Action concert pieces | 2017

Forward and downward, turning neither to the left nor to the right, for solo cello

New production: 29.10.2019
Bologna Modern
Foyer Rossini, Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Michele Marco Rossi, cello and voice
Antonello Pocetti, direction

Forward and downward, turning neither to the left nor to the right  is an instrumental music theatre project on the Labyrinth of Knossos, based on the Kàroly Kerényi’s analysis.
In the new arrangement made by Michele Marco Rossi for solo cellist, the characters and the labyrinth itself are represented throw different instrumental voices, movements and vocal interventions of the performer.
Theseus sailing off to Crete in order to penetrate the Labyrinth of Knossos where he means to find and kill the Minotaur, the communication of the Labyrinth’s code by Ariadne and her solitude after the abandon of Theseus are interpreted by the cellist with a wide range of cello writing styles, with explicit references to the Monteverdi’s polyphonic version of the Lamento di Arianna and to Led Zeppelin’s Whole lotta love.
The title of the project originates from the description of the Labyrinth given by Plutarch: "Theseus followed the instructions Daedalus had given to Ariadne: keep going forward and downward, turning neither to the left nor to the right. Later, having slain the Minotaur, Theseus, together with his youths, danced the Crane, a choreographic evocation of the tortuous passages of the Labyrinth, consisting of certain complex rhythmic involutions and evolutions."
The twists and turns of the Labyrinth were vertical as well as horizontal, so that its penetration involved the descent into a deep and elaborated underground realm. The cellist will acoustically embody this Escher-like space, building a structure of different chairs and music stands distributed on the scenic space. He moves with the cello and plays in different positions, letting the cello itself to be a scenic element, armor and tomb at time.

The epilogue of the work conveys the desperation of Ariadne, abandoned on the isle of Naxos by Theseus after his victory.  The 'Lamento' of Ariadne is all that is left of L'Arianna, Claudio Monteverdi's second opera, with a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini. This only surviving aria of the opera was preserved because Monteverdi later published it as an independent piece, transforming it into a five-voice madrigal, published as part of his Sixth Book of Madrigals in 1614.

Monteverdi's lost opera becomes the basic dramaturgical outline of the piece, a ghost-opera that in the end is the imaginary narration of L'Arianna itself, supported by Plutarch's late accounts.

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Action concert piece after Plutarch and Kàroly Kerényi for solo cellist (2017)
New version arranged by Michele Marco Rossi
First performance: 10 February 2017, Accademia Filarmonica Romana
Michele Marco Rossi (cello, voice and set)
Publisher: Rai com
Duration: ca. 20 m