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Music Text

Libretto by the composer (G)


On-stage: string quartet

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Friedrich-Wilhelmstädtisches Theater, Berlin
Company: Unknown


HAMMER, pensioner Buffo bass
IDA, his niece Soprano
ALFRED MOLL, composer Tenor
Time and Place

Hammer's country house, near a city. Middle of the 19th century


"Music can make you desperate these days! There is not a moment’s silence of this plague!" Hammer has barricaded himself in his country house because he cannot stand listening to music anymore. The reason, however, lies not with an oversensitivity of his auditory nerves, but with his offended vanity. Years ago, Hammer failed at his debut as a singer and does not want to be reminded of it. Nevertheless, that is what his niece Ida does, who is always singing and who wants to marry the composer Alfred Moll, of all people. But how is she to obtain the consent of her uncle? Under false pretences, Alfred has become a lodger with Hammer, for which he had to prove his complete lack of musicality. One evening, when Ida sings an old song to Alfred which had been a favourite with her family, Alfred has an idea how to cure Hammer from his melophobia …




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