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16. June 2014

LohengrinSalvatore Sciarrino

Azione invisibile per solista, stromenti e voci

Sciarrino's »Azione invisibile per solista, stromenti e voci« of 1982 is among his most successful works and is at the same time considered a cornerstone of the work he produced in his mature years. In an ideal and typical way »Lohengrin« shows the radical ...

Sciarrino's »Azione invisibile per solista, stromenti e voci« of 1982 is among his most successful works and is at the same time considered a cornerstone of the work he produced in his mature years. In an ideal and typical way »Lohengrin« shows the radical reduction of the sound events and the extreme stylisation which are unmistakable characteristics of Sciarrino's work. The dramaturgic concept is extraordinary: »The sounds as such are already theatre. The drama of what is heard brings about an effect, a guest of the space.« The literary source is Jules Laforgue's »Lohengrin, fils de Parsifal« which the 26 year old poet published in 1886 together with five more parodies of famous archetypes. Salvatore Sciarrino condensed the text and radically rearranged it. In this he deleted almost all of the frivolous aspects, the redundancies which had a satirical effect and the encyclopaedic fireworks of the original, but he retained the night ambiance and the contrast of darkness and light which intersect each other repeatedly.

Musical dramaturgy searches for and finds its effect in the truly merciless reduction to the essence. The song can hardly be performed at all. The solo part must go into a complete exploration of vocal expression - from words as such to sounds and on to noise and sighs; incessantly, while gliding from one psychic condition into the next. The same is true of the small male voice choir which performs virtually like an instrument. The small orchestra is for the most part very much thinned out, often limiting itself to simple tonal bands, often remaining silent for rather long periods. It acts as a protagonist only in the points critical from the theatre point of view - then it is extremely vehement in its intervention. As for the rest, for the most part it remains just an echo of the words. We mainly »listen to« the story through the closed (invisible) eyes of protagonist Elsa. Thus »Lohengrin« requests us to discover the reality of music more than ever before by listening to it in an unprejudiced state of mind.


0:55 h | no interval
VORWORT
Pre-performance lecture, 45 minutes prior to each performance (in German)