The Carefree Sleepers, the Freshly Blooming

By Johann Sebastian Bach, Friedrich Hölderlin, Christoph Marthaler
Co-produced with the Schauspielhaus Zürich and the Akademie der Künste Berlin (Berlin Academy of Arts) / supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds (Capital City Culture Fund)
/ Vorstellung mit Abstand

Premiere 29/05/2021


The beautiful world, says Hölderlin, can only be experienced in conjunction with the meagreness of life. Even the “carefree sleepers”, the “freshly blooming” must deal with this paradox. The yearning for the unconfined, the urge to infinitely progress and to cast off our chains, is contrasted with urge to be contained, to receive, because there is also something in us that prefers to stay enchained (»An die Madonna«, »Hyperion«, »Mnemosyne«). This is reminiscent of Bach’s contrapuntal »Art of Fugue«. This too is an expression of a simultaneity of strictly limiting form and infinite variability of interpretation. Christoph Marthaler will combine Hölderlin’s “songs” and ideas with Bach’s compositions, beyond traditional clichés and pathos and not without the humour that can be found in Hölderlin and Bach as well. The evening is a celebration of Hölderlin’s 250th birthday, as well as a commemoration of Klaus Michael Grüber, whose exceptional productions in the 1970s rescued the poet from an outdated reception and reputation damaged by National Socialism.

With: Josefine Israel, Sasha Rau, Lars Rudolph, Samuel Weiss Viola da Gamba: Martin Zeller Klavier und Clavichord: Bendix Dethleffsen

Directed by: Christoph Marthaler Stage Design: Duri Bischoff Costume Design: Sara Kittelmann Lightning: Annette ter Meulen Idea and artistic advise: Carl Hegemann Dramaturgy: Malte Ubenauf