Performance Art

Ives Universe, Incomplete

Charles Ives Universe, Incomplete symphony and performance art piece. Directed 2018 (as a world premiere) by Christoph Marthaler at the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum, Germany as part of the 2018 Ruhrtriennale Festival. Titus Engel is music director for the Bochumer Symphoniker, the Rhetoric Project, and the Schlagquartett Köln with the assistance of multiple student percussion groups. Dancers are Joaquin Abella, Tora Augestad, Liliana Benini, Bérengère Bodin, Marc Bodnar, Magne-Håvard Brekke, Bendix Dethlieffsen, Haizam Fathy, Altea Garrido, Ueli Jäggi, Jürg Kienberger, Antonio J. Navarro, Michael Wilhelmi, Thomas Wodianka, Clements August Becker, and Helmut Schmitt.

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Ekstasis short musical films. Jean-Baptiste Barrière directs 6 avant-garde short films with corresponding modern classical works. The works are:

  1. Kaija Saariaho Nocturne with violinist Aliisa Neige Barrière.

  2. Kaija Saariaho NoaNoa with flutist Camilla Hoitenga.

  3. Kaija Saariaho Lonh with soprano Raphaële Kennedy.

  4. Jean-Baptiste Barrière Crossing the Blind Forest with flutist Camilla Hoitenga.

  5. Jean-Baptiste Barrière Violance with violinist Aliisa Neige Barrière.

  6. Jean-Baptiste Barrière Ekstasis with soprano Raphaële Kennedy.

The disc also has interviews with both composers. Released 2019, disc has 5.1 surround sound. Grade: NA

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Adam's Passion

Adam's Passion performance art event performed in 2015. Music by Arvo Pärt. Stage direction, set design, and lighting concept by Robert Wilson. Choreography by Lucinda Childs, who also performs as Woman. Other dancers:  Michalis Theophanous (Man or Adam); Trevor Mattias Sakias (Boy); Endro Roosimäe and Erki Laur (Cain and Able); Tatejana Kosmõnina (A woman); Triin Marts (Another woman); Evelin Tanis (Girl); and Madis Kolk (Old Man), Lui Laur (Another boy), Kätrin Kärsna (Another girl), and Indrek Hirsrnik (Tall boy). Tõnu Kaljuste conducts the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Instrumental soloists are Harry Traksmann, violin; Robert Traksmann, violin; Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, prepared piano. Choruses sung in Latin and Russian with subtitles in English, German, French, Korean, and Japanese.  Disc sports an especially nice booklet. Directed for TV by Andy Sommer; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2015, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: A+

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Einstein on the Beach

Einstein on the Beach performance art piece performed January 6-7, 2014 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Music by Philip Glass. Directed for stage by Robert Wilson. Choreography by Lucinda Childs. Random number and solfège lyrics called for by the composer. Actual texts used were from Christopher Knowles (a neurologically impaired teenager and poet whom Wilson helped as special ed teacher), Samuel M. Johnson (an elderly black performer who was a friend of Wilson), and choreographer Lucinda Childs (who contributed the monologue "I was in this prematurely air-conditioned supermarket"). Released 2016, title has 2 Blu-ray discs with 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio surround sound. Grade: A+ withdesignation.

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Twin Spirits

Twin Spirits, a poly-discipline performance art concert, portrays the lives of and love between composer Robert Schumann and his pianist wife, Clara Wieck. It appears this was the brainstorm of June Chichester, a member in 2005 of the Board of Directors of the Royal Opera, who wanted a special program to raise charitable donations for the opera and other causes. Chichester recruited John Caird, a director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, to create a play with a narrator, actors to speak the roles of Robert and Clara based on their actual words in letters and other surviving documents, and musicians to perform excerpts from their music.

The words and music of Clara Wieck are portrayed by Trudie Styler (actress), Rebecca Evans (soprano), Natalie Clein (cello), and Natasha Paremski (piano). The words and music of Robert Schumann are portrayed by Sting (actor), Sir Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Sergej Krylov (violin), and Iain Burnside (piano). Special arrangements of various musical selections are by Martin Ward. Recorded in 2007 and released 2009, disc has 5.0 PCM sound. Grade A+

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