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An amazing concert15 février 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I believe I have the same CD as the one listed here, though mine says 1989. It has the same cover artwork as the 2003 CD except the little "Tomato" logo is placed differently. Anyway, it's a wonderful CD. The performance is superb and it was recorded excellently. Of all the Partch available that I've heard this is his most accomplished composition. From start to finish, it's at a high level. To fully appreciate the story line, you'll want to know about the historical story, but it isn't necessary to fully appreciate the music. The basic drama and commentary Partch is layering on it can't be fully realized without seeing the show live, of course. Actually, I'm not sure it could be fully realized even then. The dramatic situation is not wholly "contained" in the piece. It is clear that Pantheus doesn't care for the revels Dionysus is leading his people into, but why exactly that's so cataclysmic is still mostly in Partch's mind--and anyone who can read into how Partch sees the character of Pantheus. That character would be that of a pipsqueak on the throne, afraid of life. But what he represents I don't know. I don't think Partch is pointing at American politicians, for instance. If anything, they seem to be all too willing to let the people have their Dionysian fun, albeit in the form of popular entertainments like sports and pop music (in their live forms). The people are also permitted to enjoy their cup of wine, so long as they don't take it on the road. So perhaps Pantheus is more of a personal demon, one that inhabits each of us. The part of us attracted to *watching* rather than doing, that wants to see the goings on without being a part of them. The part that is fascinated by the spectacle without understanding we are in it too. In the opera what it comes down to is that Pantheus wants to see the sex. That makes sense for him as the little twerp he is, but it doesn't make sense for Partch to be railing against him so, unless he sees something much more insidious there, which he clearly does. But I don't think Partch motivates those darker things, though he clearly sees them.
I'm reminded of Bergman's films. In his films it is very clearly laid out what the problems are, what the issues are. You don't get that in Revelation in the Courthouse Park or Oedipus either. Nevertheless, you do get some marvelous music, and something to wonder at. You can wonder about other levels as you are moved to.
Adaptation of Euripides' The Bacchae.1 avril 2015
Rob Same, author
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is Harry Partch's idiosyncratic adaptation of Euripides' ancient Greek drama The Bacchae, the conflict between control and abandon, sobriety and intoxication, Pentheus a king determined to preserve rational order and deny his own desires in his attempts to stamp out an invading, irrational religion from the East. He is undone by his own repressed nature.
I write this for the benefit of anyone who doesn't understand what the story is about or what Pentheus''s motivations are.
This piece makes an interesting comparison with the German composer Hans Werner Henze's adaptation of the same classic play titled The Bassarids.