Saturday, 17 November 2012

Joan at the Stake, broadcast live

French actress Marion Cotillard plays Joan of Arc in a new production of Arthur Honneger's Joan at the Stake (Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher) today on medici tv.This will be interesting as the piece requires a very strong personality indeed in the title role. Don't judge the piece by the Barbican performance last year  which was curiously inert despite the magnificence of the score. No wonder people who didn't know the piece didn't like it. A good performance requires a good actress to ignite.....oops. Watch what Ingrid Bergman brings to the part in the 1954 filmed version of Honneger's masterpiece. The brilliant orchestration gets upstaged by her amazing performance. Read more here

Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc is oratorio as psychodrama. In these final moments of Joan's life she thinks back on how she's arrived at the stake. The raging mob screams around her. She's shaven, in sack cloth but for the presence of her Confessor, who doesn't really understand.  But she's not alone for at the criical moment, her voices return, and she's taken up to heaven.  The orchestration is amazing - ondes martenot, saxophone, huge string section. The prelude, added in 1944 during the German Occupation, sets the piece in wider context. This magnificent orchestration frames the role of Joan, She's a simple peasant girl  who does extraordinary things. Significantly, Joan is not a singing part.

Read about Carl Th Dreyers silent movie The S Passion of Joan of Arc HERE, and about  Walter Braunfels Scenes from the life of Joan of Arc, a neglected wonder, HERE. .


Doundou Tchil said...

Cut and paste thois and search, Foster 火刑台上のジャンヌ・ダルク

Doundou Tchil said...

For some reason Foster's original comment doesn't appear tho' it's listed in the index. So here it is :
DT, After reading this I must see the Rossellini film. I watched the Barcelona performance today and thought it overall to be very good. Cottilard was excellent as was the rest of the cast. (i prefer my Frerè Dominic's to be on the younger side - brings a certain frisson to the exchanges between Joan & Dominic. Musically I thought the performance a little on the cautious side, but I was still moved at all the right places. Foster Grimjm on Ingrid Bergman in Honegger's Joan of Arc at the Stake