Het Collectief, Katrien Baerts
Don’t touch me
The mysterious Mélisande with her incredibly long hair, from Maeterlinck’s well-known stage play made her way into the minds of many a composer around 1900.
Even Arnold Schoenberg was charmed and wrote a stunning score about her eccentric love for Pelléas. The music basks in the sultry sensuality of the Viennese fin-de-siècle, balancing along the precipices of human emotion.
Taking you towards the abyss is Ferruccio Busoni’s refined Berceuse élégiaque, as well as the fascinating song cycle of Maeterlinck poems set by Alexander von Zemlinsky.
Het Collectief specialises in Viennese music from around 1900. For this programme, the ensemble took inspiration from a technique Schoenberg often practiced himself: rewriting large-scale orchestral works for a smaller ensemble, in this case about twenty musicians.
The new version preserves the original’s rich sound palette, while at the same time bringing out the sophistication of the music all the more.
Katrien Baerts will join the ensemble for the Zemlinsky songs; her incredible array of timbres makes her the dream performer to bring out the music’s tiniest nuances.
Lise Bruyneel has designed an intimate video to accompany Schoenberg’s wordless work. The video both shows the narrative thread and reinforces the sense of mystery in Maeterlinck’s piece.
Opening concert of the academic year KU Leuven
Sponsor: Peeters drukkerij / uitgeverij / boekhandel
Het Collectief has created an intriguing and idiosyncratic sound, achieved by an unfamiliar mix of strings, wind instruments and piano. In its repertoire, the chamber music group returns to the roots of modernism. Starting from this solid basis, it explores important 20th century repertoire, including the very latest experimental trends.
Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts is known for her flexible voice and her profound and sincere interpretations. Baerts specializes in 20th- and 21st-century music, ranging from songs to opera creations. To this end, she has collaborated with ensembles such as Asko|Schönberg, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern and Het Collectief.
Ivo Venkov studied piano, music theory and orchestral conducting at the Conservatory of Sofia (Bulgaria). He made his debut in Belgium with several operetta productions, as guest conductor of the Brussels Youth Orchestra and as conductor of the Antwerp Youth Orchestra. Venkov is artistic director and conductor of the Sint-Pauluscamerata Antwerpen. He is also active as professor of orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp.
Whether it is Lise Bruyneels former career as a cellist, finding the right image for a performance, making video collages or imagining which poetic project will speak to the passer-by on the street, the approach is similar: to stand at the interface between artists and audience in a creative and emotional way.