FauxPas, on 23 October 2012 - 09:13 AM, said:
It seems to end in mid-sentence but on a positive note - again one has to see where this fits in the larger, full-evening work. I don't know if this is the first, second or third piece in the work. It feels like either a beginning or middle section.
Back to ABT.
Based on what I saw in Symphony #9, I'd have to imagine that the likely order of the Shostakovich cycle will be chronological: Symphony #1, Symphony #9, & the Op. 110a (a.k.a. String Quartet No. 8). Initially, I thought that the Op. 110a would make a good middle ("adagio" in a very loose sense) movement. But in Symphony #9, Ratmansky appears to be gesturing toward a kind of submerged political/historical narrative (as Marina Harss discusses in her blog post here
) that's reflective of Shostakovich's own public/private discourse.
Like the score itself, Ratmansky's choreography appears to deconstruct the experience of war, contrasting the public euphoria and hollow triumph of "victory" with private tragedy and unspoken pain. To me, we saw this in microcosm in the 4th movement, with the expansive movements (for the Gomes character) set to the brass unison, which are contrasted with the involuted, intimate, almost furtive duet (for the Gomes-Seminonova pairing) set to the haunting, lonely bassoon solo.
Concluding with the cycle with the brooding intensity and bleak tragedy of the Op. 110a seems to offer Ratmansky an epic personal/historical sweep that would be devastating. "Seeing the music" is such a cliche, but I'll never be able to listen to the Ninth Symphony again without recalling, in my mind's eye, some of the more striking passages in the ballet. And if Ratmansky is intent upon continuing to mine Shostakovich's own tortured personal history, set against a broader, if coded, historical narrative, as reflected in the music, well, I simply can't wait for the rest of the trilogy.