Requiem d’après Anna Akhmatova
Concert / spectacle pour Flûtes, Clarinettes, Violoncelle, Percussion, dispositif audio, live electronics, scénographie, lumières, vidéo.
Commande de l'ensemble HANATSU miroir
avec le soutien de la Fondation Francis et Mica Salabert
Enregistrement live de la création - Strasbourg 17 avril 2015
Ayako Okubo Flûtes
Thomas Monod Clarinettes
Anil Erlasan Violoncelle
Olivier Maurel Percussions et programmation informatique
Marie-Anne Bacquet Scénographie
Raphaël Siefert Lumières
Fred Apfel Ingénieur du Son
The seven scenes that make up this Requiem d’après Anna Akhmatova, constitute a coherent whole which lasts approximately seventy minutes. Requiem was composed for Hanastu Miroir’s musicians, given in creation within the framework of the production and will also be interpreted in its unity. Requiem's composition follows the progression of Anna Akhmatova's book. It centers on four solos, one for each musician, then on two sequences with a quartet bringing together all the musicians. Throughout the work, the instrumental composition dialogues with a dual electronic device: on one hand the sound of the instruments will be processed in real time through transformations or extensions of the musician's personal, idiomatic gesture, and on the other hand, sequences of fixed sounds will allow us to hear Anna Akhmatova's voice, reading either fragments or whole poems taken from her collection. The processing in studio is essentially based on the quality of the poetess' voice, as well as on her melancholic diction. The fragments emerge from dark textures created by the sounds of bells and very low gongs, which create an overall ritualistic atmosphere, a mass to the dead and to the missing persons who disappeared in the Gulag and in other prisons.
The relationship to the text
For the musical composition, I use two basic elements that were revealed to me in Elisabeth Kaess’s works: the structural analysis of the versification of the poems provides a frame in determining the shape of melodic prosody and formal articulation. The highlighting of poetic themes throughout the whole collection shows a desire to pinpoint words, which are repeated, and the meaning of which creates an assonance in other parts of the collection.
For the Requiem project concert/show we integrate into the scenography the portraits of condemned persons, whose photos were discovered in their files following the opening of the Soviet archives in the beginning of the 1990s and were compiled for the first time in Tomasz Kizny’s Great Terror in USSR 1937-1938, published in 2013. The author wished to pay tribute to a few ordinary condemned persons throughout this work: “[...] the faces of the Great Terror. Taken methodically at the time of their arrest, those pictures were checked before execution, to confirm the prisoner’s identity. In their eyes we see terror, sometimes resignation. And often incomprehension, as if all those eyes were shouting “Why?” Large sheets of creased white paper will provide another scenographic element which will allow the projection of faces and will directly make reference to the ephemeral slips of paper on which the secret poems of Anna Akhmatova’s Requiem were furtively written.
Gualtiero Dazzi 4/15