11th & 12th January 2020 at the Muziekgebouw.

Weekend with dramatic monologues, tranquil music, moving concerts, interdisciplinary theater, installations and more.

A two day weekend event featuring dramatic monologues, hushed music, compelling concerts, interdisciplinary theatre, installations and more in every corner of the building.

Samuel Beckett was a literary genius, the author of tragicomic stage plays, verse and novels. But he was also an icon of absurdism and a writer of poems stripped to the bone. Although a great lover of music, he rarely worked with composers. With one exception, that is: the American Morton Feldman, who like Beckett, was a radically nonconformist artistic personality with a unique œuvre. Beckett’s words and Feldman’s music run through Words & Music, the festival where a different world appears behind every door, like a golden thread.

The programme featuring on the first day of Words & Music: Samuel Beckett & Morton Feldman opens with the rarely performed Samuel Beckett, Words & Music, the result of the collaboration between Beckett and Feldman. Beckett’s Not I is a textual roller coaster in which all expression truly resides in the mouth of the performer, the text rhythmically being squeezed from the body. The theatrical composer Bart de Vrees is writing a commentary on Not I for ensemble, choir and actors. Christian Wolff in Cambridge is a work for choir which has been completely deboned – only pure sound remains, left behind like a residue. The compositions of György Kurtág, Klaas de Vries and Jan van de Putte are all very intimate. Kurtág’s What is the Word is based on Beckett’s poem of the same name in which the main character has lost the ability to speak and tries to recover it. Reinbert de Leeuw and Gerrie de Vries take the audience along in a theatrical performance examining the relationship between word and music. Klaas de Vries and Jan van de Putte are creating a new work for the event.