Drama by Moisés Kaufman
This award-winning play written by contemporary American playwright Moisés Kaufman in 2007 has two storylines, one of them 200 years ago, the other one in our own time.
It is 1819. Composer Ludwig van Beethoven becomes enthralled by a simple waltz strain and is obsessed with the desire to make every note perfect, stringing them like pearls into a necklace of 33 variations – a work that would be the crowning achievements of piano music. At the same time, he has to do battle with poor finances and worsening deafness.
It is 2009. Successful musicologist Katherine Brandt starts solving the puzzle surrounding the origins of the variations. Why did Beethoven “waste” the closing years of his life on a banal waltz? Only a vain desire to show the worlds that he could even turn mediocre material into a masterwork? The voyage undertaken by this independent minded woman to solve the mystery forces her to reappraise many things in her own life.
As they are interwoven, the two stories become variations on the question: what is art? how does art make everyday life transcendent? how does life supply material for art?
In the production, we hear excerpts from Beethoven’s 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli.
Premiere on 6 October 2018 at the Small Building