RIDDERSALEN, BARONIET ROSENDAL
«New Babylon» – Silent film by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg set to music by Shostakovich, Op. 18 (1928 – 1929) and performed by Sasha Grynyuk.
Translated extract from “El Pais”: Review of the Rosendal Festival:
“Dmitri Shostakóvich cruza la frontera”
By LUIS GAGO
One of the great moments of this Festival has been, without any doubt, the screening on Friday night of the film New Babylon (1929), by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg, carefully restored by Marek Pytel and with the recovery of the original piano music composed by Dmitri Shostakóvich, a regular composer of film music, especially in his youth. The latter interpreted with surprisingly perfect synchronisation to the images, by the Ukrainian pianist Sasha Grynyuk, who amazed all attendees and who received one of the longest, sincere and enthusiastic ovations of these days. Playing a single continuous piece for more than an hour and a half, Grynyuk adhered to and brilliantly shaped the two principles that, according to Shostakovich himself, had guided the composer’s work: that of obligatory enlightenment (music revealing the true intimate meaning of the images) and that of contrast (the music contradicts what we see on screen). Full of quotations, always so dear to the composer, at times vulgar, sometimes deep, polystyilistic but always linked to the film’s visual wonders.