/ Brand

Chamber opera 1988


The highly dramatic story of this short-opera takes place in a city on fire. The light of the flames from the burning houses is seen on the walls of the room, where the two brothers – both of them firemen – are tidying themselves up after a night of hard work in the burning city. Their mother shows up with water for the shaving. At this moment begins the fatal competition between the brothers to obtain their mother´s attention and appreciation, which leads to the gory culmination of this Cain and Abel-drama.

The music is basically conceived as a symbolic portrait of this city on fire, powdered with ashes – the city “burning within all people”, as the mother puts it. Thus the music creates the psychological atmosphere in which the characters act. A kind of sonorous “leitmotiv”-technique points to the central dramatic connection between fire, passion and blood.


”…Sanne Bjergs Cain and Abel story is a ”real” libretto… Her story is elementary, important and strong in its emotional charge, and her stylization is already musical form: rythm, themes, phrases and periods, a text that works with music rather than against it”. Jan Jacoby, Politiken 1/8 1989

Photo from Lerchenborg Musikdage July 1989



Niels Rosing-Schow

First performance:
Lerchenborg Musikdage July 1989

Other performances:

Musical performance in Tivoli, Copenhagen August 1989
Revival at Statens Museum for Kunst, October 1990

30 min.

Alto, baritone, tenor

Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Violin, Cello

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