TonLagen – Dresdner Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik
Hellerau – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden
The title Ferne Nähe (Distant Proximity) of Daniel Smutny’s musical comedy for octet and four singers can be read literally: it is a piece on closeness and distance, on young love, solitude and longing. Even the music of the approx. 80-minute work the composer was commissioned to write by the Hellerau – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden (Hellerau – European Centre for Arts Dresden) with the support of the EvS Music Foundation approaches historic forms of music at the same time to transform them in line with the present day. The transparency against which the music develops is the “Schubert Octet” with vocal quartet which, at the same time, is also a reflection on the romanticizing theme of the piece of musical theater. Key to the plot is Leo who – now not so young anymore – longs for all those experiences he has missed. In his interaction with three other characters he gradually realizes he must act and take decisions. And ultimately, the relationships marked by attraction and distance amongst the different characters point once again to the core of Smutny’s work: that proximity which at the same time allows us to recognize distance.