The Little Man In The Woods - Hansel and Gretel

The Little Man
In The Woods
(Engelbert Humperdinck )

The Little Man In The Woods
by Engelbert Humperdinck

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The “ The Little Man In The Woods ” is a musical theme for the character of The Sandman from the opera Hansel And Gretel. Hansel and Gretel was composed by Engelbert Humperdinck, who described it as a Märchenoper (fairy-tale opera). The libretto was written by Humperdinck’s sister, Adelheid Wette, based on the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”. It is much admired for its folk music-inspired themes, one of the most famous being the “Abendsegen” (“Evening Benediction”) from act 2. The idea for the opera was proposed to Humperdinck by his sister, who approached him about writing music for songs that she had written for her children for Christmas based on “Hansel and Gretel”. After several revisions, the musical sketches and the songs were turned into a full-scale opera. Humperdinck composed Hansel and Gretel in Frankfurt in 1891 and 1892. The opera was first performed in Hoftheater in Weimar on 23 December 1893, conducted by Richard Strauss. It has been associated with Christmas since its earliest performances and today it is still most often performed at Christmas time.