Heinrich August Marschner  
Heinrich August Marschner
Heinrich August Marschner (Zittau, 16 August 1795 – Hanover, 14 December 1861), was the most important composer of German opera between Weber and Wagner.[citation needed] To the extent that he is still remembered, it is largely for his operas Hans Heiling (1833), Der Vampyr (1828), and Der Templer und die Jüdin (1829), extremely popular in his lifetime. Marschner’s ability to depict supernatural horror by musical means is especially evident in the first two operas as well as in some of his ballads, such as "Die Monduhr" (c. 1839).

Next to his operas, Marschner's most significant musical contribution is to the Lied. The best of his works in this form are comparable with those by Carl Loewe. He also wrote a considerable amount of chamber music, including seven piano trios, as well as unaccompanied male choruses that were very popular in the nineteenth century. While Marschner’s operas strongly influenced Wagner, his chamber music, songs, and his cantata Klänge aus Osten (1842) were admired by Schumann, whose cantata Paradise and the Peri (1843) shows the older composer’s influence. Marschner’s Bagatelles for guitar (1814) have been taken up lately by some guitarists, and some of his chamber music is still very occasionally played. Among his operas, Hans Heiling and especially Der Vampyr have been adapted and revived in recent years with considerable success.


Marschner was widely regarded as one of the most important composers in Europe from about 1830 until the end of the 19th century. He was a rival of Weber and friend of Beethoven and Mendelssohn. His operas often contain thematic material based on folksong, and this folk-influenced genre had begun with Weber's Der Freischütz (1821). The last of his operas, Austin, was first staged in 1852. It was not very well received, and later the increasingly renowned Wagner overshadowed him.

Schumann praised Marschner's piano trios lavishly. Marschner did not just toss off these works as an afterthought, but clearly devoted considerable time and effort to writing them. He gave the title "Grand Trio" to each of his works for piano, violin and cello, indicative of the importance he attached to them. In these pieces, one finds all of the emotions prevalent in the Romantic movement during the mid-19th century.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Vampire - 1828
Der Vampyr (The Vampire) is a Romantic opera in two acts by Heinrich Marschner. The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück (Marschner's brother-in-law) is based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut (1821) by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter, which itself was based on the short novel The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori. The first performance took place on 29 March 1828 in Leipzig, where it was a hit.

The opera is still occasionally performed, and, in 1992, an updated adaptation, entitled The Vampyr: A Soap Opera, with new lyrics by Charles Hart, starring Omar Ebrahim and produced by Janet Street-Porter, was serialised on BBC television. The New Orleans Opera Association opened their 2013-14 season with Der Vampyr.

In June 2014, OperaHub in Boston premiered a new English-language of the adaptation of Der Vampyr by John J King that spoofs more modern vampire stories such as Twilight, Dracula, the Vampire Chronicles, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Contemporary Der Vampyr poster, from 1828


Place: Scotland
Time: the eighteenth century.

Act 1
Scene 1: After midnight

At a Witches' Sabbath, the Vampire Master tells Lord Ruthven that if he cannot sacrifice three virgin brides within the next 24 hours, he will die. If he can, he will be granted another year of life. The clock strikes one, and Ruthven's first victim, Janthe, arrives for a clandestine meeting, although she is due to marry another on the following day. Berkley, having discovered that she is missing, is searching for her with his men, and Ruthven hides with her in a cave. Her screams alert the search-party, and the body and the Vampire are discovered. Berkley stabs Ruthven and leaves him to die, but he is discovered by Aubry, whose life had been saved by Ruthven in the past. Ruthven pleads with Aubry to drag him into the moonlight so that he can revive, and Aubry, while doing so, realises that Ruthven is a vampire. He has to swear not to reveal this secret for twenty-four hours, or he will become a vampire, too.

Scene 2: Next morning

The 18-year-old Malwina and Aubry, with whom she is in love, are told by Davenaut that she must marry the Earl of Marsden. Aubry recognises the Earl as Lord Ruthven, but is told that he is Ruthven's brother, who has been abroad for some time. Aubry, however, recognises a wound that proves that the Earl really is Ruthven, and is about to denounce him when Ruthven reminds him of his oath and the consequences that will follow if he breaks it. The preparations for Malwina's marriage to "Marsden" begin.

Act 2
Scene 1: Near Marsden castle

Emmy awaits her husband-to-be, George. News of Janthe's gruesome death emerges, and Emmy recounts the legend of the Vampire. Ruthven appears and impresses the villagers with his largesse. He flirts with Emmy until, interrupted by George, he departs - though by then he has extracted a promise from Emmy that she will dance with him later.

Scene 2

Aubry tries to persuade Ruthven to give up his claim to Malwina, but is again reminded of the fate that awaits if he breaks his oath. Ruthven, in a soliloquy, rails against the torments that a Vampire must face.

Scene 3

Aubry is torn by his choice between breaking his oath and saving Malwina, or keeping quiet and losing her to the Vampire. George asks Aubry to use his influence to stop "Marsden" from seducing Emmy. Aubry warns George that he must keep watch over Emmy - but already she is being led into the forest by Ruthven.

Scene 4: Outside the inn

Blunt, Gadshill, Scrop and Green sing of the pleasures of drink. Blunt's wife Suse upbraids the men, to the delight of the onlookers, but a dishevelled George arrives, recounting how he followed Emmy and "Marsden", only to find him standing over her dead body. He had shot the Earl immediately, leaving him to die in the moonlight. The villagers express their sympathy and sorrow.

Scene 5: In Davenaut's castle

Malwina is to be married to "Marsden" before midnight. Aubry warns her that she is in danger, and she puts her trust in God. The wedding-guests arrive, followed by Ruthven, who apologises for his lateness. Malwina and Aubry make one last appeal to Davenaut, who throws Aubry out and orders the wedding to proceed. A thunderstorm approaches, and Aubry returns, having decided to reveal Ruthven's secret at no matter what cost to himself. Suddenly, the clock strikes one, and Aubry, released from his oath, reveals that "Marsden" is Lord Ruthven, the Vampire. Ruthven, having failed in his task, is struck by lightning and descends into Hell. Now Davenaut asks Malwina to forgive him and consents to her marriage to Aubry, to general rejoicing.

Marschner scored the opera for two piccolos and two flutes (not doubling), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, serpent, four horns, two clarion natural trumpets, three trombones, timpani, tamtam, and strings, together with two offstage horns and two offstage trumpets.

Apart from some references to Beethoven, and, in the Ruthven/Emmy/George scene, a similarity with Don Giovanni/Zerlina/Masetto, Marschner's opera is a notable link between two other operas with supernatural elements, Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz (1821) and Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman (1843). Much of the music is reminiscent of Weber: one example is the Aubry/Malwina duet whose tune also appears in the overture, and there is a marked similarity between the Witches' Sabbath and the Wolf's Glen (Freischütz). Marschner, however, made no attempt to introduce any local colour into his score. On the other hand, Emmy's Legend of the Vampire prefigures Senta's aria about the story of the Flying Dutchman, and the identical description, "der bleiche Mann" (the pallid man), appears in both.

Wagner, in fact, conducted Der Vampyr when at Würzburg in 1833. When his brother, who sang the part of Aubry, complained that the aria "Wie ein schöner Frühlingsmorgen" was not effective enough, Wagner replaced Marschner's original agitato ending with a new allegro of his own. Despite being well received at the time, Wagner's allegro is rarely performed.

The opera is normally performed in the 1924 edition by Hans Pfitzner.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marschner - Overture: Der Vampyr (The Vampire)
Overture to the 1828 opera "Der Vampyr" (The Vampire) by German composer Heinrich August Marschner (1795-1861), an pivotal figure in German Romantic opera. The opera is based on John Polidori's short story "The Vampyre."

Helmuth Froschauer conducts the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln.

Marschner - Der Vampyr: Aubry's aria, "Wie ein schöner Frühlingsmorgen" (Jonas Kaufmann)
Edgar Aubry's wonderful aria "Wie ein schöner Frühlingsmorgen" (Like a beautiful spring morning) from the Romantic opera "Der Vampyr" (The Vampire) by Heinrich August Marschner (17951861).

The famous German tenor Jonas Kaufmann sings Aubry, accompanied by Helmuth Froschauer and the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln.

Marschner "Der Vampyr" -- Neuhold -- Protschka -- Nimsgern 1980
Der Vampyr gilt als wichtiges Bindeglied zwischen den Werken Carl Maria von Webers und Richard Wagners.
Blunt: Andréa Snarski
Diener: Renzo Scorsoni
Edgar Aubry: Josef Protschka
Emmy: Anastasia Tomaszewska Schepis
George Dibdin: Oslavio di Credico
James Gadshill: Carlo di Giacomo
Janthe: Galina Pisarenko
Lord Ruthven: Siegmund Nimsgern
Malwina: Carole Farley
Richard Scrop: Romano Truffelli
Robert Green: Armando Caforio
Sir Berkley: Wolfgang Lenz
Sir Humphrey Davenaut: Martin Egel
Suse: Nucci Condò
Vampyrmeister: Peter Boom

Heinrich Marschner "Der Vampyr"
Romantic opera in two acts
Libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück
Coro della RAI di Roma
Orchestra della RAI di Roma
Conductor: Günter Neuhold

Marschner - Overture: Prinz Friedrich von Homburg, Op. 56 (1821)
Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
Marschner - Overture: Lukretia, Op. 67 (1827)
Overture: Lukretia, Op. 67 (1827)
Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
Marschner - Overture: Hans Heiling (1829)
Overture to the 1829 German Romantic opera "Hans Heiling" by Heinrich August Marschner (1795-1861). The plot is based on folk legend and deals with the titular son of the Queen of the Erdgeister (spirits of the Earth), who falls in love with a mortal woman. The overture to "Hans Heiling" is unusual in that it follows a nearly fifteen-minute prologue.

George Alexander Albrecht conducts the Orchestra of RAI Torino.

Marschner - Overture: Des Falkners Braut, Op. 65 (1830)
Overture: Des Falkners Braut, Op. 65 (1830)

An operatic overture by German composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861). In 1830, he was appointed conductor at the Hanover Hoftheater; although by this time he was well-known in Hanover and Leipzig, he had not yet made his mark in Berlin. To this end, he composed the comic opera "Des Falkners Braut" (The Falconer's Bride), with a libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück, after Alexander Julius Carl Spindler. Even though the planned Berlin premiere never materialized due to the influence of Spontini in that city, the subsequent Leipzig premiere was very successful, leading the University to award Marschner an honorary doctorate. Three years later, he found success in Berlin as well with the staging of the Romantic opera "Hans Heiling".

Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice

Marschner - Overture: Der Bäbu, Op. 98 (1837)
Overture: Der Bäbu, Op. 98 (1837)

An operatic overture by German composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861). "Der Bäbu" is a comic opera with a libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück that centers around the mischief of the wily title character, who is a slave in the household of Sultan Ali. Set in colonial Calcutta, characters in this opera include Muslims, Hindus and Englishmen. In some respects, "Der Bäbu" resembles Carl Maria von Weber's earlier comic opera "Abu Hassan".

Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice

Marschner - Grande Ouverture solenne, Op. 78 (1842)
Grande Ouverture solenne, Op. 78 (1842)

A concert overture by the German Romantic composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861), written in honour of the birth of a son to Queen Victoria. Marschner incorporated the English national anthem into the thematic material treated in this overture.

Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice

Marschner - Overture: Kaiser Adolph von Nassau, Op. 130 (1845)
Overture: Kaiser Adolph von Nassau, Op. 130 (1845)

An operatic overture by German composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861). The Romantic opera "Kaiser Adolph von Nassau", with a libretto by Heribert Rau, was premiered in Dresden in 1845 with the help of Richard Wagner, although it was not financially successful. The plot concerns the historical King Adolf of Nassau, who ruled Germany from 1292 to 1298. Adolf of Nassau was elected "Rex romanorum" (King of the Romans), but he was never crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope.

Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice

Marschner - Overture: Der Goldschmied von Ulm (1856)
Overture: Der Goldschmied von Ulm (1856)

An orchestral overture by German composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861). "Der Goldschmied von Ulm" (The Goldsmith of Ulm) is a play by Salomon Hermann von Mosenthal (who also wrote the libretto to Otto Nicolai's "The Merry Wives of Windsor"), for which Marschner wrote incidental music. The play's Gothic-Romantic plot recalls Marschner's opera "Hans Heiling" in its supernatural elements. The protagonist, Heinrich, is a goldsmith's apprentice who strikes a bargain with the Devil in order to obtain riches and the love of the beautiful Katharina. After numerous changes of fortune, Heinrich - poor, rich, then poor again - is released from his deal with the Devil and united with his beloved Katharina.

Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice

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