Graal Théâtre /​Wagner

40 min


31 May 2018


Sentralen, Oslo

Any story can be told in one sentence…
But then where’s the pleasure?” 

Aleksi Barrière, “Not a Knight”

A laboratory for the performance Between, this concert program, which has undergone several iterations, combines Kaija Saariaho’s violin concerto Graal Théâtre in its new version with actor (featuring Aleksi Barrière original text Not a Knight, written to be spoken in the interstices of the concerto), with orchestral works by Saariaho and/​or Richard Wagner that resonate musically and thematically with this centerpiece. In both composers’ sound worlds, the drama is gradually revealed in force fields drawn by troubled harmonic lines and emotional shimmers, in a quest that is understood to be one only once it’s over.

Creative Team

Concept and Realization

La Chambre aux échos 

Text, Staging and Video

Aleksi Barrière

Musical Direction

Clément Mao-​Takacs

Co-​Stage Design and Lighting

Étienne Exbrayat



Thomas Kellner

Solo Violin

Peter Herresthal

Performance History

21 May 2018 (premiere of the chamber version)

Graal Théâtre with works by Wagner and Debussy
with Secession Orchestra in Paris

31 May 2018 (premiere of the symphony orchestra version)

Monographic Saariaho program (recorded by the label BIS)
with the Oslo Filharmonien at Sentralen, Oslo

9 October 2018

Graal Théâtre with works by Wagner and Saariaho
with the Stavanger Symfoniorkester at the Stavanger Concert Hall

11 February 2022 (concert version with text)

Graal Théâtre with works by Wagner and Saariaho
with the Copenhagen Phil in Copenhague


21 August 2018

“Aleksi Barrière has written a text that is poetic, associative, tempestuous, and even apocalyptic in its most dramatic parts. (…) The actor conjures up images, words and thoughts. It’s as if he’s clarifying the music, but at the same time creating meaning and expressivity on his own terms. (…) Clément Mao-​Takacs’s sensitivity to the refinement and detail of sound allows the orchestra to glide and sparkle. (…) It’s only rarely that a greater number of elements brings greater clarity, but that is what happens here. Together, the visual and the sonic give birth to a modern ritual.”

Bodil Maroni Jensen, musikkjournalistikk​.no

Read Bodil Maroni Jensen’s reportage-​interview created for the performance in Stavanger (text in Nowegian).

Other creations.



Intermedia performance


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