Les Tréteaux de Maître Pierre
adaptation musicale et scénique d’un épisode d’El ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha de Miguel de Cervantes

El Retablo de Maese Pedro, an electrifying performance of a sovereign musical work. Grand overture, Petrushka­-parody (the rape of Melisendra) declaimed by an overenthusiastic boy chastened more than once, the whole assailed at last by the Knight of the Doleful Countenance who draws his basso profundo sword to “flitter the fucker”. El Retablo de la Libertad de Melisendra, a puppet spectacle attended by Don Quixote himself and Sancho Panza amidst the various personages of the evening’s entertainment, including the animals of Renard (q.v.), the motley of Ensor (Falla himself appeared on stage as the landlord of the inn).

A boy rolling a hoop crosses the stage slowly as a clarinet plays at the very first, he is the dragoman presenting each scene. The showman of the title wears the informal garb of an itinerant trouper, gibus and ringmaster’s coat thrust on à la Calder.

Sylvain Faye puppets, Titina Maselli décor...

Eric Dahan (Libération), “d’une précision et d’une vivacité qui font mouche, même s’il reste à gagner un peu de souplesse.”


Histoire burlesque chantée et jouée d’après des contes populaires russes

A triumphant performance the work requires and gets. The deserts he’s crossed, Stravinsky’s Renard, the endless misery, to hear the Cock’s confession.

The Cock’s barnyard dance is from Chaplin (The Gold Rush). The Cat and the Ram, also the boy of the incipit a sort of Watteau clown strolling along with hoop and amusedly watching the three cavorting as they exult over Renard’s first defeat. Crime and blandishment, the basso falsetto notes of Renard’s second attempt recur in Threni. The tail-plucking arioso is the finest shower onstage since the Met’s La Gioconda concluded the Dance of the Hours in Apollonian gold.

Pierre Boulez, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the singers in Russian, Michel Kelemenis choreography, Titina Maselli set and costumes, Dominique Borrini lighting, Klaus Michael Grüber mise en scène (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, at the Vienna Festival), vd. Pierrot Lunaire for thetriptyque insolite”.

La confrontation musique/théâtre est passionnante, car elle correspond à trois dispositifs différents de mise en scène imaginés par Klaus Michael Grüber: l’opéra de Falla est monté de manière traditionnelle avec orchestre dans la fosse et chanteurs sur la scène; pour Stravinsky, les chanteurs sont dans la fosse avec les musiciens; pour Pierrot lunaire, enfin, c’est l’inverse, les instrumentistes sont sur scène avec la récitante” (Boulez, L’Express).


Pierrot Lunaire
Mélodrame pour récitante et cinq instruments

Stravinsky’s clarinet pieces are an interlude auf der Bühne with the clown again (vd. Renard) and Schoenberg’s récitante (Anja Silja), a lunatic behind bars who begins the work in a plush armchair and rises to pace her cell declaiming (onstage the evening began with Falla, concluded with an extract from the Dialogue de l’ombre double of Boulez, at the Théâtre du Jeu de Paume from Pribaoutki, “and lasted an hour and a half with much applause,” says a report).

The set by Gilles Aillaud, an immense set the musicians share stage right as she makes herself up in white and puts on the costume of a Pierrot, continuing all the while to speak in the manner of the composition, throwing off musical notes brightly, darkly and recklessly, uttering Giraud’s witty poems like a cabaret performer struck by moonlight into great and fervid inspiration.

This in lieu of the lunar silhouette produced originally... No doubt the geometry of the set is a foil to the arabesques of the score. The monkey on a pedestal is perhaps from Losey’s Boom. The high walls are institutional green. Grüber’s staging of the conclusion is at all events a liberation attended, as at the beginning (Les Tréteaux de Maître Pierre, q.v.), by all members of the production.

Nach Bergamo, zur Heimat,

Kehrt nun Pierrot zurück.

Renaud Machart (Le Monde), “une souplesse merveilleuse... d’un phrasé galbé et lyrique, formidablement bien relayé”.