Die Harmonie der Welt
Opera by Paul Hindemith
Johannes Kepler, whose work inspired the opera and its title
TranslationThe Harmony of the World
Based onKepler's Harmonices Mundi
11 August 1957 (1957-08-11)

Die Harmonie der Welt (The Harmony of the World) is an opera in five acts by Paul Hindemith. The German libretto was by the composer.

The title of the opera is taken from Harmonices Mundi by the astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) who is the subject of the opera. Hindemith used the planetary system as a metaphor for his own musical arrangement of the chromatic scale.

The opera was completed in May 1957. Hindemith had previously composed a symphony of the same name in 1951.[1]

Performance history

It was first performed on 11 August 1957, at the Prinzregententheater, Munich, conducted by the composer.[2]

A truncated monaural recording of the opera appeared on the Stradivarius label, but a complete recording of the work had to wait until the digital era, when Marek Janowski conducted the entire opera for the Wergo label (see section Recordings).

Due to Kepler's association with his home town of Linz, Austria, performances of the opera were scheduled at the Landestheater Linz beginning on April 8, 2017, and continued for several performances into June, 2017. The Bruckner Orchestra Linz was conducted by Gerrit Prießnitz.[3] [4]


Roles, voice types, premiere cast
Role Voice type Premiere cast, 11 August 1957[5]
Conductor: Paul Hindemith
Susanna, Kepler's wife/Venus soprano Liselotte Fölser
Young Susanna, Kepler's daughter soprano
Katharina, Kepler's mother/Moon contralto Hertha Töpper
Wallenstein, warlord/Jupiter tenor Richard Holm
Ulrich Grüßer, Kepler's pupil/Mars tenor K. Wehofschlitz
Christoph Kepler tenor
Johannes Kepler, the astronomer/Earth baritone Josef Metternich
Emperor Rudolf II/Emperor Ferdinand II/Sun bass Kieth Engen
Daniel Hizler, priest/Mercury bass Joseph Knapp
Tansur, astrologer/Saturn bass Marcel Cordes
Baron Starhemberg baritone
Richter baritone


Set in the 17th century, the opera is the story of the search for universal harmony by the astronomer Johannes Kepler.


In 2002 WERGO released the world premiere recording as part of their Paul Hindemith Edition. This recording was made in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche [de] in Berlin-Dahlem in February/March 2000, with Marek Janowski conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and François Le Roux in the role of Johannes Kepler.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Opera Die Harmonie der Welt". Fondation Hindemith. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Die Harmonie der Welt". Schott Music. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  3. ^ Peter Jungblut (10 April 2017). "Kritik - Hindemiths Harmonie der Welt in Linz – Intellektueller Kraftakt". BR Klassík. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  4. ^ Petra und Helmut Huber (9 April 2017). "Linz/ Musiktheater: Die Harmonie der Welt von Paul Hindemith. Premiere". Online Merker. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  5. ^ Casaglia, Gherardo (2005). "Die Harmonie der Welt, 11 August 1957". L'Almanacco di Gherardo Casaglia (in Italian).
  6. ^ "On-line catalogue entry – Paul Hindemith – Die Harmonie der Welt". WERGO. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Review – Hindemith – Die Harmonie der Welt". MusicWeb International (Paul Shoemaker). September 2003. Retrieved 30 September 2010.

Further reading