Extensive musical setting for the play by Euripides, to be performed in the original Greek. The score consists of orchestral accompaniment with much choral work by two male choirs to support the play itself which is declaimed against the music or spoken unaccompanied. Flexible staging is indicated. The orchestral forces required are 2 flutes, 2 hautboys, 2 clarinets in B flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, contra bass tuba, timpani, harp and strings.
Synopsis: The god Apollo has conceded to Admetus, King of Pherae in Thessaly, the right to appoint another in his place when Thánatos (Death) comes to claim the king. Admetus fails to find a willing replacement until his wife, Alcestis, offers herself. The demi-god Heracles (Hercules) arrives on the day Death is to take Alcestis. He meets the grief-stricken Admetus who urges Heracles to remain in his house as a guest. Alcestis dies. Out of pity for the plight of both Alcestis and Admetus, Heracles pursues Thánatos, wrestles him into submission and brings Alcestis home to her repentant husband.
- M-H 1/1-1
Autograph full score. Brown leather-bound volume tooled in a flower design at the edges. 39 cm x 50 cm x 3 cm. Damaged spine lettered ‘ALKESTIS’ (c.f. Alcestis elsewhere) in black. Two front papers. 1st recto of these is signed in red pencil ‘GWL Marshall‑Hall.’ 30-stave score paper, no imprint, black inked. 175 paginations of score paper inscribed in pencil on the lower right corner with a second pagination at the top right corner. Page l is inscribed in pencil: ALKESTIS. The score begins at p.5, which is inscribed with the title in Greek, then: ‘Act I. Introduction.’ and signed ‘G.W.L. Marshall‑Hall. 25 March 98’, the date copying of this score commenced. The scoring is: 2 flutes, 2 hautboys, 2 clarinets in B, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, trumpets in C, 3 trombones, contra bass tuba, timpani, harp and strings.
The Introduction ends at p.12, and the score continues at p.13 with ‘Act I. Melodrama.’ The spoken Greek is present in the written score on pp.13–18, but generally the words of the actors are present only on cut-out sections of the published play in Greek which are pasted in throughout. English occurs sporadically throughout the score in pencil wherever space has allowed. It would seem that the work was sung in Greek wherever the chorus was introduced, but, to aid understanding for the singers, an English translation has been filled in.
At p.21, the scoring is again indicated, the hautboys being replaced by the words: ‘20 bars’ and with the addition of timpani. At this page also, two TTBB ‘semi‑choruses’ are introduced. At p.85 the page is headed ‘Finale. Act I.’ Act I ends at p.91. ‘Act II Introduction’’ begins at p.93. At p.119 a stage direction in English is added in red pencil. At p.151 the word ‘chorus’ is written in the right margin. Act II ends at p.126. ‘Act III Introduction’ begins at p.129 and ends at p.159. ‘Act III Melodrama’ begins at p.161. and ends at p.164. ‘Finale. Act III’ begins at p.166 and ends at p.174 where the page is signed and dated: ‘FINIS. G.W.L. Marshall‑Hall. 17/4/98.’
- M-H 1/1-2: 1 to 5
Fragments of Alcestis.
M-H 1/1-2 1. Vocal and piano score fragment in black ink. Equates with the full score of Alcestis at M‑H l/l‑l from bar 2, p.63 of the lower pagination, to p.84. 6 pages (3 sheets) of 15-stave score paper once part of a 30-stave format but torn across at the half page. No pagination or imprint. Much overscoring at the second recto and verso and the third recto.
M-H 1/1-2 2. Single sheet of score paper written on one side only. 20 bars of an unidentified piano sketch in pencil, the vocal part not present. Apparently once part of M-H 1/1-2:1.
M-H 1/1-2 3. Vocal and piano score fragment, marked as ‘Chorus VI.’ Equates with the full score of Alcestis M‑H l/l‑l from p.151 to p.158. 12-stave score paper with a circle emblem imprint and the words ‘AUSTRAL Nr.3’ within. Black inked. The first recto margin holds the pencilled inscription: ‘Prof. Marshall‑Hall.’ 8 paginations. Slip of additional notation at p.3.
M-H 1/1-2: 4. Vocal and piano score of Chorus 1 & 2 of Alcestis. Equates with the full score at M‑H l/l‑l from p.21 to bar 7 of p.61 of the lower pagination. 14-stave score paper, imprinted ‘Austral Nr.2’ within a circle.
M-H 1/1-2: 5. Vocal and piano score of a section of Act II of Alcestis and another of Act II. Equates with the full score at M‑H l/l‑l from bar 3 of p.14 to p.17 for the first recto and verso of the two sheets of the archive. This first sheet holds the imprint ‘Austral Nr.2’ within a circle. The second sheet is torn and though possibly once joined to the first sheet does not continue the score from that point, though it is also black inked as a vocal and piano score with Greek wording. The first sheet holds a pencilled underlay of the Greek original which appears to be a phonetic version to aid the choir in pronunciation. The second sheet is possibly bars 5 and 6 of p.99 to p.100 of Act II in M‑H l/l‑l, in reduced form.
M-H 1/1-2: 6. Blank page among the Alcestis fragments. 12-stave score paper.
- M-H 1/1-3: 1 to 18
Orchestral parts of Alcestis. A brown paper folder, 28cm x 36.5cm, contains orchestral parts. The cover is inscribed in red pencil: ‘Alcestis. Divinite du Stisc.’ also spelt ALCESTES on some parts. 12-stave score paper imprinted ‘Bell Brand No.3(a)’ with a bell emblem above for all except M-H 1/1-3: 9.
Present are: 4 first violin parts, 5 second violin, 2 viola, 1 violoncello, 1 double bass, 1 Hautboy, 1 clarinet 1 bassoon, 1 trumpet, 1 French horn.