A film by Andreas Kessler
The sun stands still. The earth revolves around the sun.
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?
Having previously worked with the director Andreas Kessler on a number projects, involving art and portrait photography (both which significantly influenced the design of our website), we knew from the start that we wanted to collaborate with him on this very specific project. His visionary and creative approach to filming classical music is why we felt he was the ideal partner to film such a monumental work as the Grand Fugue, but in an “understandable” way.
Since the foundation of our ensemble, finding new and innovative ways of conveying music to our audience has been something which we has sparked our curiosity. For the past year, “Music on the Internet – is it even possible?” has been a topic of intense discussion within the ensemble. Is it possible to touch people and create emotionally rich experiences through the medium of technology? Could we create a new reality?
The goal of our project was not to film a typical 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. We see the quartet, or rather the music, as the main focal point, seemingly switching to different places depending on the mood of the light (darkness, sunrise, zenith, twilight, sunset, night…). The group, however, remains seated in the same static position at each place, the camera rotating as the Earth around the sounding musical work. 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.
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.
MALION MUSIC FESTIVAL
This year we had the privilege of hosting the first edition of the Malion Music Festival. Rather than presenting a full programme of three pieces every evening, each of the five concerts of this series focused on a single work of the string quartet literature. The first half of the evening was spent collectively discovering and getting to know the composer and their work. In the second half, the respective work was then performed in its entirety.
FESTIVAL PROGRAMME 2022
IMPRESSIONS FROM THE FESTIVAL 2022
Photos: Johannes Berger
The latest project of the Malion Quartet.
The sun stands still. The earth revolves around the sun. 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?
If you would like to purchase a DVD of our film “Große Fuge”, simply send an e-mail to: email@example.com
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Carry Beethoven’s spirit into the world…
On the occasion of the Beethoven Year 2020, we commissioned British-Ukrainian designer Yosef Tyminsky (https://www.vasyldesign.com/) to portray Beethoven in a single line, that is, without lifting the pen once.
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