Beethoven-Tolstoi-Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA

Three works, three authors, a common title for the first time at one stage.

Theatre-dance-music project - an European premiere stage adaptation.


Choreography and direction: Martin Dvořák

Music: Ludwig van Beethoven, Leoš Janáček

Theme: by Leo N. Tolstoi / Kreutzer Sonata / and Sofia Tolstaja / The question of guilt /

Set and costumes: Jindra Rychlá

Performed by: Irene Bauer, Alena Pajasová, Martin Dvořák, Robin Sobek

Starring: Jolana Dvořáková  - violin and Richard Pohl - piano; Miloslav Ištvan Quartett – Lukáš Mik, Adam Novák - violin, Stanislav Vacek - viola, Štěpán Filípek - cello

At the beginning there was a violin sonata in A major from L van Beethoven who created it under peculiar conditions in 1803. Three-clause/record composition was created for the last minute before its first concert performance in May 1803. Beethoven was not able to finish the last clause/record, so he simply borrowed it from his earlier 6th sonata. This one, his 9th was performed for the first time by violinist Bridgetower and Beethoven himself playing the piano. Why is it devoted to Rudolf Kreutzer, another phenomenal violinist, who in fact never played it? Because Beethoven himself later in time “competed” with Bridgetown over a woman, and took revenge by assigning the sonata to someone else – Kreutzer. This story precedes a novel by L. N. Tolstoj 48 years later. Author was so fascinated by the sonata that it inspired him to write a moral story of a voluptuous man, who kills his wife out of jealousy. She plays Beethoven’s Kreutzer sonata with her friend-lover. The entire story was very critical to loose sexual moral of that time, and to date is considered timeless.

How does Leoš Janáček fall into the equation? 120 years later, after Beethoven, he composed string quartette called Kreutzer sonata. The circle closes here. Janáček was inspired by Tolstoj’s novel. Even here the main theme is the marriage triangle, this time however seen from the prospective of a male musician, who interferes into life of a married couple. Above all it is a painful story of a woman. Escalated erotica is a source of the life’s fullness, though tragic and with Janacek’s uncompromised fatal accent. The whole piece surmounts Janáček’s lifelong relationship to a married woman, which influenced his work of the last decade before his death in 1928.

Kreutzer Sonata (Tolstoy)

The Kreutzer Sonata is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, published in 1889 and promptly censored by the Russian authorities. The work is an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and an in-depth first-person description of jealous rage. The main character, Pozdnyshev, relates the events leading up to his killing his wife; in his analysis, the root cause for the deed were the "animal excesses" and "swinish connection" governing the relation between the sexes.


During a train ride, Pozdnyshev overhears a conversation concerning marriage, divorce and love. When a woman argues that marriage should not be arranged but based on true love, he asks "what is love?" and points out that, if understood as an exclusive preference for one person, it often passes quickly. Convention dictates that two married people stay together, and initial love can quickly turn into hatred. He then relates how he used to visit prostitutes when he was young, and complains that women's dresses are designed to arouse men's desires. He further states that women will never enjoy equal rights to men as long as men view them as objects of desire, but yet describes their situation as a form of power over men, mentioning how much of society is geared towards their pleasure and well-being and how much sway they have over mens actions. After meeting and marrying his wife, periods of passionate love and vicious fights alternate. She bears several children, and then receives contraceptives: "The last excuse for our swinish life -- children -- was then taken away, and life became viler than ever." His wife takes a liking to a violinist, and the two perform Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata (Sonata No. 9 in A Major for piano and violin, Op. 47) together. Pozdnyshev complains that some music is powerful enough to change one's internal state to a foreign one. He hides his raging jealousy and goes on a trip, returns early, finds the two together and kills his wife with a dagger. The violinist escapes: "I wanted to run after him, but remembered that it is ridiculous to run after one's wife's lover in one's socks; and I did not wish to be ridiculous but terrible." Later acquitted of murder in light of his wife's apparent adultery, Pozdnyshev rides the trains seeking forgiveness from fellow passengers.

Photogallery HERE

Replays 2014

30. 12. Malta, La Valetta - Spectacular Ballet Gala / Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata (I. Movement)

16. 11. Dresden-Radebeul / Landesbuehnen Sachsen / Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata_ Emoticon

14. 11. Vienna / Theater Brett / Mitteleuropäisches Theaterkarussell 2014 / Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata_Emoticon

Replays 2013

7. 12. Ósan / Korea: Beethoven-Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA

19. 10. Bratislava / Slovakia / Bratislava v pohybe / Elledanse - Dom T&D: Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

14. 10. Roma / Italy / Che Danza Vuoi 2013 / Teatro Greco: Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

31. 7. Prague / ProART Festival / NoD: Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

21. 7. Brno / ProART Festival / DnO: Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

30. 6. Warsaw / Polsko / Festival Zawirowania: Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

Replays 2012

16. 12. Divadlo na Orlí / Hudebně-dramatická laboratoř JAMU, Brno - Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

15. 12.  - Elledanse - Dom T&D, Bratislava - Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

14. 12. Divadlo na Orlí / Hudebně-dramatická laboratoř JAMU - Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

9. 12. Divadlo Rokoko, Praha – Janáček: KREUTZER SONATA (as part of the evening String Quartets)

14. 10. Kalászi Kortárs Tánctalálkozó / Budapest - Budakalasz, Hungary / "Beethoven: KREUTZER SONATA" + "Istvan: 1951"

1. 10. 2012 - Sukkot Festival - Hangar Adama, Mitzpe Ramon / Liat Dror Nir Ben Gal Dance Company / Israel - "Beethoven: KREUTZER SONATA" + "Istvan: 1951"

3. 8. Praha - NoD - ProART Festival 2012 / 20:00

21. 7. Brno - Divadlo Bolka Polívky - ProART Festival 2012 / 20:00

7. 7. Varšava - Zawirowania Dance Festival

25. 6. Praha - Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata - Open Air Lichtenštejn

28. 4. Brno - Stadion na Kounicove / 19:30 (stand of Bodies in Danger)

27. 4. Bratislava - Dom T a D, Elledanse / 20:00 (stand of Bodies in Danger)

Opening nights 2011

28. 11. 7:30 Jihlava / DIOD

27. 11. 7:00 Praha / Divadlo Rokoko

22. 11. 7:30 Brno / Divadlo Bolka Polívky

20. 11. 8:00 Praha  / České muzeum hudby