A fragment of a lost singspiel by Józef Elsner Cover Image
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Fragment zaginionego singspielu Józefa Elsnera
A fragment of a lost singspiel by Józef Elsner

Author(s): Jakub Chachulski
Subject(s): Music
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Józef Elsner; opera; singspiel; aria; Nineteenth-century music; 'Sułtan Wampum'; 'Der verkleidete Sultan'; 'Amazonki'

Summary/Abstract: A manuscript kept at the national library in Warsaw, labelled as ‘Hussein’s part from the opera ‘Sultan Wampum’, contains – apart from the said role – also the score notation of a tenor aria designated with the name ‘Nuradin’. Tis has so far been interpreted as an additional aria sung in the same opera by the eponymous figure. However, the fragmentary German text found in the aria makes it possible to identify it as belonging to the part of Nouradin in Elsner’s German-language opera ‘Der verkleidete Sultan’, now considered lost; hence the designation of the aria in the score. taking this discovery into account, an attentive reading of the text of the other, polish aria proves that it was not meant for ‘Sultan Wampum’, but for Elsner’s previous opera, ‘The Amazons’. initial analysis of the surviving aria, along with information contained in the preserved libretto, allow us to dispute the claim made by Alina Nowak-Romanowicz, who suggested that Eisner’s opera was inspired by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’. The domination of ensemble scenes over solo numbers, and the much more modest treatment of the surviving aria (one of the climactic moments in that opera) as compared to the corresponding numbers of Mozart’s work – demonstrates that Elsner’s approach to the singspiel genre was significantly different.

  • Issue Year: 64/2019
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 99-110
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish