Incidental Music by Hugo Distler Discovered
The incidental music to Ludwig Tieckís fairytale drama Bluebeard by Hugo Distler (1908-1942), long believed to be lost, was surprisingly rediscovered in the summer of 1999 when the autograph score of the Overture to Act I showed up in Lübeck. It fits seamlessly to the performance material which coincidentally emerged at about the same time in the archives of Bärenreiter-Verlag in Kassel. The Bluebeard music thus becomes the most comprehensive completed work of Distlerís last period of creativity.
The celebrated director Jürgen Fehling commissioned Distler in 1940 to compose incidental music to Tieckís infrequently performed fairytale in four acts (1797) for Berlinís Schiller Theater. Distler began to write in September, finishing in short order for the premiere that was to take place on New Yearís Eve. It never took place, however. Fehling and General Manager Heinrich George had a huge fight and the Bluebeard production was summarily canceled, leaving Distlerís score unperformed.
Distler is best known for his choral and organ works. The music to Bluebeard, distributed by his principal publisher, Bärenreiter-Verlag, lends it self to concert or semistaged performance as well as the originally intended accompaniment to Tieckís play.