Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Sound of Colours: the Paris Opera in motion

I was already planning to run this trailer for Mikhail Rudy's new animation and live music project The Sound of Colours before the Paris tragedy happened. He recently performed it at the Philharmonie in Paris, where a gigantic exhibition of Chagall's theatre work is in progress until the end of January.

The animation is of the Chagall murals in Paris's Opéra Garnier and while the music involved - mainly piano transcriptions of orchestral music - extends from Gluck's 'Dance of the Blessed Spirits' to the 'Liebestod' from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, the trailer shows us Ravel's La valse.

Ravel wrote La valse in 1919-1920 in the aftermath of World War I. It feels - whether or not he intended it to be read this way - as if he's portraying the old world of the 19th century, led by the emblematic Viennese waltz, whirling itself into a vortex, the apocalypse of World Wars I and II (he died in 1937, so did not live to see the latter; but I wonder sometimes whether in due course history will come to see the two as indivisible).

Viewed now, it's unsettling to say the least.

Come to the Wimbledon International Music Festival on 26 November and experience the UK premiere.

As a JDCMB reader you can still get a special rate on this evening, and Matthew Trusler and Ashley Wass's Wonderland concert on Saturday 21st  too, by using the code JESS10 when you book.