Three cult works
Ictus presents three masterpieces of the twentieth century, three cult works that steered music into modernity. Each work is presented in a different way: as cabaret, accompanied by film and in a re-composition.
• With Le Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune Debussy unleashed a ‘velvet’ revolution. There are no identical repetitions of themes in this work, the musical motifs come in waves, change, appear and disappear with the lightness and speed of spring clouds. No ponderous identity, only intensity... The essence of twentieth-century music is already contained in this work.
The ‘Faune’ was originally written for orchestra, but Ictus presents a version for ensemble by Benno Sachs. Thierry De Mey’s Prélude à la Mer sets the tone. This masterful film, shot on the salt plains of the Sea of Aral, is based on a choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker with dancers Mark Lorimer and Cynthia Loemij.
• In Pierrot Lunaire Schoenberg broke away for good from Wagnerian heroism and romantic individualism. Written for a famous cabaret artist of his time, Albertine Zehme, ‘Le Pierrot’ opens as a feverish piece of theatre, full of hallucinations and irony, somewhere between singing and speaking. Stravinsky described Pierrot Lunaire as the ‘solar plexus’ of twentieth-century sensibility.
Marianne Pousseur is reviving this work with Ictus, following performances with Philippe Herreweghe and Pierre Boulez.
• La Valse. Ravel is a symbol of the postmodernism that only came to the fore at the end of the twentieth century but was already warming up in the wings of modernism. It is also thanks to Ravel that today we question the seriousness of great art, the truth of myths and also the noble quality of the waltz.
Ictus commissioned the composer Frédéric Verrières, who impressed audiences with his successful opera inspired by John Cassavetes’ film Opening Night, to create a re-composition of Valse for sampler and ensemble.
• Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot Lunaire, opus 21 (1912), Marianne Pousseur, voice, François Deppe, director
• Claude Debussy, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1894), arranged by Benno Sachs + Thierry De Mey, Prélude à la Mer (film), choreography Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker
• Maurice Ravel, La Valse (1919), arranged by Frédéric Verrières, Georges-Elie Octors, director