Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Engelbert Humperdinck - Hansel and Gretel: Prelude

for Chamber Ensemble

Engelbert Humperdinck's fairytale opera Hansel and Gretel was premiered in 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss, and was an immediate success. Its unique combination of folk-like melodies with Wagnerian rich harmony and orchestration captivated audiences worldwide. The opening 'Vorspiel' introduces many of the main melodic ideas that will feature throughout the opera. Humperdinck combines these melodies with ingenious counterpoint, as well as setting the scene for this most beguiling of fairy tales. This arrangement aims to create a full orchestral picture from a smaller ensemble. Hearing the clarity of individual lines can reveal hidden aspects of the score, adding an intimacy in the performing and listening experience, as well as enabling this work to be performed in smaller venues without enormous financial constraints.

Instrumentation (13 players): flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion (timpani, tambourine, triangle, cymbals), violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass

Available to purchase from Aria Editions here

Listen to a performance of the arrangement here: Hansel and Gretel Prelude (6’29”)