The Klangforum Wien, a black carnival where the most detestable beings wear their clothes of light, and where the monsters of our recent mythologies come out of their retreats, invites us to a grimaceous procession. Among the first, the “wicked characters” from the Austrian Bernhard Gander’s sound imagination are joyfully caressing, musical incarnations of “greed, the greed of every man for himself, the always-highest, the always-faster”, which will inevitably collapse in the last movement, to the sound of a discouraging concluding lamento.
Among the latter, the gallery is very colourful. Admittedly, we can see the Devil, the supreme incarnation of evil which, in the History of the Soldier, tempted the young Joseph; but the most astonishing of these monstrous figures is hidden in HK Gruber’s fierce and roborative score. Frankenstein, “pandemonium for chansonnier and chamber orchestra”, is indeed considered as one of the great achievements of music over the last 50 years. This iconoclastic work challenges our aesthetic codes – and violently challenges our way of reading the world. Superman, Batman and Robin, Dracula, pass through it – so many downgraded monsters and failed superheroes who will only turn out to be tragicomic puppets in the hands of the title role; for “Frankenstein is not the protagonist of the work, but this figure, behind the scenes, that we forget – at our peril. Hence the exclamation marks. We have been warned.
Frankenstein !! / HK Gruber
Histoire du soldat (suite orchestrale) / I. Stravinsky
Schlechtecharakterstücke / B. Gander