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Alfred Schnittke

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Historia von D. Johann Fausten (The History of D. Johann Faustus), opera (1983)
Work Notes
available in the USA, Canada and Mexico only
Text Writer
Libretto by Jörg Morgener and Alfred Schnittke after folk legend (1597)
Hans Sikorski Russian Works
Opera and Music Theatre
Year Composed
alto, male, or mixed chorus
Countertenor, Alto, 3 Tenors, 6 Baritones, 2 Basses, Silent Roles
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Programme Note
Alfred Schnittke Historia von D. Johann Fausten (The History of D. Johann Faustus), opera (1983)
Dr Faustus signs a pact with the devil. In return for knowledge and power, Mephistopheles will claim his soul. When Faustus asks for a wife to be provided, instead of a sacred contract of marriage, Mephistopheles offers to find him a woman for his bed every day and night. Later the devil takes him on a journey to see both heaven and hell. An old Christian man appears and offers to help save him from the terrors of hell. But Mephistopheles appears and furiously forces him to sign a second pact, this time with Lucifer himself. When twenty-four years have passed, Mephistopheles finally comes to claim his part of the bargain and tears Faustus into pieces. The moral of the story, as the chorus tells us, is to live a sober and vigilant life and to resist evil.

...[Schnittke's] journey into the depths of musical history is immensely enthralling. His accomplishment in Faust is singular; no composer before him has come so close to the story's primal terror.
Alex Ross , The New York Times ,01/01/0001
Schnittke's third opera is his best....his version of Faust is a major contribution to 20th-century music theatre, and deserves the widest possible hearing. It is approachable but highly original, thought-provoking as well as entertaining, spiritual and worldly in the same breath.
Andrew Clark , The Financial Times,01/01/0001
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