4 Elemente - 4 Jahreszeiten
4 Elemente - 4 Jahreszeiten

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4 Elements – 4 Seasons

A Choreographed Concert
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, Midori Seiler

Following the internationally acclaimed success of Henry Purcell's opera 'Dido and Aeneas' in 2005 as well as the production of 'Dialoge 06- Radiale Systeme' for the opening of RADIALSYSTEM V, '4 Elements - 4 Seasons' is the third co-production of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and the Company Sasha Waltz & Guests. After numerous sold out performances at RADIALSYSTEM V in 2007 and 2008, as well as concerts in Cologne, St. Pölten, Baden-Baden, and Paris, this successful production will be presented in Potsdam in October 2008.

'4 Elements - 4 Seasons' combines two very different musical works together to form a choreographed concert: 'Les éléments', a dance suite by Jean-Féry Rebel (1737), and Antonio Vivaldi's concerto cycle 'Le quattro stagioni' (ca. 1725). The two nearly contemporary works, both of which are based on themes of nature, have been juxtaposed against each other. Both musically and as a performance '4 Elements - 4 Seasons' develops a new mode of performance practice that goes beyond traditional concert settings. Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, a long time member of the Company Sasha Waltz & Guests, has worked the fundamental ideas of the dancer and choreograph Sasha Waltz together with these early examples of program music. For the first half of the evening, in Jean Féry Rebel's 'Les éléments', the dancer presents the process of creation as well as the cycle of birth and death. For the 'Four Seasons' which follows in the second half, the orchestra itself is choreographed: the flexible compositional representations of the seasonal 'images' are placed in the forefront and the musical structures put into physical motion. This true break from traditional performance practice is in direct contrast to the performances of 'Dido and Aeneas' by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Sasha Waltz and Guests back in 2005, where, with the exception of one short scene, the orchestra remained in the pit. 'Dialoge 06 - Radiale Systeme' changed all of that, leading to the breaking down the boundaries between the dancers, musicians, and the pubic. In result, a direct dialogue emerged, with the dancers entering directly into the music and the musical performance becoming a part of the dance performance. The new production of '4 Elements - 4 Seasons' takes and develops this idea further. Jean-Féry Rebel's dance suite 'Les éléments' begins with a provocatively dissonant chord unheard of for its time, evoking a musical as well as cosmic representation of chaos from which the order of Nature gradually emerges. This formerly relatively unknown work is followed in the second half by Vivaldi's famous cycle about the four seasons, known as 'Le quattro stagioni'. After years of refraining from performing such a frequently played work as the 'Four Seasons', the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin here presents a uniquely individual version of probably some of the most popular violin concertos of the baroque era. Clemens- Maria Nuszbaumer adapted the work for two small string orchestras which are placed directly across from each other on a large stage, each with a harpsichord in the continuo group. At the front the solo violin is joined together by a cello, a lute, and occasionally a solo viola. Using minor alterations in the orchestration, this arrangement allows the musical and accoustical effects to be spread across the entire stage, with a differentiation between the intimacy of the solo group at the front of the stage to the colossus of sound from the ensemble in the back. In this way, the thunder in the storm scene of the second and third movements of the 'Summer' concerto literally rolls back and forth across the stage.

"a moving, exciting picture book…"
General Anzeiger Köln, 15 February 2007

"They kiss and chase each other, they play standing, lying down, and on ladders, try exotic positions, and in the end get snowed upon. Twenty-five musicians pull white kerchiefs over themselves and suddenly sit there as if they are a part of a museum exhibition that has to be protected from the dust. However, if there is one ensemble that isn't dusty, it is this one... never before has an entire group so entirely and successfully freed themselves from the safety of their music stands as the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin... a new horizon has been opened here."
Volker Hagedorn, Der Tagesspiegel, 23 March 2007

"Searching for a dialogue within the different art forms in order to allow something new to emerge was one of the very first principles in the formation of Radialsystem. In '4 Elements- 4 Seasons', which premiered in the Kölner Philharmonie last February, this dialogue proved to be a grand success, and at the end the public was literally standing on its head from enthusiasm."
Michaela Schalgenwerth, Berliner Zeitung, 27 April 2007

"In the end the Basque member of the company of Sasha Waltz, Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, together with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, presented a spectacular and enthusiastically received choreographed concert based on Vivaldi's eternally fresh quartet of violin concertos- the Four Seasons. Concertante and dance elements mix together- the orchestra does not only play, but dances along as well."
Franz Anton Cramer, Frankfurter Rundschau, 30 March 2007

A co-production of the Akademie für Alte Musk Berlin, Sasha Waltz & Guests, and RADIALSYSTEM V, supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Production Direction and Dramaturgical Assistance: ILKA SEIFERT
Light Design: JÖRG BITTNER
Props: Jens-Uwe Behrend

Dance: Gabriel Galindez Cruz

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4 elements - 4 seasons 4 Elemente - 4 Jahreszeiten:
Ein choreographisches Konzert mit Werken
von Vivaldi & Rebel
harmonia mundi

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