Schubert, Janacek, Beethoven &c

I mostly enjoyed this evening's cultural outing with a ballet performance on Schubert's Death and the Maiden, performed by the Amar Quartett. I just love string ensembles for their expressiveness, if well played. Admittedly though, I prefer my recording to the Amar's performance of tonight. If you ask nicely, I might put it up on the sidebar ...

Like i was saying, I did enjoy the really classical stuff. But as with all well meaning directors, the audience first had to endure some more recent works, namely Janacek's Kreutzersonata and Gavin Bryars' String Quartett No. 1, obviously also with some ballet thrown in, au sujet "En passant" and "Beauty 2.0". Now, call me reactionary, but I just don't get it. Take the case of the Kreutzersonata: I have been a fan of that piece by Beethoven for a long time, and I still love it, but I didn't have the foggiest that it was about that Tolstoj story until I saw the program! Reactionary - they don't like it when it gets obvious that they're just too dumb. Dumb - that's me. Anyway, the second bit was - conveniently - Beauty 2.0: we get the following images on scene: a flamingo (!), a breakdancer, an athlete, a face upside down and a kid with dog. And obviously some dancing. See above - but don't get me wrong: the individual elements were fine (I haven't heard such eery flageolets as in Bryars Quartett in a while!), it was "just" the combination.

Schubert was quite another story though - very well (and comprehensibly, even to hillbillies such as myself) thought out and choreographed. Not to talk about the execution, which was just flawless. I am always extremely fascinated by adaptions of materials in different media. Examples? The present ballet adaptation of Schubert's Quartett, the movie adaptation of the same, an old video adaptation (which I failed to find a reference to) of the Kreutzersonata, the way the Swiss author Friedrich Duerrenmatt adapted his "Stoffe" to paintings (go see them here, it's worth a visit!) - et j'en passe. I guess Almadovar's quote really holds true that everything in art is either biographical or plagiarism. Dissenting views, anyone?

No comments: