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Imaginations II

Imaginations II (1986)

Imaginations II for bass baritone and piano continues Imaginations I. Once again the text is phonetic and constructed according to the same sound circles as in Part I. Absurdist music theater has received a larger role. Imaginations II is about the (protractedly) dying singer who stays on stage and keeps on singing.

The pianist comes on stage and begins. The singer starts a kind of ritual singing offstage and comes audibly nearer. Then, with a jerk, the curtain is pulled open and the vocalist walks regally onto the stage, dressed in a giant Indian headdress. During the performance a dummy sitting in a chair becomes the antagonist. The singer tries lovingly to get her to talk and laugh. In the dummy is a small cask that makes a bleating sound when held upside-down. At the sound of this ‘answer’ the singer is so ‘disappointed’ that, overcome by grief, he stabs himself in the breast. But he keeps on singing, singing, and singing. In the end he collapses and drags himself off stage, groaning, leaving behind a desolate pianist.

Commissioned by the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.

Worldpremiere: June 15th 1986, in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam during the Holland Festival 1986.
This performance was broadcast live on radio and television by VPRO and performed by Lieuwe Visser, bass baritone and Robert Nasveld, piano.
Watch the interview (in Dutch) by Ad ‘s Gravesande with Robert Nasveld about his Imaginations II:

Watch the first performance of Imaginations II by bass baritone Lieuwe Visser & Robert Nasveld, piano.