Three pieces have been presented last week.
Gabi Sultana played the 6th sonata in Valletta, the capital of Malta.
Apparently, the sonata, which dates already from 2006, went very well. She played the revised version. I cut a big chunk from the first movement. Back then, while composing it, I was very satisfied with this section. Though when this sonata was performed I always felt that my initial idea of bypassing development by putting there a completely new kind of music – and even a quite exciting piece of music- was and is ultimately a bad idea. Reluctantly I chucked it. Gabi wept a couple of tears, but in the end we both feel now that the first movement works better.
And prepares that way better the almost overtly romantic second part. Also music which might stimulate a bit the eyes to shed tears… In 2006, people all over the (classical) world celebrated Mozart’s birthday. Maybe his music and legacy seduced me in becoming a slightly more emotional person 🙂
And then, last Thursday, there was the reprise of ‘Paternel’ the chamber opera I composed in 2012, on a libretto of Philippe Blasband, the great playwright, who became very famous with his scenario for the movie ‘Une liaison pornographique’. I post some pictures which might tell more than words. All photos made by Annique Burms. Machteld Timmermans directed again the sopranos Laurence Servaes, Annelies Vanhijfte and Inês Madeira and actress Aylin Yay. The ensemble was conducted by Raf De Keninck.
I still like ‘Paternel’. The ensemble of three harps, flute and double bass never overwhelm the voices. In a way the sound somewhat resembles the lutes and the theorbe of the first operas. In our opera though, there are no carnivore dogs, and love is certainly less courtly. Maybe we’re showing what Claudio only thought 🙂
We also premiered ‘Chut!’, based on a monologue again by Philippe. A very moving piece about young girls which have to leave their home at night. Her father turns their flight into a kind of game. The audience really felt the connection with the current waves of tragedies caused by immigration. Especially moving was the actress Aylin Yay who played the main character, wife of the writer. The protagonist of ‘Chut!’ are accompanied by three instruments: double bass, flute and vibraphone. I feel proud having succeeded to convey my horror with such small-scale means. Less goes sometimes really deeper…
I end this post with a couple of quotes which Gabi asked me as an introduction for my sonata. It’s up to you dear readers to decide if they have any value 🙂
“I always to try to conceive a concept which might generate a smile when an audience ‘gets’ it after having listened to a piece of mine.’
“Sustainable growth, sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy… Isn’t it time to conceive a sustainable classical music culture?”
“I don’t like total immersion in music. I don’t like total control in music. I hope that one day I find a way to put spaces between the notes, very much like the white spaces in comics, allowing the audience to fill in for themselves the ellipsisses.”
“Music is not the art of the now. It’s the art of guessing what will come, while your choices are continuously being challenged.”