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Willem Jeths : Ritratto. Dutch National Opera, Paterson.
Format : 2 CD
Total Time : 01:28:24

Recording : 12/03/2020
Location : Amsterdam
Country : Pays-Bas
Sound : Live / Stereo

Label : Challenge Classics
Catalog No. : CC72849
EAN : 0608917284928
Price Code : DM026A

Publishing Year : 2021
Release Date : 10/03/2021

Genre : Classical
Willem Jeths (1959-)
Ritratto, opéra en 7 scènes

Dutch National Opera
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Geoffrey Paterson, direction

Ritratto est le troisième opéra né de la plume de Willem Jeths (1959-), qui revendique son écriture comme un processus qui, au travers, notamment, d’intuitions et d’associations, s’efforce à la clarté du propos en privilégiant l’économie de la matière musicale brute : le compositeur travaille avec précision les effets de timbre, impose aux instrumentistes des techniques de jeu inhabituelles, intègre des sources sonores inaccoutumées. Un opéra sur une vie opératique, voilà le point de départ de l’œuvre, le pitch à la base de la commande de l’Opéra National Hollandais : c’est Luisa Casati, la muse, mécène et marquise italienne dont l’extravagance théâtrale, les bals masqués fastueux, le penchant pour l’occulte, font une égérie, au début du XXème siècle, pour tout ce que l’Italie – et au-delà – compte comme mondains et artistes d’avant-garde. Au cénacle de celle qui se voit en « œuvre d'art vivante » manque un compositeur – rôle que Jeths endosse avec entrain, lui dont l’œil a toujours pétillé pour les femmes excentriques. A partir du parcours de la riche aristocrate, de son désir fou mais sincère jusqu’à son déraillement et sa chute, Ritratto interroge : jusqu’où peut-on aller, avant que les choses ne s’emballent, pour faire de son existence une œuvre vivante ? (Bernard Vincken)

“I wish to be a living work of art,” reads the famous comment made by Luisa Casati, the extravagant marchesa who drew everyone's attention to herself as a high society personality in the early 20th century and who inspired a number of leading artists to take up their writing pens, paintbrushes and cameras: Casati was the most prolifically portrayed woman of her age. She was both Muse and Maecenas who gathered an extensive coterie of famous artists around herself – an egregious set of people, some of whom were also her lovers, including Gabriele D’Annunzio, Man Ray, Filippo Marinetti, Kees van Dongen, Giovanni Boldini and Romaine Brooks. The Russian designer Léon Bakst dressed her in the most exotic of costumes. She led a split existence. On the one hand, she turned herself into a living work of art and organised grotesque parties as the backdrops to her own performances; on the other hand, she commissioned artists to immortalise her as a “piece of art” – and artists were queuing up at her door as she had enormous wealth at her fingertips to realise these whims. In the opera, Casati’s biography is compressed into a single party evening at her Venetian palazzo. Over seven scenes, we see a melange of events from the heroine’s life that actually occurred over many decades, to which the creators then added their own dreamed-up plot. Jeths’s palette as a composer has become ever richer and more dramatic as the years have passed. His spectrum ranges from attention to sound and colour to a subtle use of harmonic tension. His musical language was originally more atonal, but he has always flirted with tonality. And now more than ever, his notes are at the service of the text, the theatrical impression and the beauty of the human voice. In his music, Jeths employs multiple references to existing music.

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