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Dratwicki, Alexandre – La Mort d'Abel by Rodolphe Kreutzer




First performed at the Académie Impériale de Musique on 23 March 1810, La Mort d’Abel, a tragédie lyrique in three acts (two in the 1825 revival) to music by Kreutzer and a libretto by Hoffman, is a work that is fascinating both in itself and in the aesthetic and literary context to which it belongs. Indeed, during the Empire, the period of imperial rule in France from 1804 to 1815, an important musical event had had considerable repercussions. The performance by more than five hundred musicians of La Création du monde, a French adaptation by Daniel Steibelt of Joseph Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, had fired great enthusiasm at the beginning of the century. An impressive oratorio, presented on stage at the Opéra was in fact perfectly in keeping with the new sensibility which characterised that period: a taste for a sort of musical neo-Classicism that was grandiose and at the same time moving, readily comparable to the Jacques-Louis David school in painting. That experience with Haydn (the work was performed several times) brought a new genre into fashion, the most famous example of which is Méhul’s Joseph. To which must be added Saül and La Prise de Jéricho by Kalkbrenner, La Mort d’Adam by Lesueur, La Mort d’Abel by Kreutzer and Moïse et Pharaon by Rossini.

From the CD-Book La Mort d'Abel de Kreutzer (Palazzetto Bru Zane, collection Opéra français, 2012). Translation: Mary Pardoe.

    Person - 1
  • KREUTZER, Rodolphe (1766-1831)
  • Work - 1
  • Mort d'Abel, La (Hoffman / Kreutzer)