Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin

With dance puppetry. Baritone Thomas Oliemans sings Matthias Pintscher

Composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher juxtaposes the celestial ecstacy of the Song of Songs with Bartók’s hellish nightmare, The Miraculous Mandarin.

Horizon concert 'Japanse impressies' onder leiding van dirigent Matthias Pintscher image: Renske Vrolijk
dates and tickets

Composer and conductor Matthias Pintscher juxtaposes the celestial ecstacy of the Song of Songs with Bartók’s hellish nightmare, The Miraculous Mandarin.

Bartók’s exciting pantomime music still sounds modern, and has inspired a new staging featuring the lifelike dancing puppets of the Duda Paiva Company.

Concert programme

  • Nina Šenk

    Concerto for Orchestra: delen I, II, III (Dutch premiere)

  • Matthias Pintscher

    Shir movement II and IV (final part: commission, Dutch premiere)

  • -- interval --

  • Béla Bartók

    The Miraculous Mandarin

Performers

Dates and tickets

About this concert

In his Shirim, the composer–conductor Matthias Pintscher was inspired by ‘the most beautiful love poems ever written’: the Song of Songs. Pintscher has added a new movement with choir to this cycle for baritone and orchestra which is being given its belated Dutch premiere (originally scheduled to take place in January 2021), featuring Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans. Excerpts from the imposing Concerto for Orchestra by the Slovenian composer Nina Šenk constitute an appropriate opening work. 

Pintscher’s ecstatic timbres contrast sharply with the earthy music that Bartók wrote for the pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin. The story full of sex and violence failed to make it past the Hungarian censors, but the exciting music proved a success. To this day, the work sounds modern, and has even inspired a new staging featuring the lifelike dancing puppets of the Duda Paiva Company.