Musical mishearing

(briefly noted)

On the fairy tale beat. Heard on WQXR last night, Humperdinck’s Sleeping Beauty Suite (Dornröschen, 1902). Except that what I heard as the title was Sweeping Beauty Suite — suitable for Cinderella (Aschenputtel) but not Sleeping Beauty.

On the composer, from Wikipedia:

Engelbert Humperdinck (… 1 September 1854 – 27 September 1921) was a German composer, best known for his opera Hänsel und Gretel.

… His reputation rests chiefly on his opera Hänsel and Gretel, which he began work on in Frankfurt in 1890. He first composed four songs to accompany a puppet show his nieces were giving at home. Then, using a libretto by his sister Adelheid Wette rather loosely based on the version of the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, he composed a Singspiel of 16 songs with piano accompaniment and connecting dialogue. By January 1891 he had begun working on a complete orchestration.

The opera premiered in Weimar on 23 December 1893, under the baton of Richard Strauss, who called it “a masterpiece of the highest quality… all of it original, new, and so authentically German.” With its highly original synthesis of Wagnerian techniques and traditional German folk songs, Hänsel und Gretel was an instant and overwhelming success.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: