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Der Handschuh ("The Glove")
Instrumentation: Speaking voc—Vc
Details:  Text by Friedrich Schiller (Ger.)
Contents:  ''The Glove' was composed in 2005 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Schiller's death. It is a setting of a ballad Schiller wrote in Weimar in 1797 at a time when he was engaged in a friendly rivalry with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The story is set in the reign of the French King Francois I (who reigned from 1515 to 1547). In it the king stages a fight between a variety of wild animals for the entertainment of his guests (we read in the 'Essais historiques sur Paris' of Monsieur de Saint-Foix that an arena existed in what is now known as the 'Rue des Lions' in Paris). The animals, however, prove to be placid creatures: the real contest plays itself out among the spectators, when a certain Dame Cunigund challenges her lover to demonstrate his affection for her by retrieving a glove she had affected to let fall accidentally into the arena. This he does, to the amazement of the crowd; at the end, however, events take an unexpected turn. -- Leitmotives accompany aspects of the drama as it unfolds, alternating between the animals in the arena and the nobility in the gallery. -- Though designed to be spoken and played by the same person, the work can equally well be performed by a speaker and cellist. Care should be taken with balance, particularly during 'forte' passages. The spoken delivery of the poem should be bold and spontaneous in order to enhance the dramatic effect of the narrative.' -- Graham Waterhouse
Der Handschuh ("The Glove")

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