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Die fünf Minuten des Isaak Babel

Die fünf Minuten des Isaak Babel

Szenisches Requiem in zwölf Bildern

Libretto von Harald Weirich und Volker David Kirchner


  • Edition: performance material
  • Language: German

 
description
Isaak Babel is waiting for his execution in the cell of a Stalinist prison in 1940. Racked by fear and physical deterioration during these final minutes, he reviews the various stations of his life: his childhood in the ghetto in Odessa, his schooldays and his initial phase of literary activity, the murder of his grandfather, scenes from the Russian civil war in which he participated as a member of the cavalry, his failure as a political commissar and finally persecution, flight and internment in a prison camp.
Isaak Babel (1894-1940) is a historical figure who was well-known in his youth as an author and translator of the Russian revolutionary avant-garde. He fell into political disfavour in the early 1930s, was arrested by the secret police GPU under the pretext of espionage for Japan, sentenced to death in 1940 and shot. During the period of de-Stalinisation, the judgment was annulled and Babel rehabilitated.
The title of Volker David Kirchner’s staged requiem is ambiguous: on the one hand, he is quoting Babel’s own words expressed in an interview in which he claimed that his literary talent would only be sufficient ‘to express the most interesting five minutes I have ever experienced’. On the other hand, the title makes reference to the five minutes prior to the execution with which the works begins and ends. Kirchner’s numerous flashbacks are realistically depicted with the aid of two singers/actors representing the title figure. The music is directly emotional rather than dramatically figurative. Opulent choral sections reminiscent of Mahler, Schoenberg and synagogue music at the opening and closing of the composition create an atmosphere of alienated contemplation in which the drastic noisy elements and at times tumultuous tone-painting effects of the reminiscence scenes are embedded.
Details
Performance duration: 75'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 19. April 1980 Wuppertal, Städtische Bühnen (D) · Dirigent: Hans-Martin Schneidt · Inszenierung: Friedrich Meyer-Oertel · Kostüme: Reinhard Heinrich · Bühnenbild: Arnon Adar
Year of composition: 1977-1979
instrumentation: 3 (alle auch Picc.) · 3 (3. auch Engl. Hr.) · 3 (3. auch Bassklar.) · 2 Bassetthr. (von 1. u. 2. Klarinettisten im Wechsel spielbar) · 3 (3. auch Kfg.) - 4 · 4 · 4 · Baritontb. · 1 - P. (2 Spieler) S. (3 Beck. · kl. Gong · gr. Tamt. · kl. Tamt. · Röhrengl. · Plattengl. · Kastengl. · 4 Tomt. · 3 Bong. · Schellentr. · Tamb. · kl. Tr. · 2 gr. Tr. · Mar. · Bambus-Spiel · Glsp. · Xyl. · Marimba) (5-6 Spieler) - 2 Hfn. · Klav. (auch Cel.) · Org. - Str. (14 · 12 · 10 · 8 · 6)
occupation: Babel 1 · Schauspieler - Babel 2 · Bariton - Vater · Bass-Bariton - Marc Borgmann · lyrischer Tenor - Rabbiner Motale · Bass - Mutter · lyrischer Sopran - Großmutter · dramatischer Sopran - Frau · lyrischer Sopran - Agasha · Sopran - Diener · Bariton - Suschkin · Bass - Afonka Bida · Schauspieler - Kommandeur · Schauspieler - Kinderchor - Solo-Sopran - großer Chor
Performances
Conductor: Hans-Martin Schneidt
1980-04-19 | Wuppertal (Germany), Städtische Bühnen | World Premiere
Isaak Babel is waiting for his execution in the cell of a Stalinist prison in 1940. Racked by fear and physical deterioration during these final minutes, he reviews the various stations of his life: his childhood in the ghetto in Odessa, his schooldays and his initial phase of literary activity, the murder of his grandfather, scenes from the Russian civil war in which he participated as a member of the cavalry, his failure as a political commissar and finally persecution, flight and internment in a prison camp.
Isaak Babel (1894-1940) is a historical figure who was well-known in his youth as an author and translator of the Russian revolutionary avant-garde. He fell into political disfavour in the early 1930s, was arrested by the secret police GPU under the pretext of espionage for Japan, sentenced to death in 1940 and shot. During the period of de-Stalinisation, the judgment was annulled and Babel rehabilitated.
The title of Volker David Kirchner’s staged requiem is ambiguous: on the one hand, he is quoting Babel’s own words expressed in an interview in which he claimed that his literary talent would only be sufficient ‘to express the most interesting five minutes I have ever experienced’. On the other hand, the title makes reference to the five minutes prior to the execution with which the works begins and ends. Kirchner’s numerous flashbacks are realistically depicted with the aid of two singers/actors representing the title figure. The music is directly emotional rather than dramatically figurative. Opulent choral sections reminiscent of Mahler, Schoenberg and synagogue music at the opening and closing of the composition create an atmosphere of alienated contemplation in which the drastic noisy elements and at times tumultuous tone-painting effects of the reminiscence scenes are embedded.
Performance duration: 75'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 19. April 1980 Wuppertal, Städtische Bühnen (D) · Dirigent: Hans-Martin Schneidt · Inszenierung: Friedrich Meyer-Oertel · Kostüme: Reinhard Heinrich · Bühnenbild: Arnon Adar
Year of composition: 1977-1979
instrumentation: 3 (alle auch Picc.) · 3 (3. auch Engl. Hr.) · 3 (3. auch Bassklar.) · 2 Bassetthr. (von 1. u. 2. Klarinettisten im Wechsel spielbar) · 3 (3. auch Kfg.) - 4 · 4 · 4 · Baritontb. · 1 - P. (2 Spieler) S. (3 Beck. · kl. Gong · gr. Tamt. · kl. Tamt. · Röhrengl. · Plattengl. · Kastengl. · 4 Tomt. · 3 Bong. · Schellentr. · Tamb. · kl. Tr. · 2 gr. Tr. · Mar. · Bambus-Spiel · Glsp. · Xyl. · Marimba) (5-6 Spieler) - 2 Hfn. · Klav. (auch Cel.) · Org. - Str. (14 · 12 · 10 · 8 · 6)
occupation: Babel 1 · Schauspieler - Babel 2 · Bariton - Vater · Bass-Bariton - Marc Borgmann · lyrischer Tenor - Rabbiner Motale · Bass - Mutter · lyrischer Sopran - Großmutter · dramatischer Sopran - Frau · lyrischer Sopran - Agasha · Sopran - Diener · Bariton - Suschkin · Bass - Afonka Bida · Schauspieler - Kommandeur · Schauspieler - Kinderchor - Solo-Sopran - großer Chor
Conductor: Hans-Martin Schneidt
1980-04-19 | Wuppertal (Germany), Städtische Bühnen | World Premiere