Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowsky (1840–1893) Pikovaya dama Op. 68
The Queen of Spades – Opera in 3 Acts duration: 150' Text: Modest Tschaikowsky
SSSMezMezATTTTBarBarBB – choir: SSAATTBB +child ch – picc.2.2(cor ang).2.B-clar.2. - 18.104.22.168. – timp.perc – hp – pno – str / stage music: child trp + child dr
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Duration: full evening
Text by Modest Tchaikovsky after Alexander Puschkins Novel
Translation: German (W. Ebermann/M. Koerth and collaboration by H. Seeger); (R. Lauckner)
Place and time: Petersburg, End of the 18th Century
Characters: Hermann (tenor) - Count Tomskij (baritone) - Prince Jeletzkij (baritone) -Czekalinskij (tenor) - Ssurin (bass) - Tschaplitzkij (tenor) - Narumoff (bass) - The Counts Wife (mezzo-soprano) - Lisa (soprano) - Pauline (alto) - Governess (mezzo-soprano) - Mascha (soprano) - A Steward (tenor)
Characters of the intermezzo: ChloË (soprano) - Daphnis (Pauline) (alto) - Plutus (Count Tomskij) (baritone)
By the time Tchaikovsky began writing "Pique Dame", he had already composed eight operas and had very well developed ideas about the drama and aesthetics of the genre. Gustav Mahler, who judged "Pique Dame" to be "Tchaikovskys most mature and artistically solid musical work, is certainly not alone with his opinion. A confession made by Tchaikovsky a few months before his death show to want extent the composer, after an initial period of hesitation, was possessed by his work on this opera: "I composed it with uncommon passion and enthusiasm, suffered from everything that happens in it and related to it with every fibre in my body (it went so far that I even feared the apparition of the ghost for a while). Now I hope that all my enthusiasm, excitement and devotion will find an echo in the hearts of receptive listeners.