Der Gesang des Satyrn: Historischer Roman (German Edition)

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The sum was ludicrous for the circumstances of a free troupe and it would have been impossible to realize under the circumstances of the time even if they had wanted to. As Kirstein described the situation to Strawinsky in a letter of 16 th October , the supposition could not be ignored that Tschelitshev himself had not been seriously interested for a long time. Finally, the choice fell on the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, whom Kirstein described in his letter to Strawinsky dated 4 th January as an artist, who was not greatly original, but could work well with light and space, and that was just what Balanchine was looking for.

Noguchi chose elegantly formed lyres and golden masks, which also played a pivotal role in the choreography. Pluto symbolises Hell, but was not portrayed as Greek but Indian as the goddess Kali, who normally appears with long hair, a beard, decapitated heads dangling around her throat, a sword in one hand and a head dripping blood in the other.

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For Hell, Noguchi built giant flames and bones. Much fuss was made about the colossal white fog curtain made of Chinese silk, which was to separate the Over— and Underworld and the separate scenes from one another; at one thousand dollars, it was quite expensive and it was bought at the last minute.

It was kept in constant movement by aimed streams of air so that it appeared to be alive. Noguchi chose pale costume and stage colours in the areas of Rose, Gold, Azure and Black. In the moment in which Pluto gives Eurydice back her life, Noguchi used a banner-like blue beam which made one perceive heaven to be above Hades. The lighting design was also an integrated part of the set and choreography.

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In fact, they made it difficult for the dancers to see the ground and thus also hindered rhythmic coordination, and so were not completely practical. They were regarded as Freudian. Orpheus resembled a baseball catcher and had a long, undulating mane of hair down his back. At the various meetings between Balanchine and Strawinsky, they mainly discussed matters of the sequence of the plot and durations, not compositional problems of structure, in which Balanchine was only peripherally interested, and in which Strawinsky had never allowed him to express any interest in, as was his manner.

All reports of their collaboration eventually lead back to the problems of time. Strawinsky only ever wanted to know from Balanchine how long the piece should last so that he could adjust his composition accordingly. He probably took into consideration certain wishes, but tolerated no interference in his work. Balanchine came to Hollywood again around or after the start of the year for the last discussion about Orpheus, and aimed to reach an agreement with Strawinsky.

The Los Angeles Times also published an interview with Balanchine on 4 th January and quoted the choreographer making the observation that he did not want develop a choreography and have some music written to it, but preferably he would have the music, at the rehearsals of which he would be able to write his choreography.

Since Balanchine was in a stage of experimenting with body positions in extreme situations, and as certain positions could only be held for a short period of time, the schemata for the durations of the music were important to the composer. In this matter, the actual collaboration was between Balanchine and Strawinsky. The location should not be somewhere in Greece, and it should certainly not have an antique and mythical feel, especially no Doric backdrop.

As an example, Strawinsky used the example in a radio broadcast on New York Radio on 1 st November of when the painters of the Renaissance painted depictions of Ancient Greece, they would have used the landscapes and costumes of their own time. Representatively, what should be used is only what continues to speak to the thoughts of our present time from the Orpheus myth. Strawinsky himself had no thoughts for the costumes.

On the matter of the style of dancing in the choreography of Orpheus, little has been written, and most about the structure of the plot, which can be more easily described. Furthermore, Kirstein gave an account of the conception of the background of the choreography for Orpheus. The forest creatures, the happily leaping fauns, satyrs and dryads, were set against the personal tragedy, just as Nature continues to survive despite death and suffering.


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The black angel binds Orpheus to him inseparably with a black cord. A huge cloud descends and Orpheus is sent to the Underworld with his lyre, which is bound to his person inseparably. It is Eurydice who convinces Orpheus to embrace her.

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The lyre is torn from him exactly at the moment when he needs it the most, and a hundred invisible hands take Eurydice back. In the final scene, a laurel tree grows out of the grave and represents the victory. He is the leader of the souls of the Dead. The question still remains as to whether Orpheus is essentially not already dead. In the Middle Ages, as Balanchine believed, Mercury was transformed from a messenger into a demon, and Balanchine took up this idea.

For him, the connection between Orpheus with the Angel of Death was of the same significance as the relationship of Orpheus to Eurydice.

PDF Der Gesang des Satyrn: Historischer Roman (German Edition)

For him, Orpheus was less a warrior than a poet, who was restless, imprudent and rash, but also resourceful. He brought the Maenads from their senses as a result of his pride in wanting to love only Eurydice. He included all these thoughts in his choreography, which turned into a ritual as a result of this. Subsequent productions.

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The two men were united in wishing to go in the direction of abstraction. Balanchine therefore built a set design around Apollo, while Strawinsky only saw the symbol of Orpheus as a diachronic allegory that required structure, but not theatricality. Tschelitschev was correct when he said that Balanchine was only concerned with good dance theatre.

Strawinsky trot his own path, knowing that a non-musician finds it more difficult to understand a piece of music than a non-dancer to understand a choreography or set design, so that he was able to compose things into the music which run contrary to what the director actually wanted.

This refers to the direction of the structure as well as to the detail and leads to structural problems, as in the case of Orpheus. The second interlude, for example, can be seen as a scene of Orpheus in despair, who alone with his grief wishes again to break through the curtain of fog in the Overworld; it can be seen also as a preparatory scene for the scene of the Bacchantes, and it brings the leader of the Maenads onto the stage to tear off his mask, a directorial invention of Balanchine which did not come from Strawinsky.

The lyre does not indeed play, but is only heard. Eurydice is close to her goal of moving Orpheus to tear off his mask and look at her. At this point in the ballet, it can be seen that the Angel is not the bringer of Death, but is there to help. He sees that the two humans are approaching a catastrophe and tries to warn them.

He therefore has the lyre play for a short time at first, then, when Eurydice and Orpheus do not hear, somewhat longer as a warning signal. The only thing that is problematic in terms of interpretation is ostensibly the use of the solo Flute and solo Clarinet in relation to the plot.

watch It is indisputable that in this section Eurydice seeks to seduce Orpheus with good intentions. In this section however, the clarinet dominates at first, not the flute, which is given a repeating melodic phrase, and this can be interpreted either as a gestural affirmation or negation. The solo flute enters first at figure 3 and from here, there is a solo duet between the flute and clarinet. So in fact from figure 3 , the flute stands for Eurydice and the clarinet for Orpheus, and it is Orpheus who is warned by the Angel without, and then with, but not with lasting success.

There is one puzzle contained in the sketches. The subsequent recitative melodic line is derived from the chords by means of permutations and extensions. On 7 th May , Kirstein sent Strawinsky a cheque for 2 , dollars, half of the agreed fee, from which can be concluded that by this point the prenegotations for the commission and its realization, which were taking place via Balanchine, had been settled.

Kirstein told Strawinsky about his ballet school, which was a private institution without outside financial support, and showed his pride about the fact that his school of American Ballet had made a gigantic step forward in its history with this first compositional commission.

In fact, the international path of success of this ballet company began with the commission of Orpheus; out of this company came the New York City Ballet and the American Ballet, which was eventually taken over by the Metropolitan Opera. The original idea came, as Strawinsky explained in a radio interview on 1 st November , from Balanchine, who met with Strawinsky over the summer of in order to settle the details of the plot and the durations of the separate movements.

Strawinsky was able to start work after the completion of the Concerto for String Orchestra to be written for Paul Sacher, so after 8 th August. On 20 th October , Strawinsky wrote the first bars of Orpheus, and the woodwind chords of what would become figure 2.

In the Christmas week of , Balanchine again came to Hollywood, where they worked through the first sketches. It was from this time that the much-quoted anecdote from Anatole Chujoy comes. Thirteen days later, he had already completed two thirds of the ballet, as he wrote to Ralph Hawkes in a letter of 18 th April.

One day later, he wrote to Nadia Boulanger that he had completed two thirds of the work including the orchestration.