Ladislav Klíma’s grotesque expressionistic novel The Sufferings of Prince Sternenhoch has now like an inextinguishable fire stricken the fifth generation of seekers of earthly and cosmic forces. Stricken, inspired, burnt and ignited. The prose’s unique combination of the low and the high, the grotesque and horror-like atmosphere, philosophy of the uppermost spheres and everyday lewdness has served as a sufficient breeding ground for a music creator with a penchant for morphing genres, a creator who likes to alternate darkness with the grotesque, and feels a close affinity to the author of the novel in terms of making use of the time entrusted to us on earth. Ivan Acher thought about setting Klíma’s work to music back in 1993, after he had read it at a hermitage in the mountains. Yet the dream of a young man, who had just abandoned his studies, ran across reality, and a sober view left the idea among unattainable visions. The expressionistic nature of Ladislav Klíma’s piece and the subject of a fictitious story abounding in murders, dreams about murders, tattle and high philosophising of the five main characters directly urges the application of trained voices within the new context of the sonic potential of electronic composition. Composition that, notwithstanding an experimental approach, has not altogether deserted the domain of historical music yet utilises it in novel acoustic options, blending sampling, electronics and live instruments What is more, the typical Klímaesque metaphysical penetration of reality into dream and dream into reality has motivated Acher to set the story beyond time sequence, thus giving rise to a space of infinite possibilities, whereby “Beauty is a kiss between love and monstrosity”. Premiere 7.4. 2018 Sung in Esperanto. Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance. Approximate running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes, no intermission.
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