Desmond Painter. Amos Oz oor musiek, poësie en skryf

Amos Oz

Amos Oz

In die April uitgawe van die musiektydskrif Gramophone verskyn daar ‘n interessante artikel deur die bekende Israeliese skrywer, Amos Oz, oor die rol van musiek in sy werk.

Oz begin met ‘n mooi beeld van homself as ‘n jong, arm seun in Jerusalem, sonder toegang tot ‘n platespeler of selfs ‘n radio, maar meegevoer deur die klanke van ‘n buurvrou se klavier. Later, toe hy in ‘n kibbutz gaan woon het, is sy toegang tot musiek verbreed:

“It wasn’t only classical music I loved. Israeli folk music is a wonderful phenomenon, which incorporates a broad spectrum of musical styles. Much of it was written by fine composers, in many cases immigrants from western and central Europe who fascinatingly were combining ideas of European compositions with Eastern styles. They deliberately invested some of their creative genius in writing folksongs and melodies for poetry. There can be few other countries in the world where so much poetry has been adapted for melodic treatments — poems by Bialik and Alterman and many others. For me music became inseperable from poetry.”

Volgens Oz het musiek dan ook ‘n direkte invloed op sy skryfwerk: “I wrote a whole book, The same C, in the form of a madrigal, as an assembly of voices. It was conceived as a work of music as much as a work of literature. It is even written partly in verse and partly in prose to blur the lines between music and literature. And now, in fact, it is being adapted into an opera by the Italian composer Fabio Vacchi. I was elated! It will be a homecoming for this work.”

Ek vind dit nogal interessant dat Oz die roman onder bespreking The Same C noem, en nie The Same Sea, soos dit in Engelse vertaling gepubliseer is nie. Ek kon nie ‘n uitgawe opspoor waarvan die titel The Same C is nie, en ek weet ook nie wat die letterlike vertaling van die oorspronklike titel is nie. Die verwysing na “C” maak sy musikale intensies natuurlik baie duidelik…

Oz gaan verder en sê dat hy sy kortverhale altyd in terme van kamermusiek konsipieer en skryf. “I wrote one with four characters and thought of it specifically as a string quartet.” Hy beskou hierdie musikale benadering tot sy literêre produksie as meer as net persoonlike gril, en inderdaad as deel van die Joodse tradisie: “Jewish tradition itself is in many ways like the interaction between chamber musicians. Judaism is not a soloist tradition — it is an articulate tradition, a culture of doubt and argument and ever since its beginnings, since the Torah, Jews were arguing. They argued in many voices, in dialogues, in trialogues, in assemblies. This is a polyphonic tradition.” Hy verwys dan ook na sy jongste versameling kortverhale, Scenes from a Village Life, as ‘n stel variasies op ‘n spesifieke tema.

En die een musiekstuk waarsonder Amos Oz hom die lewe nie kan voorstel nie? J.S. Bach se Cantata BWV 106, die “Actus Tragicus”. ‘n Man met smaak.

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