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Anna Moffo & Helen Donath - E. Humperdinck "Hänsel und Gretel" Abendsagen (Evening prayer)

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Uploaded on Mar 2, 2011

Engelberlt Humperdinck
"Hänsel und Gretel"
Abendsegen (Evening prayer)
Anna Moffo - Hänsel
Helen Donath - Gretel
Conductor - Kurt Eichhorn
Munchener Rundfunkorchester
Recording 1971

Paintings:
Chihiro Iwasaki ( Flowers with cat, Boy and Girl)
Eve Wiemer (Rabits, Birds & Owls) - see her biography on Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys Choir) - J. Brahms "Wiegenlied" (Cradle Song) Op. 49, No. 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIKAjA...
Website : www.galerie-nordlicht.de

Special thanks to Eve Wiemer

"Hänsel und Gretel" -Synopsis-
Hansel and Gretel are the young children of a poor woodcutter. When a great famine settles over the land, the woodcutter's second wife concocts a plan to take the children into the woods and leave them there to fend for themselves, so that she and her husband, with two fewer mouths to feed, might not starve. The woodcutter opposes the plan but finally, and reluctantly, submits to his wife's scheme. They are unaware that in the children's bedroom, Hansel and Gretel have overheard them. After the parents have gone to bed, Hansel sneaks out of the house and gathers as many white pebbles as he can, then returns to his room, reassuring Gretel that God will not forsake them.
The next day, the family walk deep into the woods and Hansel lays a trail of white pebbles. After their parents abandon them, the children wait for the moon to rise and illuminate the pebbles. They return home safely, much to their stepmother's horror. Once again provisions become scarce and the stepmother angrily orders her husband to take the children further into the woods and leave them there to die. Hansel and Gretel attempt to gather more pebbles, but find the doors locked and escape impossible. The following morning, the family treks into the woods. Hansel takes a slice of bread and leaves a trail of bread crumbs for them to follow home. However, after they are once again abandoned, they find that the birds have eaten the crumbs and they are lost in the woods. After days of wandering, they follow a beautiful white bird to a clearing in the woods, and discover a cottage built of bread and cakes with windowpanes of clear sugar. Hungry and tired, the children begin to eat the rooftop of the house, when the door opens and a "very old woman" emerges and lures the children inside, with the promise of soft beds and delicious food. Their hostess is a "wicked witch" who waylays children to cook and eat them.
The next morning, the witch locks Hansel in an iron cage in the garden and forces Gretel into becoming a slave. The witch feeds Hansel regularly to fatten him up, but Hansel cleverly offers a bone he found in the cage and the witch feels it, thinking it to be his finger. Due to her blindness, she is fooled into thinking Hansel is still too thin to eat. After weeks of this, the witch grows impatient and decides to eat Hansel, "be he fat or lean."
She prepares the oven for Hansel, but decides she is hungry enough to eat Gretel, too. She coaxes Gretel to the open oven and prods her to lean over in front of it to see if the fire is hot enough. Gretel, sensing the witch's intent, pretends she does not understand what she means. Infuriated, the witch demonstrates, and Gretel instantly shoves the witch into the oven, slams and bolts the door, leaving "the ungodly witch to burn to ashes". Gretel frees Hansel from the cage and the pair discover a vast treasure of precious stones. Putting the jewels into their clothing, the children set off for home. A swan ferries them across an expanse of water and at home they find their father. His wife has died. The father has spent all his days lamenting the loss of his children, and is delighted to see them safe and sound. With the witch's wealth, they all live happily ever after.

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