Heckelphone / Bass Oboe Repertoire

Excerpt: Operas using heckelphone (chronological)

by Peter Hurd; reorganized and amended by Holger Hoos, editor-in-chief since 2020

version 2 (1 February 2022)

This collection is based on the catalogue of musical works requiring heckelphone or bass oboe instrumentation assembled by Peter Hurd beginning in 1998. For this new edition, the original version of the repertoire list has been edited for accuracy, completeness and consistency, and it has been extended with a number of newly discovered pieces.

Some entries could not (yet) be rigorously verified for accuracy; these were included nonetheless, to provide leads for future investigation, but are marked clearly. Pieces were selected for inclusion based solely on the use of heckelphone, bass oboe or lupophone, without any attempt at assessing their artistic merit. Arrangements of pieces not originally intended for these instruments were included when there was clear evidence that they had found a significant audience.

We gratefully acknowledge contributions by Crawford Best, Ulrich Brokamp, Michael Finkelman, Francis Firth, Alain Girard, Thomas Hiniker, Robert Howe, Gunther Joppig, Georg Otto Klapproth, Mark Perchanok, Andrew Shreeves and Michael Sluman.

1900-1909

Rossini, Gioachino (1792-1868): Guillaume Tell (arrangement by Willem de Haan), 1905

Remarks: due to a misunderstanding of a common Italian practice for notating cor anglais parts in bass clef, one octave below the sound of the instrument, there were several performances that used the newly introduced heckelphone instead of cor anglais in this piece (notably for the well-known solo in the overture); the first such performance, on 8 January 1905 in Darmstadt under Willem de Haan, was the first occasion on which the heckelphone was heard in public; the original opera in four acts was first performed on 3 August 1829 in Paris, France, by the Opéra de Paris under François-Antoine Habeneck

Duration: 240min

Tags: heckelphone; opera, arrangement

Additional information can be found here.

Strauss, Richard (1864-1949): Salome, op. 54, 1903-1905

Publisher: Adolph Fürstner, Berlin

Remarks: opera in one act; libretto by the composer, after the play by Oscar Wilde, in a German translation by Hedwig Lachmann; dedicated to Sir Edgar Speyer; premiere on 9 December 1905 in Dresden, Germany, under Ernst von Schuch, with Emil Sehnert playing heckelphone #10

Duration: 100min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Schillings, Max von (1868-1933): Moloch (Musikalische Tragödie), op. 20, 1903-1906

Publisher: Bote & Bock, Berlin (1906); Boosey & Hawkes (rental)

Remarks: libretto by Emil Gerhauser after Friedrich Hebbel; premiere on 8 December 1906 in Dresden, Germany, under Ernst von Schuch, with Emil Sehnert playing heckelphone #10

Duration: 160min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Braunfels, Walter (1882-1954): Prinzessin Brambilla (Phantasiestück nach E.T.A. Hoffmann), op. 12, 1906-1908  [?]this entry is only partially verified

Publisher: Lewy, München (1908); Universal Edition, Wien (1930)

Remarks: original two-act version completed in 1908; revised in 1929/30; dedicated to Max von Schillings; premiere of the original version on 25 March 1909 at the Staatstheater Stuttgart under Max von Schillings

Duration: 120min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Strauss, Richard (1864-1949): Elektra, op. 58, 1906-1908

Publisher: Adolph Fürstner, Berlin

Remarks: opera in one act; libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal; dedicated to Natalie and Willy Levi; premiere on 25 January 1909 in Dresden, Germany, under Ernst von Schuch, with Emil Sehnert playing heckelphone #10

Duration: 105min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


1910-1919

Delius, Frederick (1862-1934): Fennimore and Gerda (Two episodes from the life of Niels Lyhne in eleven pictures), 1908-1910

Publisher: Universal Edition, Wien

Remarks: German-language opera with four interludes; dedicated to Sir Thomas Beecham; premiere on 21 October 1919 at the Opernhaus in Frankfurt, Germany, under Gustav Brecher; according to Klapproth (2008), it is likely that the bass oboe part in the score was originally intended for heckelphone

Duration: 80min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Pahissa, Jaume (1880-1969): Canigó, 1910

Publisher: Biblioteca de Catalunya (M 3702, ms)

Remarks: lyrical opera in three acts, based on a poem by Jacint Verdaguer

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Weingartner, Felix (1863-1942): Kain und Abel, op. 54, 1913

Publisher: Universal Edition (rental)

Remarks: opera in one act; dedicated to Ernst Ludwig Grossherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein; premiere on 17 May 1914 in Darmstadt, Germany

Duration: 75min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Schillings, Max von (1868-1933): Mona Lisa, op. 31, 1915

Publisher: Universal Edition; Drei Masken, Berlin (1918)

Remarks: libretto by Beatrice von Dovsky; dedicated to the Philosophy Faculty of the University of Heidelberg; premiere on 26 September 1915 in Stuttgart, Germany, under Max von Schillings, with the heckelphone part played by Carl Riedel

Duration: 150min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


1930-1939

Hindemith, Rudolf (1900-1974): Konradin, der letzte Hohenstaufe, 1937-1938  [?]this entry is only partially verified

Publisher: Hindemith-Institut, Frankfurt (ms)

Remarks: opera in 3 acts

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Monteverdi, Claudio (1567-1643): L'Orfeo (adaptation by Carl Orff, 1939

Remarks: opera in three acts; second and final version, with one heckelphone part

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


1950-1959

Hindemith, Paul (1895-1963): Cardillac (revised version), op. 39, 1952

Publisher: Schott Music, Mainz

Remarks: opera in four acts based on a text by Ferdinand Lion; the original version of 1926 does not appear to include a heckelphone part, while the revised version from 1952 specifies heckelphone as an alternate for the tenor saxophone part; premiere on 20 June 1952 at the Stadttheater Zürich, Switzerland, under Victor Reinshagen

Duration: 130min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.


1970-1979

Eyser, Eberhard (1932-): Abu Said (Der Sohn des Kalifen), 1970  [?]this entry is only partially verified

Publisher: Breitkopf & Härtel

Remarks: opera in 1 act; libretto by Axel Strindberg; revised 1974; premiere 17 October 1976 in Stockholm

Duration: 90min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Weishappel, Rudolf (1921-2006): König Nicolo, 1971

Publisher: Proscenium Artist Management

Remarks: opera in 2 acts and 6 scenes, based on a drama Frank Wedekind; the first, shorter version from 1953 also used heckelphone

Duration: 130min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Weishappel, Rudolf (1921-2006): Vokalsymphonie König Nicolo, 1977

Publisher: Proscenium Artist Management

Remarks: symphony in four movements for solo soprano, mixed chorus and large orchestra, after the opera "König Nicolo"

Duration: 35min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.


1980-1989

Henze, Hans Werner (1926-2012): Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, 1981

Publisher: Schott Music (rental)

Duration: 180min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Chailly, Luciano (1920-2002): La cantatrice calva, 1982

Publisher: Ricordi

Remarks: chamber opera in one act; text by Eugène Ionesco

Duration: 105min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Henze, Hans Werner (1926-2012): Die Englisch Katze (The English Cat), 1980-1983

Publisher: Schott Music (BN 3364-20)

Remarks: a story for singers and instrumentalists by Edward Bond; commissioned by Süddeutscher Rundfunk and the Württemberg State Theatre Stuttgart; dedicated to Hans-Peter Doll; premiere on 2 June 1983 in Schwetzingen, Germany, by the Württembergische Staatsoper Stuttgart under Dennis Russell Davies; revised version 1990

Duration: 130min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Reimann, Aribert (1936-): Troades, 1984-1985

Publisher: Schott Music (rental)

Remarks: opera, based on a text by Franz Werfel; commissioned by the Bayerische Staatsoper München; premiere on 7 July 1986 in Munich, Germany, under Gerd Albrecht

Duration: 120min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Aho, Kalevi (1949-): Hyönteiselämää (Insect Life / Aus dem Leben der Insekten), 1985-1987

Publisher: Fennica Gehrman

Remarks: opera in two acts; the libretto of Kalevi Aho is based on a play by Josef and Karel Capek; tape music composed 1996; commissioned by the City of Savonlinna and the Savonlinna Opera Festival; premiere on 27 September 1996 by the chorus and orchestra of the Finnish National Opera under Pertti Pekkanen

Duration: 2h45

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.


1990-1999

Lombardi, Luca (1945-): Faust (Un travestimento), 1986-1990

Publisher: Ricordi

Remarks: opera in 3 acts and 12 scenes; text by E. Sanguineti (after Goethe); commissioned by Theater Basel

Duration: 150min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Reimann, Aribert (1936-): Das Schloß, 1989-1992

Publisher: Schott Music (rental)

Remarks: opera in 2 parts, based on a novel by Franz Kafka; premiere on 2 September 1992 in Berlin, Germany, under Michael Boder

Duration: 165min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Glanert, Detlev (1960-): Der Spiegel des großen Kaisers, op. 24, 1989-1993

Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes

Remarks: opera in two acts; libretto by Detlev Glanert and Ulfert Becker, based on the novel by Arnold Zweig; premiere on 23 November 1995 at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, under Peter Theiler (director) and Jun Märkl (conductor)

Duration: 110min

Tags: heckelphone, bass oboe; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Pintscher, Matthias (1971-): Thomas Chatterton, 1993

Publisher: Bärenreiter (BA 7371)

Remarks: opera in two parts after Hans Hanny Jahnn; premiere on 25 May 1998 in Dresden, Germany, under Marc Albrecht; a reduced version, still using heckelphone, has been completed in 2000; a separate, 23min piece from the opera for baritone and orchestra has been published by Bärenreiter (BA 7380) and also uses heckelphone

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Riehm, Rolf (1937-): Das Schweigen der Sirenen, 1994

Publisher: Ricordi (Sy. 3217)

Remarks: music theatre; an earlier version for soprano, tenor and orchestra also exists; based on a short story by Franz Kafka; premiere on 9 October 1994 in Stuttgart, Germany

Duration: 90min

Tags: heckelphone; opera, orchestra

Additional information can be found here.

Aho, Kalevi (1949-): Salaisuuksien kirja (The Book of Secrets), 1998

Publisher: Fennica Gehrman

Remarks: opera in one act and four scenes, libretto by Paavo Rintala and Kalevi Aho; commissioned by Lahti Opera for the celebration of the Millennium; premiere on 15 July 2000 at the Savonlinna Opera Festival

Duration: 1h14

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.


2000-2009

Everhartz, Jury (1971-): Der Kommissar, 2002

Remarks: libretto by Kristine Tornquist; premiere 15 March 2002 at Jugendstiltheater am Steinhof, Vienna

Duration: 141min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Reimann, Aribert (1936-): Medea, 2007-2009

Publisher: Schott Music (ED 20974)

Remarks: opera in four images; commissed by Wiener Staatsoper; based on a play by Franz Grillparzer; premiere on 28 February 2010 in Vienna, Austria, under Michael Boder

Duration: 120min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.


2010-2019

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883): Die Walküre (Erster Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen"; arrangement by Eberhard Kloke), 2011

Publisher: Universal Edition

Remarks: arrangement of Wagner's 1856 opera by Eberhard Kloke for soloists and medium-size orchastra

Duration: 300min

Tags: heckelphone; opera, arrangement

Additional information can be found here.

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883): Das Rheingold (Vorabend des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Niebelunge"; arrangement by Eberhard Kloke), 2011

Publisher: Universal Edition (UE 35 618)

Remarks: arrangement of Wagner's 1854 opera by Eberhard Kloke for soloists and medium-size orchestra

Duration: 140min

Tags: heckelphone; opera, arrangement

Additional information can be found here.

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883): Siegfried (Zweiter Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen"; arrangement by Eberhard Kloke), 2012

Publisher: Universal Edition (UE 36 177)

Remarks: arrangement of Wagner's 1871 opera by Eberhard Kloke for soloists and medium-size orchastra

Duration: 300min

Tags: heckelphone; opera, arrangement

Additional information can be found here.

Sotelo, Maurico (1961-): El público, 2010-2013

Remarks: opera in five scenes and a prologue; libretto by Andrés Ibáñez, based on the play by Federico García Lorca; commissioned by Gerard Mortier for the Teatro Real de Madrid; premiere on 24 February 2015 in Madrid, Spain

Duration: 142min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Reimann, Aribert (1936-): L'Invisible (Trilogie lyrique), 2011-2017

Publisher: Schott Music (rental)

Remarks: based on three short plays by Maurice Maeterlinck; commissioned by Deutsche Oper Berlin; premiere on 8 October 2017 in Berlin, Germany, under Donald Runnicles

Duration: 90min

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here; a recording is available here.

Santos, Luís (2000): Anastasia, 2018  [??]this entry has not (yet) been verified

Tags: heckelphone; opera

Additional information can be found here.

Wagner, Richard (1813-1883): Götterdämmerung (Dritter Tag des Bühnenfestspiels "Der Ring des Nibelungen"; arrangement by Eberhard Kloke), 2018

Publisher: Universal Edition (UE 36 179)

Remarks: arrangement of Wagner's 1874 opera by Eberhard Klose for soloists, chorus and medium-size orchestra; premiere on 25 May 2019 in Würzburg, Germany, by Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg under Enrico Calesso

Duration: 300min

Tags: heckelphone; opera, arrangement

Additional information can be found here.


To suggest additions or corrections to the repertoire list, please contact heckelphone@gmx.net.
All rights reserved by Peter Hurd and Holger H. Hoos, 2022.