Der gelbe Klang (The Yellow Sound)

Audio-visual performance
2002, Concert Hall of the Composer’s House; 2003, State Academic Capella of St. Petersburg

Music – Alfred Schnittke

Yellow Sound (“…der gelbe Klang”) is a stage composition based on the text by Wassily Kandinsky, for pantomime, instrumental ensemble, solo soprano and mixed chorus (1983). Kandinsky’s stage composition was published in the well-known almanac “Der Blauer Reiter” (1912). Kandinsky’s oeuvre is a synthetic work combining color, plastics, text and music (pantomime, color projectors, orchestra and singers). Kandinsky’s libretto lacks a plot, and it demonstrated that abstractionism the theoretician and founder of which he was. The publication in “Der Blauer Reiter” also includes a detailed light-color score, as well as the indications of the character of the music and the movements of the pantomime.

Following Kandinsky’s libretto, Schnittke composed a work of a double aim in mind – so that it could be produced on a theater stage and so that it could be performed on a concert stage with a video presentation of reproductions of paintings by the selfsame Kandinsky. The first performance of “Der Gelbe Klang” with Schnittke’s music took place in 1984.