MICHAËL LEVINAS (b.1949): La Métamorphose.
Catalogue Number: 09O078
Reference: AECD 1220
Description: Kafka's surreal allegory of the meaninglessness of the average life, alienation, isolation and lack of communication and understanding even among people who believe themselves close to each other and interdependent gets an avant-garde theatrical treatment here. The episodes of the story - Gregor's awakening and his strange, horrified acceptance of his transformation; his mother's incomprehension, his father's rejection, his sister's rejection, the lodgers' indifference and dislike, his increasing withdrawal and death - are presented intact, through densely overlapping sung dialogue adapted by Emmanuel Moses from Kafka's novella. Metamorphosis of language seems to be a subtext of this adaptation, and a prologue by Valère Novarina is appended to the beginning of the work, which presents a stream of consciousness, almost a schizophrenic 'word-salad', with associations made with complete logical certainty between entirely unrelated concepts. The musical building-blocks of Levinas' score cover a wide territory, from conventionally sung phrases and snatches of conventional music (buried in cacophonic agglomerations of other sounds) to extended singing techniques and a somewhat spectralist approach to instrumental timbres, with noise textures casually incorporated. The whole is frequently subjected to various kinds of electronic transformation, using the resources of IRCAM. French libretto. Fabrice di Falco (countertenor), Magali Léger (soprano), André Heyboer (baritone), Anne Mason (mezzo), Ensemble Ictus; Georges-Elie Octors.