Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Three Pianos Explode Winterreise at the Ontological Theater Feb. 25-March 20 in NYC

Here's a wild romp in NYC not to be missed: from February 25 to March 20 at the Ontological Theater, Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy and Dave Maloy will be presenting Three Pianos, an irreverent look at Schubert's Winterreise. More about the event:
Based on Schubert's "Winterreise," his classic song cycle on winter heartbreak, Three Pianos takes the form of a musical lecture/demo gone astray, with the three creators each at their own piano, leading the audience through their respective passions for the piece. Compositional mischief, shifting rivalries, freezing dances and some unfortunate butchery of the German language ensue.
Just to give you an idea of what Rick, Alec, and Dave are actually up to, watch their rendition of Die Kraehe:

Three Pianos also needs your help with funding, so if you want to assist in any way, you can check out their Kickstarter page.

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  1. Anonymous10:48 AM

    I think irreverent is the wrong word to describe this show. its an interesting interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise by three friends and very current musicians and composers. Being a Classical music buff and sort of a Schubert scholar, I enjoyed the show immensely and thought it was innovative and funny and a great new take on the winter cycle. I do agree its a show not to be missed! I've seen it twice now and look forward to seeing it again next weekend with a few more friends.

  2. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I saw it last night, and felt very conflicted.

    It has huge potential, but it's stuck at 80% of the way there; they touch on many interesting subjects--aesthetic, cultural, historical, and psychological--but few are developed clearly, and many are dropped without getting to a point.

    For example, they begin to draw a provocative comparison between three kinds of depression (romantic, Sorrows-of-Young-Werther depression; just-divorced depression; and clinical depression), but even though it gets a fair amount of stage time it never goes anywhere.

    The arguments over differing kinds of voices (classically trained vs untrained) also go nowhere, and not before saying fairly silly things that go uncorrected.

    The arguments over whether pre-concert lectures turn the audience off, or conversely enhance the experience, also fizzle.

    The performers voices are often not strong enough for us to hear the words clearly. (Note that this is why classically trained voices sound the way they do: it's all about being heard in the back row.) I could be wrong, maybe they just don't know they need to sing louder.

    The quick history of music from chant to Schubert made some nice points, but needs tightening, and again they say some very silly things about why Mozart and Beethoven died broke.

    All this isn't to disparage the very real goodness here. The performers have heart, and guts, and the director has created a beautiful environment and helped them give it some shape; but they script is still miles away from reaching its potential. Right now, it's a pleasant evening's entertainment, but it clearly could be much more.