BENOÎT MERNIER (b.1964): Frühlings Erwachen.
Catalogue Number: 01M087
Description: Like his most famous work, Lulu, Wedekind's first major play is a no-holds-barred examination of bourgeois attitudes and mores, especially in regard to sex. "Spring Awakening'" examines the reactions of a group of teenagers to their emerging sexual maturity, with the confusion, exhilaration and in some cases, tragedy resulting from their clumsy attempts to work out their impulses and the refusal of the adults to provide accurate and honest answers. The whole is imbued with the Krafft-Ebing, Freud, Psychoanalytical, Eros-Thanatos thinking that was prevalent in psychosexual research around the time the play was written. Mernier's music is appropriately redolent of Second-Viennese styles - more in the sense of lush romantic expressionism than any particular compositional system; the sense of music rich in morbid sensuality, bursting the bounds of convention, fits the subject matter of the libretto in the way that a more eclectic, anything-goes modernist idiom would not. The staging is minimalist, with at most angled walls and window openings suggesting the characters' surroundings, and with very effective use of stark, often monochromatic lighting. The production is filmed as for TV, with multiple camera angles following the action in close-up. The CDs appear to be exactly the same recording. 2 CDs + DVD (NTSC all regions). German-English libretto. Kerstin Avemo, Gaële le Roi (sopranos), Thomas Blondelle (tenor), Nikolai Borchev (baritone), Symphony Orchestra and La Choraline of La Monnaie/de Munt; Jonas Alber.