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Werckmeister Harmonien
Thu, 25. June 2020, 21:00

by Thom Luz

When the musician and music theorist Andreas Werckmeister laid the foundations for the well temperament in 1682, he had already noticed that the prevailing order was shifting or vanishing to such an extent that it made him doubt whether it had existed in the first place.

With reference to cosmic and alchemical order systems, he tried to bring a unity into the former confusion of instrumental tuning. His writings, which bear titles as such as »Orgel-Probe oder kurtze Beschreibung … wie … ein Clavier wohl zu temperiren … sey« (»The Organ Rehearsal or a short description of … how … a clavier should be well-tuned«) or »Der edlen Music-Kunst Würde, Gebrauch und Mißbrauch« (»On the Dignity of the Noble Art of Music, its Use and Misuse«) reveal a deep-seated human longing to discover an order in the chaos of creation and the failure to maintain this order in the present. The doubt as to whether the world can be neatly described is also the driving force behind Swiss theatre artist Thom Luz’s first work at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Luz works in the interdisciplinary space between spoken and music theatre; his protagonists are always searching for the mystery of the world and become entangled in everyday problems. Together with the musician and musical arranger Mathias Weibel, Luz has developed a form of theatrical expression in recent years that combines silence, movement, text and music into dense, atmospheric spatial scores.