Staging of night-pieces by Bach, Schumann, Mozart, Chopin and Ravel
Commissioned and premiered by Ensemble Ascolta
"The identities of masterpieces seem firmly fixed. Even before the concert begins, we know basically what they will sound like – which introduces the danger of becoming a museum object. The Danish composer Simon Steen-Andersen and the ensemble ascolta follow a different approach: like a theater director taking on a piece, Steen-Andersen performs famous pieces inspired by night (including its spooky side), from Bach to Ravel. He stages them afresh for ear and eye, updates and dusts them off – thus removing them from their historical distance into the here and now. In other words, instead of a fussy “reading of the classics,” he underscores the originally unsettling impact of these works. In Schumann’s Träumerei, time seems to stand still, while Ravel’s Scarbo morphs from a virtuoso piece into a horror trip and the famous revenge aria from The Magic Flute becomes a techno hymn by a drag queen. “Maybe that’s what Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’ and Ravel’s Gaspard sound like when you’re high on coke", remarked Stuttgarter Zeitung."
Program book of Lucerne Festival 2017