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Music Text

Libretto after Fernando Pessoa, adapted by Michel van der Aa (E,G,Pt)

Scoring pieces/cabasa/maracas/egg shaker/4Chin.tom-t/BD/bamboo chimes/ratchet/whip(med)/wdbl(lo)/2log dr/tgl(hi)/2susp.cym-4vln.3vla.2vlc.db-soundtrack(laptop,1player)-film(2screens)

Abbreviations (PDF)


Boosey & Hawkes / Bote & Bock

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere
Hafenhalle09, Linz
Michel van der Aa, director
Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies
Company: Klaus Maria Brandauer, actor / Bruckner Orchester Linz


The Book of Disquiet is a collection of fragmentary texts, diary entries and autobiographical anecdotes only published fifty years after the death of Fernando Pessoa. It was assembled from loose sheets of paper, found in a box trunk on his death. Michel van der Aa narrowed down the texts through a process of selection in order to create a piece that could exist in ‘real’ time in the theatre. A series of recurring themes group the fragments by subject matter, for instance isolation, love or dreams.
There are realistic scenes with the alter-egos of Bernardo Soares but also scenes that are much more abstract, drawing upon entries found in the book to create a more dreamlike mise-en-scène. So the video switches between imagery that literally extends the physical events on stage, and more surreal scenes that make us delve deeper into the mind of the protagonist.




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