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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Czech music has a lengthy tradition of Faustian settings extending back to the nineteenth century. Two important Faust compositions from the mid-twentieth century were created by the composer, writer, and poet Josef Berg. Berg’s position in post–World War II music resembled the story of Doctor Faustus in that he was faced with the choice of an official existence provided by the Czechoslovak Composers' Union or a life in isolated opposition. After starting his career as an optimistic supporter of communism, Berg shifted to a critical mode involving irony and parody. In the 1960s, Berg worked on two different adaptations of the Faust theme entitled Johanes doktor Faustus (Johanes Doctor Faustus). The first was created as a chamber opera for three persons and a small ensemble, while the second was conceived as a grand opera inspired by the poetics of folk puppet theater.

Keywords: Faust, Josef Berg, puppet theater, opera, Johanes doktor Faustus

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