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Vocal forces:

Death: soprano

Life: soprano

Putzi (young Franz Liszt): tenor

Devil (Nicollò Paganini): baritone

"Eduardo Alonso-Crespo" Putzi "Claudio Aprile"
"Eduardo Alonso-Crespo" Putzi "Claudio Aprile"

Orchestral forces:

2 flutes (2nd. also piccolo)
2 oboes
2 clarinets
2 bassoons

2 horns
2 trumpets
1 trombone

percussion (1 player)


Approximate duration: 72 minutes

Putzi - Eduardo Alonso Crespo 01.jpg

Choreographic forces (optional):

Companions of Life and Death:

Death's Chevaliers Servants (2 dancers)
Life's Aide de chambre : (1 dancer)

Maria: dancer

Optional detail:


If production costs allow, a small "court" of assistants can be added to both Life and Death. This allows including a choreography for both "courts" during the appearances of those characters. In the case of the production for the premiere, two “chevaliers servants” were included to accompany Death and an “aide de chambre” to accompany Life.

"Eduardo Alonso-Crespo" Putzi "Claudio Aprile"

About the stage setting

  • The work requires only three tableaux. The first must hint at an old country road with certain surrealist overtones (Scene 1). The second must recreate Franz Liszt's Parisian apartment, with more or less realism according to the criteria of the set designer, but always with somewhat ghostly nuances (Scenes 2, 3 and 4). The third a similar apartment, this time in Rome (Scene 5). In case production limitations require it, the two apartments can be identical. The production budget of each case will dictate different solutions. The old country road, for example, can be represented in a curtain that covers the Parisian apartment in front, to lift it up and discover the room before starting Scene 2 and leaving this scenery until the end.

  • Life's and Death's entrances to the premises of Franz Liszt's apartment must be accompanied by stage or lighting effects that make it possible to delimit the real world (Putzi and Paganini) from the fantastic (Life and Death).

  • As far as possible, Life should be tall and slim, with an exaggerated naïve air close to stupidity, while Death should be short and plump, with an almost ridiculous malicious air.

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