2 parts by 60 minutes
The programme is subject to change
Anton Batagov’s vocal cycle “16+” featuring Nadine Koutcher
We live on a planet that belongs to women, and a man’s role here is very insignificant.
Men remain children forever, no matter however long they enjoy patriarchy, genius,
or play in science and power games.
Pianist and composer Anton Batagov once discovered that the first poet on Earth was a woman. Her name was Enheduanna, she lived in 23th century B.C. in the Sumerian sity-state of Ur, and was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna(Sin). She wrote hymns and sang it. Those works were discovered in early 20th century, and are translated into modern languages. Batagov believes that the hymns are not just great poetry, but they contain the future ideas of Buddhism and Christianity.
Batagov felt the urge to write a vocal cycle based only on poetry written by women. The composer read couple of thousands texts from different ages: poems, hymns, prayers, Revelations, etc. Only 16 text were chosen, and it was Batagov’s decision to limit himself to English and Russian texts (both original and translations) only. The choice doesn’t base on historical or geographical principle, it’s “a journey, and it’s the most important thing”. Batagov had to leave behind hundreds of masterpieces.
The finished cycle is made up of seven Russian texts and nine English, with the three written by English authors, three by Americans, and the other three are translations from Sumerian, Middle Dutch, and Hindi. Russian texts are not exactly Russian, for one is a Church Slavonic translation of the Greek original. It was written by Kassiani, an Eastern Roman abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer; twenty-three of her hymns are included in Orthodox Church liturgical books. But actually all the authors are unique personas, their sheer biographies impress greatly.
According to Batagov, those poems written in different ages, basically carry the same idea and tell a single story of a woman, whose love is deep and profound, for whom her beloved one and God is one and the same.