ISAAC BABEL
The Sin of Jesus

[hathut, www.hathut.com]

Ukrainian poet, Isaac Babel's short story "The Sin of Jesus" is one intense and very humane drama. Set in Russia, the narrative goes something like this. Arina is pregnant with her lover Sergei who has to go and serve in the army for four miserable years. With chastity not an option, Arina is comforted by God, who sends her an angel for companionship. While she prepares a sumptuous meal to welcome her angel, she eats and drinks to her heart's content and crushes the poor heavenly creature to death on her bed. God curses her and calls her all sorts of names. When it's time to give birth, God begs Arina for what he has done to her. "Forgive me, Arinushka, sinful God that I am, that I have done this to you!" Arina refuses and admits that she is unable to forgive. Performed by Ensemble für Neue Musik Zürich, "The Sin of Jesus" is a heart-wrenching tale. Under the watchful conduction of Lukas Langlotz, an eight piece Ensemble deliver a petrifying tale in the most direct way possible. Composer Hans-Peter Frehner used a particular system of rules that allowed actual words to generate melodic lines. Dorothea Schurch and Daniel Mouthon trade off on vocal parts and both are equally convincing in their parts. Nicola Romano's scraping cello accentuates the drama, while Viktor Muller's sparse piano works on key changes in the play. Certain parts are so intense; it becomes a challenge to listen intently. Sudden burst of rising force are then replaced by Schurch's whisper-quiet vocals and all becomes more bearable again. A thrilling performance, one that only gets richer and more fulfilling with time.

Tom Sekowski


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WYWIADY / RELACJE

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