© © Wolfgang Runkel

L’Histoire du soldat

in cooperation with the Volksbühne im Großen Hirschgraben

100 years ago, the Spanish flu took millions of lives. The borders were closed, parts of public life paralyzed, most theatres were closed. In this situation, the composer Igor Stravinsky and the Swiss author Charles Ferdinand Ramuz conceived the musical theatre work ›L’Histoire du soldat‹, using the sparsest of means. As a sole performer, Michael Quast now brings all the figures of the story to life, using only his voice, telling the story of the soldier’s pact with the devil and of music’s life-affirming power. One camera transposes this »theatre of poverty« into a visual world all its own. The very idiosyncratic chamber ensemble consist of seven Ensemble Modern musicians (violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, cornet, percussion).

Written between the October Revolution and the Spanish flu epidemic for a traveling troupe of players, this minimalist piece with its relentless metric »drive«, its allusions to popular music and its requirement of utterly precise rhythmic coordination is anything but undemanding for its musicians.Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Doris Kösterke