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It has been said that the name Antigone means "against birth" from Greek αντι (anti) "against" and γονη (gone) "birth". But this make little sense from what we know of her. But the meaning 'against judgement' seems to make more sense and can be justified from Indo-European roots 'anti-', 'Against' and 'gno', 'To know'. The name is an old one and is the name of a number of women in the period before the Trojan war.
There is good evidence that Antigone was an invention of Sophocles and was not really a historical person. The only mention of Antigone before Sophocles is her mention in the "Seven against Thebes" but this is believed to have been a later addition. That Oedipus had four children seems more of a historical fact. It is Sophocles who names his two daugters and wrote the play 'Antigone'. He relates that both of the the daughters of Oedipus were very dutiful and took care of their father even though he blinded himself and resigned his kingship. They lived at the time of Theseus in the period just before the Trojan war.
Sophocles wrote a play called Antigone in about 441 BCE. The character of Antigone as developed by Sophocles is not that of your typical woman. Most women have to accept the decisions of men. Antigone referred to a higher power for a decision that was contrary to a law enacted by men. She then acted according to what she thought was right. She was a tragic heroine because her act resulted in her death and yet she had the consolation that the dieties would agree with her. Ismene was very favorably portrayed as a dutiful daughter. She was more inclined to accept the rule of men than her sister Antigone, but she should not be faulted for this. Her care of her father was well beyond what is normally expected and her excuse that women did not have the power to defy the state is valid. Antigone went far beyond what is required, and we are grateful for what she did, but we cannot condemn any that were too weak to follow.
Antigone's tragic condition was that if she was true to her belief of the divine law she would be physically killed. If she was false to her belief she would live in shame and be spiritually dead.
By birth Antigone was a princess, the daughter of a king. The role that Antigone actually played would have normally been done by a female slave. Wives spent their time bearing children and directing a household. Female slaves did the menial chores such as cooking, cleaning, and housework. Antigone and Ismene would have done the menial chores as well as the shopping which was mainly done by men. When you have a disability such as Oedipus, you are much better off if you can be cared for by loving family. Servants are OK but if you are disabled, there is always the matters of money, trust, and command. Oedipus was benifited by having such devoted daughters.
The characters Antigone and Oedipus in the play by Sophocles make a commentary upon the ideals of Greek humanism, specifically the individual's responsibility in society and morality. Both Antigone and Oedipus make several moral choices and suffer the consequences. In the case of Antigone, her choice to bury her brother is not a fatal mistake that results in her death. It is a brave act that upholds a moral right in the face of capricious human justice. Likewise Oedipus is not condemned to suffer by fate. He continues to make choices which do not turn out. His final blinding was not demanded by fate, it was an admission that he could not fight fate blinded as he had been. Now his vision was opened to his inner soul and progress could be made. Ultimately everyone must rise above the suffering that is inevitable.
There is the question of whether anyone would benefit by the action that Antigone took. What Creon did was to deny to Polyneices what was considered a proper burial. As is plain in the Illiad at the time of the Illiad a proper burial involved cremation. This meant that the body was burned on a funeral pyre until nothing was left but the bones. These were then buried in a rock cairn. With this practice is the belief that the soul goes up in smoke and is delived as smoke to the deities in heaven. A person whose body is not so prepared does not get to heaven. At the time of Sophocles a proper burial meant inhumation. The body was placed in the ground and covered with dirt. This act was believed to deliver the soul to Persephone in Hades. The only souls that made it to heaven were the heroes and heroins that were deified. Persephone was able to judge the souls and punish some and reward others so Hades cannot be consider like Hell. The souls of persons who did not get proper burial got to neither place. They just drifted around on the surface of the earth as ghosts. These were truely lost souls.
Furthermore the decision made by Antigone to bury her brother seemed to change moral emphasis. She said: "Yet the just will say I did rightly...." She changed the emphasis from man's laws and the law of the person in power to an emphasis on ideal law and the law of the just. What she did was to destroy the power that Creon had to rule. What she did was to use an idea of what is right to deny the arbitrary assertion of an arbitrary right by a king. The fact that she, a mere girl, could do this emphasizes the power of the rule of law over everyone, king and subjects alike.
Because Antigone was a princess before the Trojan War she would have worn the garments of Minoan or Mycenean ladies. The Athenians had forgotten what these were so they dressed her as one of them in pelops or chiton. But in reality she would have worn a hide skirt, an embroidered robe, or a string skirt would have been more likely. Weaving was invented before the Trojan War because the sails for the ships probably were woven. But a sail was very much more important economically than woven clothing so clothing would have continued not to be woven for some time after weaving was invented.
The character of Antigone appears in the play Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles. Her appearance in the play Seven against Thebes by Aeschylus is thought to be a later addition.
Antonius Wilhelmus Adrianus de Leeuw (born Rotterdam, 16 November 1926; died Paris, 31 May 1996) was a Dutch composer. He was known for his experiments with microtonality. Taught by Olivier Messiaen and others, and influenced by Béla Bartók, he was a teacher at the University of Amsterdam and later professor of composition and electronic music at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam from 1959 to 1986. Among his notable students are Gheorghi Arnaoudov, Michail Goleminov, Walter Hekster, Tristan Keuris, Liza Lim, Chiel Meijering, Otto Sidharta, and Brian Ferneyhough.
He studied ethnomusicology with Jaap Kunst between 1950 and 1954 and the encounter with the Dagar brothers and Drupad on his first visit to India in 1961 deepened a lifelong interest in "transculturation". He also visited Japan in the 1960s. This manifested itself in his work for Western instruments by the occasional use of microtonality as well as in compositional plans; Gending (1975) for Javanese gamelan is a rare foray into writing for non-western instruments.
He wrote three operas, all to his own libretti, including a television opera Alceste (1963, after Euripides), the one-act De Droom ("the Dream", 1963), and finally Antigone (1989–1991, after Sophocles)
Het kwaad in de wereld is koren op de molen van de kunst. Peter Sellars situeerde Debussy's Pelléas in het door politiegeweld en rassenrellen geteisterde Los Angeles. The Cave, het video-muziektheaterwerk van Steve Reich en Beryl Korot, was een antwoord op de Israelisch-Palestijnse kwestie. Ton de Leeuws Antigone, de derde grote muziektheaterproduktie in het Holland Festival, is door de Franse regisseur André Engel gestoken in een vormgeving die ondubbelzinnig verwijst naar de moordpartijen in Bosnië.
Natuurlijk is het goed dat kunst ons de werkelijke wereld niet doet vergeten. En Sofokles' Antigone gaat nu eenmaal over de nasleep van een burgeroorlog, in de Balkan nota bene. Maar in tegenstelling tot Sellars' messcherpe transplantatie van Pellés, en tot de cultuurhistorisehe queeste die in The Cave wordt ondernomen, is Engels keus om Antigone op te tuigen met ordeloze stapels lijkkisten, een minitruck en grauwe boerenkledij nogal gratuit. Sterker nog: doordat Ton de Leeuw in zijn muzikale uitwerking juist de nadruk heeft gelegd op de sacrale, bovenpersoonlijke aspecten van de handeling, werkt de actualisering niet. Het Bosnië van Antigone blijft even ver van ons bed als het Bosnië van de tv. Maar deze cynisch stemmende misgreep doet gelukkig weinig afbreuk aan de eigenlijke lading van het stuk.
In De Leeuws visie op Antigone wordt het lot, en zelfs het handelen, van de enkeling grotendeels bepaald door omstandigheden en factoren waar hij geen invloed op kan uitoefenen. Volgens die visie is Antigones wens om haar gesneuvelde broer te begraven even voorgeprogrammeerd als het daarop door koning Creon uitgevaardigde verbod. Ook Antigones weifelende zuster Ismene, en Creons zoon Haemon, die zich voorzichtig tegen zijn vader verzet, handelen op grond van hun identificatie met een rol.
Juist daarom heeft De Leeuw de toeschouwer willen beletten zich te vereenzelvigen met de protagonisten. De enige solistische partij is die van Antigone (fraai vertolkt door Martine Mahé); de partijen van Ismene en Haemon worden gezongen door een gemengd koor van Utrechtse conservatoriumstudenten; Creon wordt vertolkt door een mannenkoor, dat oogt als een jaarvergadering van executives met mafiose gleufhoeden.
Antigone is dan ook geen opera. Er zijn geen hartstochten, er zijn geen karakters, de dramatiek is gestileerd als in een ritueel. Dat aspect heeft Engel voortreffelijk uitgewerkt. Antigone is een liturgie, zo men wil een passiespel, met processies en symbolische handelingen die zich voltrekken in een schemerig nachtlicht, en een offer tot besluit.
In een gewone theaterzaal zou dat ritueel waarschijnlijk bloedeloos en gekunsteld aandoen. Maar in de gashouder van de Westergasfabriek, het toekomstig hoofdstedelijk paleis van de moderne muziek, krijgt het een ongekende kracht. Hoewel de ontzagwekkende ronde ruimte (die bij deze voorstelling slechts voor de helft gebruikt wordt) pas is opgetrokken in 1902, suggereren de verweerde muren en de met zand bedekte vloer een mythische ouderdom.
Maar de drijvende kracht achter dit alles is de muziek van Ton de Leeuw. Zijn Antigone-muziek heeft een reikwijdte en een pracht die in tegenspraak lijken met de bescheiden lengte van een uur, de bescheiden orkestbezetting van nog geen twintig musici, en de vloeiende, ingetogen voortgang.
Binnen het vertrouwde De Leeuw-vocabulaire waarin figuren en motieven evolueren en gaandeweg afdwalen van de toonladder zonder die ooit te negeren verschijnen tach weer nieuwe, tartender samenklanken en texturen. In de gonzende, metalige akkoorden toont De Leeuw zich meer dan voorheen een leerling van Olivier Messiaen. Maar elke sectie heeft zijn eigen kleur, motoriek en register, en opnieuw wordt bevestigd dat De Leeuw als componist van koormuziek zijn evenknie niet heeft.
Hoewel de enorme ruimte de details enigszins verdoezelt en soms ook een optimale balans tussen stemmen en begeleiding verhindert, is het verbazend hoe goed en coherent de muziek er klinkt. Gezien de aanwezigheid van luidsprekers is er enige versterking in het spel, maar die is blijkbaar zo subtiel uitgevoerd dat ze onhoorbaar is. De musici van het Radio Kamerorkest komen onder aanvoering van De Leeuws achternaamgenoot Reinbert tot fijnzinnig en precies spel, in volstrekte eendracht met de dikwijls tientallen meters verder opererende koren. De Antigone-partij geeft Martine Mahé, een mezzo met een sensitief en lyrisch geluid, enige declamatorische speelruimte, die ze goed benut.
Antigone zal binnenkort op cd worden uitgebracht door NM Classics. Een passend gedenkteken voor dit illustere werk dat vanavond zijn laatste, nu al vrijwel uitverkochte uitvoering beleeft.
Tommaso Traetta.Ippolito ed Aricia. 2001. Montpellier.Tragedia en 5 actos con libreto de Carlo Innocenzo Frugoni sobre la obra (del mismo nombre) de Simon-Joseph Pellegrin. Madeline Bender (Ippolito). Patrizia Cioffi (Aricia). Laura Clycomb (Fedra). Gaële Le Roi (Enone). Anne Lise Sollied (Diana). Les Talens Lyriques. Dir.: Christophe Rousset
Live performance, 23 February 2001, Montpellier Link
Poulenc. Les Mamelles de Tirèsias.1991.Paris.Susan Roberts (Therese). Didier Henry (Director del Teatro).Michel Senechal ( esposo de Therese). Pierre Catala. Jean J. Stallzman. J. F. Gardeilh. J. Taillon. M. Quillevere. H. Schaer.Dir. E. Inbal. http://rapidshare.com/files/445805003/MAMELLES1991.rar
Le Mamelles de Tirésias was, thanks to friends, the first opera I ever knew by heart. It introduced me to Apollinaire and taught me how to say “combine harvester” (and much more) in French. I continue to find it a more interesting work – words and music – by far than Dialogues des Carmélites. And those who dismiss it as a “bit of fluff” (it has happened) might read what Poulenc had to say about it: “I do believe I prefer this work to everything else I wrote… If people want to form an idea of my complex musical personality, they will find me quite exactly myself in Les Mamelles de Tirésias.”
Perhaps because it’s short (posing the problem of what to add to the programme to flesh the evening out), perhaps because it remains an unusual piece, perhaps for other reasons, Les Mamelles isn’t performed often, and when it is (a) it may be under-cast, perhaps because star singers don’t want to take the time to learn it, and (b) it may be put on cheap or directed as silly farce, which it isn’t; it’s as tricky to get right as Offenbach. The current Paris production, up from Lyon, was the best I’ve seen and heard.
I’ve seen Les Mamelles paired with Dido and Aeneas. I don’t remember what else. La Voix Humaine? In this case, the evening was rather surprisingly presented as a “soirée Dada.” Perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising, but I’d never thought of either the play or Poulenc’s music in that light, having for some reason always thought the former from 1903, though first performed in 1917, by which time the term “Dada” had been invented. The production was set in a rather sinister 20s circus. It opened with rehearsals backstage, to a Shostakovich foxtrot, involving a saxophonist, guitarist and trombone player from the pit done up as (blue-and-white, rather than black-and-white) minstrels in Afro wigs, under the humourless orders of a white-faced, Italian-style clown in spangled blue, who turned out to be something of a ringmaster. He spoke, throughout the evening (though not often as his part isn’t actually in the play) in English, perhaps picking up the “Hands up” and “my dear” in the text. It continued, without interruption, with Milhaud’s Le Boeuf sur le Toit, introducing characters both in and not in the original, including Thérèse and the husband (bickering), Presto and Lacouf and a “vieille danseuse,” but also a black boxer, slick-haired acrobats, a giant pipe on wheels, for people to ride on, and a live bull.
Theo Loevendie was born on September 17th, 1930 in Amsterdam. He studied composition and clarinet at the Amsterdam Conservatory. Up to 1968 he dedicated himself almost exclusively to jazz and he performed with his own ensemble at the main European jazz festivals: Montreux, Juan-les-Pins, Nîmes, Warsaw, Molde (Norway) and Laren (Holland). For one of his jazz records he received an Edison in 1969. He was awarded the 1979 Wessel Ilcken Prize for all his jazz activities through the years.
From 1970 to 1988 Loevendie has been a professor of composition at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, from 1988 to
1997 at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague and since 1995 at the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam. He was central composer at many festivals and he has given master classes all over the world.
As of 1968 Loevendie began to focus on the composing of concert music. His compositions are frequently performed both at regular concerts and at festivals all over the world. Loevendie has composed four operas: Naima (1985), which was premiered at the 1985 Holland Festival in Amsterdam, the chamber opera Gassir, the Hero (1990), premiered May 1991 in Boston (U.S.A.), Esmée, which was first performed in Amsterdam at the Holland Festival 1995 and in Berlin (1995) and had a staging again in 1997 at Bielefeld, Germany, and the chamber opera Johnny & Jones, performed at the Holland Festival 2001 and in 2003 in Dresden.
Among his orchestral compositions are a Piano concerto (1996), a Violin concerto (1998), a Clarinet Concerto (2001) and Seyir (2002) for 25 western and non-western instruments (premiered in the Berliner Festspiele 2002). In 2003 Loevendie founded the ensemble Ziggurat, a combination of western and non-western instruments. Since then he wrote many compositions for this ensemble.
The recording of De Nachtegaal (The Nightingale) was awarded an Edison in 1982; a year later followed the prize of the RAI (Italian Television and Radio) for the television production of this work, which since then has been performed in many languages all over the world. In 1984 Loevendie shared with Pierre Boulez the American Koussevitzky International Record Award; he received the prize for Flexio (1979), written on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The opera Naima (1985) was awarded with the Matthijs Vermeulen Prize 1986 of the City of Amsterdam.
In 1988 Loevendie was the first composer to receive the prestigious 3M Music Award for his entire output and his great merits in musical life.
Melodramma tragico in two acts
The deed is incomprehensible to this day: because her husband Jason wants to leave her for Kreusa the daughter of the Corinthian King, the sorceress Medea totally loses all mental and physical control and murders her own children in a frantic act of inhuman vengeance. Since ancient times, the Medea story has been a topos of boundless maternal cruelty, in which love turns to violence, and the rules that bind humans together are abrogated. With her magical and demonic powers and her clairvoyant knowledge Medea is a character who sparks primal fears and thus deserves to be shut out of human society.
With Medea in Corinto, arguably the most important Italian opera composer between Mozart and Rossini, Giovanni Simone Mayr, landed one of his biggest hits in Naples in 1813 – but actually this composer came from near Ingolstadt in Bavaria, transformed himself from Johann Simon to Giovanni Simone in his adopted country of Italy and also became one of the most significant composition teachers of his time. And the music for this downright impossible and unorthodox operatic character – after having been rarely performed for almost 200 years – has now slowly regained its rights, even if its story continues to be massively unsettling.
Richard Strauss. Arabella. 1995 . Richetta Manager (Arabella). Elise Kaufmann (Fiakermilli). Brigitte Jäger (Zdenka). Peter Kovacs (Mandryka). Torsten Kerl (Matteo). Bianca von Zambelli (Adelaide). J. Schwarz (Waldner). Mario Brell (Elmer). Tom Erik Lie (Dominik).Dir.: Lothar Knepper. http://rapidshare.com/files/445667131/ARABELLA_95_Gelsenkirchen.rar
Edited from Geoffrey Rigs' s:
This broadcast live Martha Mödl/Ramón Vinay/Herbert von Karajan Tristan und Isolde, not the greatest in each and every respect, hangs together in a marvelous way as a whole. Available in a number of pressings , this broadcast preserves Wieland Wagner's first Tristan production for the so-called "Neu Bayreuth" in 1952.
Here is a thrilling dramatic interpretation that is uncut, boasting two genuinely heroic voices that are caught in prime condition under a conductor who is clearly "up" for the occasion. Which other set brings it all together like this? Yes, there are some warmup problems for both principals - in fact, for all the chief cast members, if it comes to that - but once we're into Isolde's Act I Narrative and Curse, everyone, not just the two lovers but even the pallid Ira Malaniuk (Brangäne) and the quavery Hans Hotter (Kurwenal), "straighten up and fly right", with Karajan providing a "spine" to the proceedings that is all too atypical, I find, in his later years and a joy on this occasion. Ludwig Weber (Marke) too, though past his prime here, is appropriately heartbreaking in his "Mir dies".
I find the dramatic rapport between the two principals surpasses that of any other heroic-voiced partnership I've heard on disc, with the exception of one abridged reading of the Love Duet featuring the frenzied Frida Leider/Lauritz Melchior (Albert Coates conducting, 1929).
Outside of the Love Duet proper, if there's any exchange between the doomed lovers that is usually taken too much for granted, it's the moment at the end of Act II where Tristan in effect invites Isolde to join him in oblivion, after they have been trapped by Melot/Marke, and Isolde responds in kind ("O König" ... "Als für ein fremdes Land"). Tristan's sombre invitation is sometimes excerpted as a separate "aria", but Isolde's musical variation on this melody in response makes it clear that this entire exchange is an ingenious throwback to the tradition of the bel canto duet where each principal sings almost the same melody, altering certain contours slightly in reiteration. In addition, the intensely intimate, even morbid, psychology of the lovers in this oblivion "duet" helps strip this musical portrait down to a raw unvarnished image showing the bleakness of two haunted characters.
I never concentrated that much on this act's closing exchange until I first heard this recording. Now, however, I almost think it may be the most critical moment in the work after having been mesmerized by Vinay and Mödl. They are so exclusively responsive to each other at this point that they have spoiled me for any other pair - so far. I almost feel now that something is somehow missing from the whole work when I hear/see this exchange done in a less mutually absorbed way. The rapport between the two here is overwhelming, properly obsessive.
The searing effect of this moment from Vinay and Mödl is only symptomatic of an entire performance where the full emotional odyssey of both protagonists is revealed more unflinchingly than in any other reading, it seems to me. An essential reading, in my view.
Happily, I have a sense that more and more listeners, certainly on the Internet, may be coming round to the view that this Mödl/Vinay Tristan does indeed equal, if not surpass, both the other Tristans that have most often been touted in the past - the '52 Furtwängler and the '66 Böhm.
Prokofeiv. El Angel de Fuego (versión de concierto). 2010. Amsterdam.Vladimir Baykov (bajo). Ricarda Merbeth (sopr). Carole Wilson (mezzo). Irina Dolzhenko (mezzo). Roman Sadnik (ten). NIkolay Didenko (bajo). Alexander Vinogradov (bajo). Colin Judson (ten). Martin Cornet (bar). Milcho Borovinov (bajo). Anitra Jellema (sopr). Orq. y coro Radio Netherlands. Dir.: Leif Segerstam http://rapidshare.com/files/417041173/NRPO-Segerstam_9-4-10.zip.html
Bach JS. Misa en si menor. 2010. Dorothee Mields (sopr). Hana Blaziková (sopr) . Damien Guillon (contraten). Thomas Hobbs (ten). Peter Kooij (bajo). Collegium Vocale Gent. Dir.: Philippe Herreweghe. http://www.mediafire.com/?m3vdykbky9xaoan
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