Richard & Co.
The composers’ collective Atonale e. V. was commissioned by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden to write a contemporary commentary on Wagner’s Ring. Eight colleagues (Susanne Stelzenbach, Gabriel Iranyi, Rainer Rubbert, Charlotte Seither, Martin Daske, Stefan Lienenkämper, Samuel Tramin and Mayako Kubo) will present their new works.
There are days when my pencil (I still compose with a pencil, a pilot mechanical pencil, to be precise) doesn’t want to go forward. It goes on strike. That’s how I felt when I composed “Richard & Co.” for soprano, horn, percussion and piano. The piece is based on Cosima Wagner’s diary. Whether Richard slept well or had a headache is irrelevant to me. For Cosima, however, this was the essence of the day’s events. Between such everyday trivia, an unmistakable anti-Semitic attitude of the couple shimmers through. It is, along with sexism and racism, a recurring theme. I still have a lot of work, and I don’t want my pencil to go on strike.