Jürg Baur (1918–2010) Der Roman mit dem Kontrabass
Chamber Opera – Lyrical Opera in 7 Scenes 2005 Duration: 60' Text: Michael Leinert
solos: STTBarBB – actor– db – 184.108.40.206. – 220.127.116.11. – hp – timp.perc(2) – str
World premiere: Düsseldorf, November 24, 2005
Libretto (free based on Anton Tschechow's novel of the same name): Michael Leinert
Characters: The narrator (speaker), the double bass player Dimitrij Smytschkow (baritone), the countess Anastasia Bibulowa (soprano), the prince Bibulow, landowner, Anastasia's father (bass), the flutist Shutschkow (tenor), the clarinettist Rasmachaikin (bass), the privy councillor Lakehitsch, State Secretary in the Department of Transport and groom of the countess (tenor)
Conceptionally, Baurs chamber opera, which is based on a story by Chekhov, follows in the lineage of Stravinskys “L'histoire du soldat.” However, here the chamber ensemble comprises 30 to 35 musicians. The theme of the opera is the tender story of a double bass player by the name of Smytchkov, whose clothes are stolen as he is bathing in a river before his evening concert. There he runs into the daughter of his prince, who is organizing the concert. Her clothes have also disappeared. The unequal pair thus comes together under very unusual circumstances, which leads to very unusual consequences... The double bass players colleagues, a clarinetist and a flutist, also play a role in this incredible story of a double bass, which is related by an actor (Anton Chekhov himself).
Lütteken, Laurenz: „Seltsam im Nebel zu wandern“ oder „Der lange Weg zur Oper“. „Der Roman mit dem Kontrabass“ von Jürg Baur, hrsg. von Ulrich Tadday (= Musik-Konzepte. Neue Folge, Heft 184/185), München: Edition Text+Kritik 2019, pp. 115-127.