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Charles Ives: Universe Incomplete

Author: Accentus Music GmbH

Accentus Music has recorded Charles Ives‘ unfinished „Universe Symphony“ in a new production of the Ruhrtriennale at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum.

  • Universe, Incomplete | Copyright: © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale 2018

    Universe, Incomplete © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale 2018

  • Universe, Incomplete | Copyright: © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale 2018

    Universe, Incomplete © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale 2018

  • Universe, Incomplete | Copyright: © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale 2018

    Universe, Incomplete © Walter Mair, Ruhrtriennale 2018

“In case I don’t get to finishing this, somebody might like to try to work out the idea, and the sketch that I’ve already done would make more sense to anybody looking at it with this explanation.” Inspired by these tempting words, stage director Christoph Marthaler, conductor Titus Engel and the stage designer Anna Viebrock develop their own highly individual perspective on an uncompleted project by the American composer Charles Ives (1875–1954): the „Universe Symphony“, which is one of the great utopian works of the 20th century. It is utopian because Charles Ives conceived it as a sonic event that would explode all classical forms of performance. It is also utopian because he never completed it – instead continually composing it anew. It is an unfinished jumble consisting of notes, sheets of sketches, and pages of score.

Using only sections of the work that were actually composed, Christoph Marthaler, Titus Engel and Anna Viebrock created a scenic and musical environment in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum in which the instrumental soloists, together with the Bochumer Symphoniker and an ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, looks back from a distant future on our life today and fantasizes a future out of the present. Other compositions by Charles Ives independent of the Universe Symphony occupy the lacunae within the incomplete universe.

A production of Accentus Music in co-production with WDR/Arte.

Screener available!

Production Company Accentus Music GmbH
Co-Production Company WDR/Arte
Executive Producer Paul Smaczny
Director Michael Beyer
Stage Director Christoph Marthaler

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