Between Dungeon & Crown

“This race of men is difficult to govern; that takes greater wisdom than the affairs of the state!”

(Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, about his musicians)
Persecuted as serfs, worshipped as heroes, admired as child prodigies, mistreated and downtrodden, united in friendship, pursued by adversaries, showered with riches, driven by arrogance, consumed with jealousy, difficult to govern, impossible to control yet easy to seduce: princes and musicians have not always had an easy time with one another.
On the one hand: godlike power, immeasurable wealth, and untiring aspiration towards beauty and art - on the other: divine talent, immeasurable knowledge, and the desire for recognition and status. Mutual dependence had become deeply ingrained in their relationship, and music was an insoluble bond that formed the basis of friendships as well as enmities. This codependency was both a model and a reflection of social relationships – and also the realm where these relationships were subtly called into question.

“Between dungeon and crown” is a collage of music from the Baroque to the Early Romantic period, combined with episodes, facts and reports from contemporary sources, which shed light on the multi-faceted relationship between princes and musicians. Letters, newspaper articles, servants’ records and police reports alternate with free verbal presentation, creating a lively atmosphere in which music and narrative interact with each other.

Transverse flute, natural horn, violin, viola, violoncello