Libretto by Heinrich Bulthaupt (G)
2S,M,T,3B; male chorus
Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock
|LITTLE HANOCH||Mezzo soprano or child's voice|
|THE VOICE OF THE LORD||Male Chorus|
The hut of the first human beings, late in the afternoon, in Biblical times
The first human beings are sitting in front of their hut: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Cain’s wife Adah and their son Hanoch. While Abel is praising the creation, Cain sits there brooding gloomily. When night falls, he remains alone and asks God to reveal the meaning of life. Instead of God, he is answered by Lucifer, the fallen angel, who tells him about sin and death. On the following morning, when Abel steps out of the hut in order to offer Jehovah fruit on the sacrificial altar, Cain starts a quarrel. He destroys the altar and strikes Abel dead. God punishes the fratricide with eternal damnation and marks him. Under thunder and lightning, Cain sets out to the mountains with his family.