At 8 P.M.98 minutes, with a 20-minute intermissionAt Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts
The Apotheosis of the Dance
This mesmerizing double bill with its spiritual focus features the company’s dancers in two major musical works.
Romanian choreographer Edward Clug, an emerging talent in European dance, engages a resolutely modern dialogue with Pergolesi’s Stabat MATER, a masterpiece of the Italian Baroque. For Clug, the tremendously expressive score conveys life and hope.
Uwe Scholz (1958-2004), an exceptionally talented German choreographer who passed away far too young, left behind a rich legacy. The evening’s second work, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, described by Richard Wagner as “the apotheosis of the dance,” is one of his master works. With its remarkable musicality, this ballet on pointe, as finely cut as a diamond, leaves no one indifferent. It makes for a memorable evening of music and dance.
"First off, I invite you to discover a double bill featuring Stabat MATER, from acclaimed Romanian choreographer Edward Clug, and then, as a counterpoint to this reflective, moving work, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, from German choreographer Uwe Scholz."
Ivan Cavallari, Artistic Director
Ivan Cavallari's pick
Pergolesi’s Stabat MATER
Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710–1736) was just 26 years old when he died of tuberculosis in Naples. While he wrote operas, concertos, chamber music and numerous pieces of secular music, he is best known for his Stabat Mater, completed in 1736: the final composition of his very short life. According to legend, Pergolesi composed the work on his deathbed, like a requiem written before its time had come, although the reality was probably a little less fanciful.
Capturing the sorrow and anguish of the Virgin Mary at the crucifixion of her son, the medieval religious poem Stabat MATER, Latin for “the mother was standing,” was composed by Franciscan monk Jacopone da Todi. Put to music many times, it has become something of a genre unto itself, one where many composers have made their mark (including Scarlatti a few years earlier, at the start of the 18th century). Pergolesi’s version is considered to be one of the most poignant. It has enjoyed lasting success and become a fixture of Baroque music. Simply written for two voices, basso continuo and strings, Stabat MATER’s 12 movements alternate between solos and duos, each plumbing the depths of human passion. It is a tremendously expressive work that invites reflection and contemplation. It is also a metaphysical masterpiece that, for choreographer Edward Clug, is first and foremost a work of hope.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7
A monument of the symphonic canon, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was also one of his greatest successes. Starting in 1811, Beethoven (1770–1827) began writing a new symphony in the hope of securing an official post and having a large orchestra at his command. He composed his symphonies No. 7 and No. 8 at the same time. On December 8, 1813, he premiered and conducted Symphony No. 7 in Vienna along with another of his compositions, Wellington’s Victory, as part of a concert benefiting Austrian and Bavarian soldiers wounded while fighting Napoleon’s army at the Battle of Hanau. In Europe, Napoleon’s troops were in retreat, and the work’s energy and enthusiasm were quick to win over the Viennese public. It was a triumph.
Divided into four movements reminiscent of a succession of dances of different colours and rhythms, this “apotheosis of the dance”—as Richard Wagner described it, due to its frenzied rhythms—does not espouse any ethical ideals. Unlike the Pastoral, the more Dionysian Seventh keeps listeners enthralled thanks as much to its vigorous classicism as to its expressive originality. The second movement, Allegretto in A minor, is the best known and has often been used in the cinema. German choreographer Uwe Scholz (1958–2004) liked to choreograph great orchestral works. His adaptation of Beethoven’s Seventh bears witness to his finesse, inventiveness and remarkable musicality.