Go out and listen to something…

April 16, 2007

Benjamin Britten at Castleton Theater

Filed under: music, theater — burnett @ 6:28 am

Lorin Maazel conducted Britten’s “Rape of Lucretia”� this weekend at Castleton Theater.� This is a weighty piece that creates symbols for the oppression of beauty and purity by the sheer force of power.� The text goes straight for Christian symbolism:� the sacrifice of the pure Christ tied in with the violation and death of Lucretia.� An important distinction is that Lucretia decides that her beauty is a sin because of the lust and violence that it inspired.� The play is seen through the eyes of a man and woman who comprise a sort of chorus.� They are constantly aware of the mirror of the story to their own relationship, and they are as troubled as the viewer by the implications of the plot.�

This production� is a highlight of the last 10 years of concerts� at Castleton.� The cast� � is not only of high caliber, but very settled and secure in performance.� There was nothing rushed and the heavy symbols seemed to be well digested by the director and cast.

The music itself was not easy for me to absorb.� I went twice for that reason, and would have happily seen it 4 or 5 times.� The symbolism is complicated, and the music manipulates the themes, or vice versa.� Like any great dramatical work, it is open to interpretation, and requires numerous if not endless review in order to get a handle on the subject matter in relation to the artistic presentation.�

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