scenic oratorio “Hagadah
” based on a text by
is the most
important work of this
composer from the early period of his emigration to
which he recalled his Jewish roots and placed himself at the service of the Zionist
movement. The traces of a complicated process of creation can also be found in the
draft for the Moses aria in the fifth part of the work.
sent his drafts of
the text from Prague
environs, where Dessau
been living since 1933. The latter’s compositional drafts
then were sent back to
In the draft, the composer asked for a text supplement, which
he later received by mail on the same sheet of paper. Despite the difficult working
conditions, the oratorio was largely completed between 1934
and 1936, but the planned performance at the
Frankfurt am Main
1936 fell through. When
1939, he took the sketches, drafts and the score with him.
However, the composer’s return to
1948 did not mark the end of his work’s odyssey. Once
again it became a pawn in political upheavals, and even the history of its
performance held some pitfalls.
Paul Dessau, Hagadah, Paris / Herblay 1934-1936 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History,
<https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-213.en.v1> [February 25, 2024].