An exhibition presents the creative collaboration of Pancho Vladigerov with director Max Reinhardt

An exhibition presents the creative collaboration of Pancho Vladigerov with director Max Reinhardt
An exhibition presents the creative collaboration of Pancho Vladigerov with director Max Reinhardt

The exhibition “Reinhard – Vladigerov, mutual influences and projections” is on display until November 9 at the Festival and Congress Center in Varna. It is part of a project dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Max Reinhardt’s birth. It was prepared by the team of the “Pancho Vladigerov” house-museum and presents little-known aspects of the Bulgarian composer’s creative biography in one of his most fruitful periods, when his collaboration with the already established Reinhardt developed in Berlin and Sofia in the 1920s of the twentieth century.
Max Reinhardt took over the Deutsches Theater and founded its chamber stage. He also runs the Grosses Schauspielshaus and the Comedy Theater. At that time, Berlin had four million inhabitants and was the third largest capital in the world. Researchers say that he is to the Western European theater what Stanislavsky is to Russia. An innovator in many ways, who introduced the rotating round stage, sought symbiosis of all components of the theatrical action and valued the presence of music, Nadya Sotirova, director of the Pancho Vladigerov house-museum, said at the opening of the exhibition.
The director invited the 21-year-old Bulgarian to be the music director and composer of his performances, after he happened to hear him playing in his apartment, located right across from the Deutsches Theater. By then, Vladigerov had already completed his studies at the Higher School of Music, completed courses, specializations and master classes at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. In addition to leading the chamber ensemble that plays live at the performances, Vladigerov is actively writing music for plays by leading directors in Berlin. His first work was for Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra, followed by Strindberg’s Dream Play. He created music for ten productions, the museum found in the composer’s meticulously maintained archive. However, during a visit to Berlin, they learned that he also worked on two more – “Elga” by Hauptmann and “School for Women” by Moliere. It is characteristic of the Bulgarian to make a transcription of music for theater written by classical and more modern composers, adapting it to Reinhardt’s needs, added Nadia Sotirova.
According to her, Vladigerov worked almost around the clock, but instead of taking him away from composing work, this intense regime gave him an additional impulse, and it was in Berlin between 1920 and 1932 that he created his first most vivid works, which remain emblematic – Rhapsody ” Vardar, Seven Bulgarian Symphonic Dances, the concert overture “Earth”, “Bulgarian Suite”. According to Sotirov, his theater music is an extremely valuable laboratory, from which the composer drew until the end of his life, using it for new transcriptions and works. She also pointed out that almost every one of his opus has different variations because he was looking for ways to reach more artists and instrumentalists.
The last work that Vladigerov wrote in Berlin was for the play “Twelfth Night” by Shakespeare. This saturated period for him did not go unnoticed in Bulgaria, no matter how unequal the situation in the two countries was, the director also said and added that he managed to push this European line in our country as well. Already in the 1920s, he suggested to the poet Nikolay Liliev, as a playwright of the National Theater, that Reinhardt’s “Chalk Circle” be performed on the Sofia stage under the direction of his student Hrisan Tsankov, but the performance was met with controversy. Sotirova recalled that Vladigerov transferred the experience from the Salzburg Festival to Varna, creating together with Dobri Hristov the country’s first folk music celebrations, which grew into the “Varna Summer” festival.
According to the specialist, it is very valuable for the overall growth of the Bulgarian composer that during his creative period in the theaters in Berlin he communicated with a bright intellectual elite. These are people like Stefan Zweig, Bertold Brecht, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, with whom they started work on pantomime, which they did not finish because of his suicide during the war, Franz Werfel, George Enescu, Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss. They like his music, include it in their concert programs and it spreads throughout Europe, Sotirova said.
According to her, the period in the German capital was not very well known until recently, but now it is more illuminated, thanks to the film “Rhapsody Vladigerov”, created by the team of the composer’s house-museum. It was photographed in Vienna and Berlin and shows how popular the Bulgarian was then, as evidenced by the encyclopedia “Reinhardt’s World Theater”, published in 1983, in which his name is mentioned on almost every page. The tape shows the projection of Vladigerov in his three grandchildren, who live in Berlin and Vienna and also compose theater music, Nadia Sotirova said.
The project dedicated to the collaboration of Reinhardt and Vladigerov also includes a concert, which will take place today in the City Art Gallery in cooperation with the International Music Festival “Varna Summer”. The program has been prepared by the composer Milko Kolarov, who will stand at the conductor’s desk in front of the Symphony Orchestra – Varna with soloist Ivaylo Djurov (bass).
The project is part of the “New Music Scene” program of the Varna agency “Elite Projects Management” and will be a guest on November 10 in Shumen, Vladigerov’s hometown, as well as on November 27 in Stara Zagora in the poster of the Opera and Ballet Art Festival.

The article is in bulgaria


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