Not only did Arnold Schoenberg release sound from the dictates of classical tonality, but he also looked for challenges in other realms such as painting and Varieté. A collection of his songs for the “light muse” can now be performed in a selection of “sounding paintings”. A singer and five musicians meet a small painter in front of his huge canvas: According to each scene of the different songs, the painter searches for new forms of expression on his glass painting surface, which are simultaneously projected onto the large canvas. Thus, as the singing resounds, more and more new images come into being and the performers become visual elements of the painting. The act of painting integrates both music and musicians into its play with colors and forms, lines and areas, lightness and darkness, abstract and concrete.
The singer, captured by the resonance of Otto Erich Hartleben’s somnambulant lines, sinks into the morbid world of make-believe inhabited by the moon-struck Pierrot, who, torn between self-mockery and the search for a new spiritual home, stumbles through grotesque and surreal dreams. But just as the melancholic clown is on the verge of falling into deep self-pity, a rough paint brush or a delicate line saves him from falling into obscure pathos - a visual and auditory adventure.
Arnold Schönberg - Brettl-Lieder (arranged for small orchestra by Markus Maria Reißenberger)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Suite, Op 23
Arnold Schönberg - Pierrot Lunaire, Op 21
Singing: Salome Kammer
Painting: Joachim Torbahn
Salome Kammer’s all-round talent transcends all musical boundaries. Her repertoire cannot be defined by categories. It comprises avant-garde, virtuoso voice experiments, classical melodrama, Lieder recitals, dada lyrics, jazz and Broadway songs. Her charisma as a singing actress or an acting singer is equally fascinating in works have been dedicated to and premiered by her. Composers such as Wolfgang Rihm, Isabel Mundry, Bernhard Lang, or Jörg Widmann have written for Salome Kammer, who inspires them with her exceptional variety of expression and the unlimited facets of her voice.
Joachim Torbahn studied painting in Vienna and worked as a set designer at the Heidelberg Opera and the Wiesbaden State Theatre, amongst others. He joined the “Thalias Kompagnons” in 1990 as director, puppet and set designer. Since 1998 he also appears as an actor. With his painting-theatre productions he has managed to launch a novel synthesis of fine arts and theatre that is greatly admired throughout the world.
ensembleKONTRASTE was founded in Nuremberg in 1990. Right from the beginning it caught the attention of the public and of critics due to its uncompromising programs and interpretations. Variable instrumentation allows it to engage in varied styles and genres of chamber music and the ensemble is well-known for the seriousness and intensity of its interpretations of works by Second Viennese School composers. It received major international recognition by accompanying silent movies live with newly composed music. The ensemble has a basic predilection for the human voice and it gives concerts with such exceptional singers as Salome Kammer, Christoph Prégardien and the Vocal Ensemble Singer Pur.