MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS
01 / 03 / 19
Gran Teatre del Liceu, March 14
Within the framework of the Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival, which brings together the different concert halls to offer a series of extremely attractive proposals -both for the music lover and for the one who wants to start in the world of the classical performance- the recital that stars the soprano Iréne Theorin with the pianist Matti Hirvonen is one of the most interesting events of the month. The last visit of this charismatic and passionate singer remains in the memory of the Barcelonian public, who at the end of 2017 represented a superb Isolde in the impressive staging conceived by La Fura dels Baus. Although this time there will be no dramatic action, the presence of her artistic personality will be noted through the generous selection of pieces from the best vocal repertoire, focused on the first part in Lieder by Schubert and Strauss -in addition to a Wagnerian introduction, as a reminder of that memorable performance- and in the second of composers from her latitudes,
such as Jean Sibelius, Finnish, and the two Swedish composers Gösta Nystroem and Ture Rangström, who were born in the 19th century but deployed their creativity to throughout the XX.
Palau de la Música, March 14
Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony is the definitive leap to a way of composing that reminds little of the 19th century. If in the first and second symphonies still
the intuition of interiority was felt, in spiritual progression towards its own internal reality, while in the Third it is experienced and consolidated the conjunction of various and even antithetical musical languages, only previously sketched. Mahler acknowledges having found the key, by simultaneously combining high and low registers and blasting the notion of unity through the recreation of autonomous cosmos, those that recreate each of these symphonies. The organizers explain: "Due to its spectacularism, greatness and effectiveness, Mahler’s Third occupies a privileged place for the public and brings together the compositional, aesthetic and thematic characteristics of Mahler's music. A score that condenses the composer's technique and personality. Jonathan Nott, highly praised for his versions of the integral of this author and current leader of the Orchester de la Suisse Romande, is put in charge of one of the youth orchestras founded by Claudio Abbado”. An orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester, which has played in the main halls with public and critique success. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most essential concerts of the month, offered as a part of the Barcelona Overture Spring Festival.
L'Auditori, March 15-17
Possibly the most emblematic classic, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is also the most revolutionary work, both by the timeless nature
of its melodies as well as by the message of universal love that communicates in its furious, happy and utopian finale. The project that, within the framework of the Barcelona Obertura Spring Festival, brings together the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona and the National of Catalonia and the theatre group Señor Serrano, intends, from an unusual open-mindedness, to return to the genesis of that radically creative spirit; a creative breath that would establish a moral framework for the generations of citizens of the new order, to the point of becoming officially the European anthem. In this provocative event -under the title Beethoven’s Ninth : Garden Center Europe- complex, and yet vital, questions regarding the rights of individuals will be rised. On the Auditori website, a dossier is provided to the public, so to understand that it is not an usual interpretation of Beethoven's transcendent work, which will take place at the Auditori: "it is difficult for us to get this transcendence to have a practical translation and a happy ending. It is possible that the situations it poses may be, at some point, controversial. But viewers who enjoy this proposal will appreciate the various layers of interpretations, the musical evidently, of great quality, and also a reflection on Western society and its myths and problems.
Palau de la Música, March 15
The minimalism of the Ólafur Arnalds proposal has been enjoyed in the best halls around the world, and we have recommended in the past some of whose concerts.
His visit to the Palau de la Música, in this sense, is an unbeatable opportunity to experience live the interpretation of the songs of his latest album re:member, in the privacy of a particularly cozy hall. Besides the piano, the use of synthesizers multiplies the possibilities of his proposal, without ever losing that passion so characteristically minimalist, and leads him to decant essences that challenge the listener. An event to discover the creative paths of a versatile musician, with wide interests, who has collaborated with artists from the world of classical, such as Alice Sara Ott.
Palau de la Música, March 4
Only in festivals dedicated to Lieder, the classical song genre, or to the composer in question, Franz Schubert, one is able to attend in three consecutive sessions the interpretation of the fundamental cycles of this master of composition for voice,
who was expressed musically psychological nuances otherwise impossible to transfer, based largely on the poetry of Friedrich Müller. The artists invited to the Barcelona Overture Festival program are, in both cases, absolute references: the baritone Matthias Goerne is consolidated as one of the best Lieder singers of the last decades, while the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has stood out as soloist and is the author of a substantial list of recordings, made alone or together with first level orchestras. Both will interpret the cycles of Die schöne Müllerin, D. 795("Schubert draws a journey through the different moods that emerge before an unrequited love using nature as a mirror and amplifier of human emotions"), Winterreise, D. 911 ("The slow ceremony of rejection, a young man disenchanted with life and love descends into the white darkness and leads the listener into the inner world, as devastated as beautiful") and, in the last date, Schwanengesang, D. 957("Nostalgic diamonds and optimism radiate punctual highlights in this cycle that reaches peaks of daring and purity unusual in the time of Romanticism").
TNC, March 28-31
The interpretative possibilities of the Goldberg Variations are so many, and so diverse, that they even transcend the merely musical field.
The piece for keyboard that Johann Sebastian Bach composed to alleviate the suffering in the nights of insomnia of an aristocrat, has been taken as inspiration for other compositions and artistic interventions. The company Mal Pelo, under the direction of Maria Muñoz and Pep Ramis, uses the music of Dan Tepfer inspired by that work to offer a show in which the movement of the body and the harmonic modulations are developed in an exciting feedback process. It takes place within the framework of a project that "finds its axis in the study of contrapuntal baroque music and the relationship with movement, space and choreographic dramaturgy".
01 / 03 / 19
Caixaforum, until May 26
The normative informality of expressionism and its irreverence in relation to the themes adopted –a kind of realism, which incorporates the deformation of the caricature and eventually lends itself to allegorical interpretations- can be appreciated in the work of Max Beckmann. Angular features and strident colours draw attention, emphasize the importance of not being swayed in the topical themes of art, which seem to have become archaic. The changing and frenetic world of modernity, as well as the trauma of world wars -the strange mixture of poverty and development, and luxury- are reflected in the canvases and sculptures that can be seen in the Caixaforum exhibition:
"a monographic with more of half a hundred works by one of the most outstanding German artists of the 20th century", which is organized in differentiated sections, to show the evolution of his art. "The first part covers his time in Germany, from the years before the First World War to the rise of fascism in the 1930s, when he was expelled from the art school in Frankfurt where he taught, and his works’ exhibition in public forbidden. The second part, centred on his years in Amsterdam and the United States, is structured around four metaphors related to exile: 'Masks', about the loss of identity; 'Electric Babylon', about the vertigo in the modern city; 'The long goodbye', which raises the equivalence between exile and death, and 'The sea', metaphor of the infinite, its seduction and its estrangement".
Fundació Joan Miró, until May 26
The Italo-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) left an imprint on the architecture of Brazil with emblematic buildings such as the Art Museum of Sao Paolo, the Lazer Center Pompéia Factory or the Glass House, where she inhabited.
Constructions in which great creativity is appreciated in the configuration of the spaces and technical virtuosity in the layout of the volumes. In addition, she stood out for the taste of her drawing. As explained in the Fundació Miró, "more than a design tool, her drawing was a primordial expressive medium fed by a strong sense of curiosity and doubt. Although she never defended that it was an independent artistic language, she embraced it with artistic intentions". Of the more than six thousand sketches and drawings, this sample shows one hundred. Works that are representative of her fine perception of space and the objects contained therein, which are completed with a series of images of her buildings and her museum activity as curator.
Caixaforum, until May 19
"Poetics of emotion" allows us to reflect on the way we aesthetically contemplate works of art and life, in a broad sense.
The expression of affections in art not only reflects external realities, but allows the viewer to empathize from the inside, and even experience that "catharsis" spoken of in ancient times by Aristotle, the author of the first Poetics. In the exhibition offered by Caixaforum until May 19th, samples of body expressions can be discovered throughout the history of culture, in supports as diverse as wood, stone or film. The works are organized in three groups, attending to the different ways of artistically representing the emotional impact and its repercussions: "The first group delves into the emotion of the subject from the expressive representation of the main characters that express pain or sadness -expression of pathos. The second presents a set of pieces in which emotion is expressed metaphorically thanks to the translation of the artist's mood to the landscape and architecture represented. Finally, a third area analyses the way in which art reflects the emotion that spreads into social field, from social movements and politics to the sphere of festivity or popular celebrations".
MNAC, until May 19
Bartolome Bermejo is one of the most important names in late Gothic painting. At the dawn of modernity, but in a context different from that of the Italian Renaissance,
this skilled painter has been recognized for his fine stroke, evident in the ingenious modelling of his characters, as well as for his "iconographic originality". The organizers add: "building on his mastery of the oil painting technique practised by Flemish artists, Bermejo developed a realistic language of his own with a particular emphasis on illusionistic effects, as well as spectacular ranges of colours. His technical prowess was coupled with an astonishing ability to interpret all kinds of themes and iconographies in new ways. His urge to carry on exploring new avenues, especially in landscape and portraiture, led him to produce some of his most complex and innovative works during the last stage of his career". After being shown at the Museo del Prado, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) will host an exhibition that shows works from Spanish, European and American art galleries.
CCCB, until March 31
Last month to visit -or revisit- one of the most awaited exhibitions of the season, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the inauguration of the CCCB. Specifically, the one that pays homage to Stanley Kubrick, a fundamental filmmaker,
author of works such as 2001. A Space Odyssey, Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, or Eyes Wide Shut. Characterized by the extreme meticulousness in his way of directing actors, the quality of his photography and the choice of fascinating soundtracks, Kubrick cultivated contrasted genres, from science fiction to thriller, through the Bildungsroman (“novel of formation”), not forgetting his incursion in the psychology of eros. We are facing an absolutely unique specimen, conflictive in its search for formal perfection, which in several cases led to the rejection of the public, criticism and even censorship. Kubrick managed to scrutinize the psyche of the sapiens sapiens as few directors did, expressing through fictitious narratives what no philosophical discourse can make understand (at least, not with that vivacity). The exhibitions at the CCCB stand out for the sensitivity with which they promote the immersion of the visitor, turned into an essential piece and not merely an observer confronted with shop windows. In this case, the show, originally designed by the Frankfurt Film Museum, has been prepared by the curators Hans-Peter Reichmann, Tim Heptner, Deutsches Filminstitut and the curator Jordi Costa Vila, in charge of its adaptation to Barcelona. The design of the spaces in the CCCB, a fundamental element, is the responsibility of Víctor Imperial and Andrés Ibáñez. On the web it is explained: "In 2003, access to the personal assets of Stanley Kubrick was allowed for the first time, and its value recognized. The archives of Kubrick's work contained a large amount of material belonging to all his films: research and production documents, scripts, correspondence, still photos, props, costumes, cameras and objectives. The exhibition gathers in an area of around 1,000 square meters a careful selection of these objects. The entire career of the director is documented, from his beginnings with the short films to his latest film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999)”.