosamunde, Drama in five acts by Helmina von Chézy. Music by Franz Schubert. First publication of the revised version. With an afterword and unknown sources, ed. by Till Gerrit Waidelich, Tutzing 1996.
  2. Schubert's score was not used for the performance at the Isartortheater in Munich in 1824; Philipp Jakob Röth wrote the stage music here.
  3. a b c d Franz Schubert. In: Andreas Ommer: Directory of all opera complete recordings. , volume 20.
  4. ^ Schubert: Rosamunde - Douglas Boyd. CD information at Allmusic .
  5. ^ Schubert: Rosamunde - Peter Maag, Philharmonia Vocalensemble Stuttgart. CD information at Allmusic .