Full Length, Comedy/Farce
Leipzig, Germany - 1722. Johann Kuhnau, revered organist of the Thomaskirche, suddenly dies, leaving his post vacant. The town council invites musicians to audition for the coveted position, among them young Johann Sebastian Bach. In an age where musicians depend on patronage from the nobility or the church to pursue their craft, the post at a prominent church in a cultured city is a near guarantee of fame and fortune -which is why some of the candidates are willing to resort to any lengths to secure it. BACH AT LEIPZIG is a fugue-like farcical web of bribery, blackmail, and betrayal set against the backdrop of Enlightenment questions about humanity, God, and art.
|Publisher:||Samuel French, Incorporated|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.20(d)|
About the Author
Itamar Moses is the author of several plays, including Outrage, Celebrity Row, and The Four of Us.
A play about (amongst other things) fugues, in fugue form, with Stoppardian stylised wordplay, swordplay, and just plain play. One of these theatrical gems that makes you think, "what a brilliant confection¿, but than halfway through you begin to wonder how the juggler is going to finish this routine, and are mightily satisfied when he pulls it off. A joy from beginning to end. What fun it would be to direct, or act in. The only thing that lets it down is an interlude in which the author, perhaps not convinced the audience is quite following along, explains the fugue structure of the first act. Yes, this is necessary to understand the elaborations that follow, but I wished we'd been left to our own devices a little more. So would it be staged in New Zealand? Would the Court Theatre abandon their regular Roger Hall for a farce about baroque organ music with an all-male cast?
I saw Itamar Moses' Outrage in Philadelphia, and it blew me away. Bach at Leipzig somehow managed to do the same thing, even though I couldn't see it live. The play is funny, but it's also intense, and it deals with your standard predestination-vs.-free-will and art-vs.-morality themes in a completely fresh way. And the melding of media? Joyous.