A film by Andreas Kessler

The sun motionless, as the earth revolves around it.
With what forces could one associate or even compare the radical uncompromising thought processes of Beethoven in his late work, the “Grand Fugue” op.133?

Since the advent of our ensemble, finding new and innovative ways of conveying music to our audience has sparked our continued creative curiosity. The question of ‘Music through the Internet – is it even possible?’ has been a topic of intense discussion within our ensemble. Is it possible to touch people and create emotionally rich experiences through the medium of technology? Could we create a new reality?

The intention of this project was not to present a conventional concert, whether it be pre- or during-pandemic, but rather to understand media as a new reality and to research and determine its parameters, creating the greatest possible intensity of experience, despite the distance created by a screen.

In order to make a piece of music understandable in a unique way, we began by searching for experiences that are universally comprehensible. In conversation with the director, Andreas Kessler, it became clear that light, in particular sunlight, could be this associative force, as the physical and sensual effect of the sun is something which every human being can identify with.

On the island of Krk in Croatia, different phases of light and darkness can be experienced or captured particularly well. Centred around a stationary quartet, the passage of time and the transformation of light portrays the continued evolution of music; only at the brightest point does the camera capture the faces of the players; music and luminescent energy face each other eye to eye. Musically, we have now reached the most powerful climax of the fugue, after which the light breaks, shadows become longer, the day fades, the moon rises, music and players disappear into the darkness.

Want to learn more? Radio presenter Marie König talked about the experience of shooting a music video in an interview with director Andreas Kessler and the Malion Quartet.

Marie König:
I would like to start with a little quote from Theodor Adorno:
“In the history of art, late works are the catastrophes”. Adorno was of the opinion that late works by composers are usually no good, and this was also true of this opus.
As Bettina said in the greeting: at the premiere, Beethoven’s contemporaries and many people in the decades thereafter also found this work too rough and too complex. It is not easy to follow this music and it can easily overwhelm you, but then there are also moments that are so gentle and tender and beautiful that you just have to love them…

This short film matinee provided the opportunity to experience three films by director Andreas Kessler, which revolve around classical music, in the atmosphere of a cinema. This was followed by a panel discussion with the radio presenter Marie König and Andreas Kessler, as well as a small, musical live performance by the Malion Quartet.

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