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Sacrum Profanum 2023



Adonis Gamut

According to myth, the beautiful youth Adonis ignores the advice of his lover Aphrodite and goes hunting. He encounters a mighty boar, which mauls him to death as punishment for his vanity.
In his 1593 poem Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare speculates that the tragedy would have happened even without the involvement of the gods. According to his telling, the beast was so enchanted by the young hunter’s beauty, it “thought to kiss him, and hath kill’d him so”. Shakespeare introduces another element: Adonis ignores Venus’ warnings against chasing dangerous prey, and he is punished for his pride and for choosing hunting over time with his lover. Today, the term Adonis complex describes muscle dysmorphia in young men – the delusional belief that their bodies are too small and not sufficiently muscular.

ADONIS GAMUT is a project dedicated to exercises, not music. Majewska and Masecki will play scales and arpeggios, ornaments, trills and intervals. The return to the repertoire practiced by all musicians in their youth is a nostalgic look back at a body which is yet to learn to play music, a “muscle without heart”. The programme features a repertoire of exercises which aren’t usually performed to the public.

Majewska and Masecki pose a question on the status of practice in the hierarchy of compositions and the role of repetition in pursuing the goal of a single, perfect performance. ADONIS GAMUT serves as an opening point of a discussion on the significance of practice in building an artist’s identity.

Barbara Kinga Majewska/Marcin Masecki – Adonis Gamut* (2020) 60’ [world premiere]

based on:

Bernhard Lüdgen – Die Kunst der Kehlfertigkeit (1902) excerpts
Manuel Garcia – L’Art du chant (1841) excerpts
Antonio Benelli – Regole per il canto figurato (1841) excerpts
Domenico Crivelli – Instructions and Progressive Exercises (1841) excerpts
Carl Czerny – École de la vélocité op. 299 (1833-38) excerpts
Zbigniew Drzewiecki, Jan Ekier, Jan Hoffman, Adam Rieger – Scales and passages (1956-2017) excerpts

Richard Strauss Frühlingsfeier (Adonis) op. 56 no. 5 (1906)
Joseph Haydn – The Shepherd Adonis (1792)

Barbara Kinga Majewska – voice
Marcin Masecki – piano

*commissioned especially for the Sacrum Profanum festival
Project prepared with Bôłt Records.

Venue: Decjusz Villa