Humperdinck served as an assistant to Wagner ten years prior to the debut of this opera; that relationship is heard as well as his association with Richard Strauss, who conducted the premirer of "Hänsel and Gretel" in 1893. Presented near Christmas, the opera has since been associated with that season. The libretto was written by Adelheid Wette, Humperdinck's sister, after the famed brother Grimm fairy tale.This excerpt follows from Act II, scene 2, "Evening Prayer" to scene 3 "Pantomime", arranged to utilize the modern symphonic band. Vocal solos have been incorporated into the ensemble as tutti melodic lines, and modulations introducing the "Pantomime" are scored delicately to retain needed clarity and provide easier access. Here Suzuki writes to capture the original sound image, as seen in the composer's score.
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