Friday, March 29, 2013

Bach at Leipzig

As people walked through the double doors of the performance art building there was a rush of energy. It was just that feeling of anticipation, that draw towards actual art or complete creativity. People seemed as if they couldn’t wait to be seated. Students and locals walked up to the usher and gave him their tickets. He slowly ripped it in half and politely gave them the choice of entering through the left or right door. They grabbed their ticket stub and continued towards the entrance. Darrell Rushton greeted people and reminded everyone to turn off all of their electrical devices with witty humor.  Everyone quickly grabbed their seats and quietly conversed with each other until the play began.  The lights slowly dimmed and the production started.  

The play Bach at Leipzig took place in 1722 around the time when religion was law. The director of St. Thomas church and master of St. Thomas school has died. In a predicament like this they have to hire a new director of music and the school. Six of Europe’s finest musician’s came out to audition for the position of being director of not only the school but the coordinator of music in general. These six gentlemen wanted this position because having this position not only made you famous but also made you the best. This position meant composing all of your own music, teaching the best to become even greater, also having the power to change music to your liking and not being questioned about it. So these six gentlemen were considered the best but with every artist there is a slight bit of insanity.  Joahann Martin Steindorff was the musician that this play started with.  Joahann was the helpless romantic he loved music but he also loved his women. Joahann was the soft hearted musician that would lend a hand to anyone in need. But his kindness was taken for weakness and he ended up taking the fall for something he didn’t do. He also believed that “music should be used not only to celebrate God but also could be for love” or secular uses.  Georg Friedrich Kaufmann was the ditzy but funny one. Everyone looked at Kaufmann as someone not to take serious but he always seemed to be at the right place at the right time. Georg Balthasar Schott was the brown nose of the bunch. He was like the secretary of the head master and one of the most conniving characters. He is the one that sent two letters to Joahann saying that he was the director’s greatest student. He also bribed one of his colleagues into quitting his audition so he could have one less musician to worry about.  Georg Lenck is one of the funniest characters in the play; he was a thief, a gambler, and a liar, but he did all of them so well. He seems like the type of guy that would be able to get himself in and out of any sticky situation.

Over all this play was definitely a great performance. There was unspeakable drama, stomach aching laughter, and amazing sword fighting. This play seems to be about power and the things that people will do to receive that type of glory. Some wanted to cheat their way to the top; others wanted to bribe their way to the top.  True talent has a way of always over coming all adversities. Art has a way of stopping a war or swaying a nation and making people realize its true depth. Bach in the end stopped everything in its track. There was so much confusion in the church. There were people fighting, blood spilled, and a war outside but Bach seemed to calm the storm with his music. They paused, saying, how we can destroy something so beautiful; the gun fire stopped, the swords stopped clashing and everyone mellowed their minds. Tai Lowery said “I really enjoyed the performance.” Bach at Leipzig was a great production and the audience seemed to enjoy every bit of it.

No comments: