Allerseelen, op.10 no.8
Ruhe, meine Seele, op.27 no.1
Waldseligkeit, op.49 no.1Cäcilie, op.27 no.2
Beethoven – Symphony no.5 in C minor, op.67
Angela Denoke (soprano)
Andris Nelsons (conductor)
Angela Denoke (soprano)
Andris Nelsons (conductor)
Carolyn Sampson (soprano)
tephanie Gonley, Martin Burgess (violins)
Michael Cox (flute)
Steven Devine (harpsichord)
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Edward Dusinberre, Károly Schranz (violins)
Geraldine Walther (viola)
András Fejér (cello)
Lawrence Power (viola)
Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bressler (violins)
Ori Kam (viola)
Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)
Royal Opera Chorus (chorus master: Renato Balsadonna)
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Alexander Joel (conductor)
|Mimì (Anita Hartig) and Rodolfo (Teodor Ilincai)|
Image: Bill Cooper
The passions are so vivid, particularly in Médée, that when this role was but declaimed it did not fail to make a great impression on the listeners. Mlle Rochois, one of the best singers in the world and who performs with warmth, finesse and intelligence, shone in this role and made the most of its beauties. All of Paris is enchanted...
The crimes committed in the concentration camps were now being talked about more or less openly, resulting in a growing sense of shame and horror. No one had known a thing. Everyone had been against it. The men and women of the occupying armies looked disbelievingly at us Germans, or their eyes were filled with loathing. Ever since then I have felt ashamed of our country and of my fellow Germans and our people. Wherever my travels have taken me, my origins – my nationality – have always caused me problems, even in
. Nor is it any wonder, since the devils who dragged us into this war did such unforgivable and unforgettable things to our neighbours, especially in Rome, not only in their persecution of the Jews but also following Mussolini’s fall from power and during the subsequent partisan struggles. Italy
… three representatives of the other wing – Boulez, my friend Gigi Nono and Stockhausen – leapt to their feet after only the first few bars and pointedly left the hall, eschewing the beauties of my latest endeavours. … I suddenly found ourselves [that is, he and Ingeborg Bachmann, who provided the texts] cold-shouldered by people who actually knew us … There was a sense of indignation throughout the building, no doubt made worse by the fact that the audience had acclaimed our piece in the liveliest manner… The impression arose that the whole of the world of music had turned against me, a situation that was really quite comical, but also somewhat disturbing from an ethical point of view: for what had become of artistic freedom? Who had the right to confuse moral and æsthetic criteria?
Der Prinz von Homburg… sets itself against the blind unimaginative application of laws, in favour of an exaltation of human kindness, an understanding of which reaches into deeper and more complex realms than would be ‘normal’ and which seeks to find a place for a man in this world even though he is a Schwärmer and a dreamer, or perhaps because of that.
I have striven for greater freedom, or at least what I understand by it: certainly not improvisation, but independence, and a preparedness for decisions outside established categories. Music is not musicology, and the logic of a work rests on a unique constellation of incident, encounter, experience, agreement; it transcends inherited rules, construction, calculation. It seems that the vegetative element of music surpasses its other, lesser, musicological dimension, and that, as in the life of the Prince of Homburg, illuminations and discoveries take place in dreams, not in the laboratory. Not, however, in a state of haziness, but in the wakefulness of sleepwalkers, where facts are perceived with abnormal clarity.
I was perfectly capable of judging the wider significance of Wagner’s music: as any fool can tell you, it is a summation of all Romantic experience … But I simply cannot abide this silly and self-regarding emotionalism, behind which it is impossible not to detect a neo-German mentality and ideology. There is the sense of an imperialist threat, of something militantly nationalistic, something disagreeably heterosexual and Aryan in all these rampant horn calls, this pseudo-Germanic Stabreim, these incessant chords of a seventh and all the insecure heroes and villains that people Wagner’s librettos.
It may be unfashionable to continue musical traditions in this way [he is specifically referring to the use of symphonic forms in the opera’s four ‘movements’], but with Goethe under my pillow, I’m not going to lose any sleep about the possibility of being accused of eclecticism. Goethe’s definition ran: ‘An eclectic … is anyone who, from that which surrounds him, takes what corresponds to his nature.’ If you wanted to do so, you could count Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Mahler, and Stravinsky as eclectics …
Unnecessary are new museums, opera houses, and world premieres. Necessary, to set about the realisation of dreams. Necessary, to abolish the dominion of men over men. Necessary, to change mankind, which is to say: necessary, the creation of mankind’s greatest work of art: the World Revolution.
Natascha Ungeheuer is the siren of a false utopia. She promises the leftist bourgeois a new kind of security, which will permit him to preserve his revolutionary ‘class conscience’ without taking an active part in class warfare. This false Utopia should be regarded as an all-denying immobility, as a kind of cowardice, which permits itself to appear identified with the ‘Revolution’ and believe that such an identity could equal the consummation of revolution.
Such an existentialistic, non-historical form of political self-reflection places the leftist bourgeois in the position of exploiting the proletarian struggle, as an occasion for a merely self-indulgent moralising. He ‘muddles through’ between the temptation either to surrender consciousness and return to the bourgeoisie or to choose one of the two possible forms of helplessness: either that of the lonely Avant-garde in their homes or that of Social Democracy.
Natascha Ungeheuer promises both possibilities. The leftist bourgeois sets out for her apartment, plagued by all the anxieties and insecurities which characterise his social position ... Natascha Ungeheuer knows ... [them] only too well. She torments him, she provokes him, yet at the same time she lures him into her apartment ...
The leftist bourgeois ... refuses to go the full way to the apartment of Natascha Ungeheuer. He has not yet discovered his way to the revolution. He knows that he must turn back on the way he has gone so far, and begin again.
[text and translation at end]
VOCALIST (ausdruckslos, noch immer seine zigarette rollend)
behind the overpowering strength of