Music Moving Images
Konzert für eine taube Seele
Film: following Maurice Ravel’s traces
Directed by Axel Fuhrmann (Germany 2014)
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 6 p.m.
Hermann Wolff Room
Konzert für eine taube Seele approaches the mysterious biography of Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) and shows him in his fateful interior turmoil between being an internationally celebrated artistic personality and hopelessness. Ravel suffered in his later years from the degenerative brain disease Morbus Pick. He had problems speaking, writing and composing; he was tormented by unbearable headaches, and suffered from passivity and insomnia. This was aggravated by idiosyncratic social conduct and a feeling of being lost. Ravel fought in vain against the decline: “I still have so much music in my head. I haven’t said anything yet, and I still have so much to say”. On 28 December 1937 he died in Paris a few days after brain surgery.
The director and author Christoph Werner, artistic director of the Puppet Theatre Halle, developed a dramatic musical work for puppets, actors and Ragna Schirmer. The pianist not only spins a musical red thread with the piano cycles Miroirs and Gaspard de la nuit; in parts she herself stages the music in scenes. “In quiet, poetic images her one-hour Konzert für eine taube Seele succeeds in fathoming what is actually unfathomable – and bringing the viewers closer to a composer who throughout his life, despite his international renown, remained completely torn and restless inside” (www.unter-ton.de). The poetic and melancholy film opens up a new way of looking at the mysterious personality of the composer Maurice Ravel.