Heinrich Sutermeister



Oper in einem Akt von Albert Rösler frei nach der Erzählung von Jeremias Gotthelf


With his first opera The Black Spider, written in 1935 on a commission from Radio Berne, Heinrich Sutermeister established himself as one of the pioneers of radio opera. Sutermeister summed up very concisely the specific demands made by this genre: "Radio opera is an opera that is designed for the ear alone, because it has to forgo the visual element. It has to be precise and vivid, so that the ear can understand the action and the scene where the action takes place. In The Black Spider, the listener himself must recognize the scenes of the action without any help from the narrator." The special requirements of a radio opera were perhaps the reason that the librettist Albert Rösler dealt very freely with his literary source, namely what is probably the best-known novella by Jeremias Gotthelf: The Black Spider, from the collection entitled Pictures and legends from Switzerland (1842). The action, thus simplified and reduced to four people (plus chorus), is divided into clearly-defined scenes. Sutermeister's terse musical treatment provides colour to this scenic outline in a manner almost akin to a wood-cut. There is no mistaking the proximity to the music of Carl Orff, his friend and mentor of the time.


Heinrich Sutermeister (1910-1995)


Ludmila Zelenka (Sopran), Liliane Zürcher (Mezzosopran), Matthias Widmaier (Tenor), Ulrich Studer (Bass), Orpheus Chor Bern, Mitglieder des Berner Sinfonieorchesters, Peter Michael Garst (Leitung).

CD order number

MGB 6147

EAN code


CHF 22.00 Add