John Malkovich reads ‘Report on the Blind’ from Ernesto Sabato’s novel ‘On Heroes and Tombs’

So after watching John Malkovich from afar for nearly thirty years, our paths finally crossed here in Ljubljana last Thursday night.

Malkovich read ‘Report on the Blind’, a chapter from Argentinian writer Ernesto Sabato’s novel ‘On Heroes and Tombs‘, as part of a sublime choreography of spoken word and the interpretation of Alfred Schnittke’s ‘Concerto for Piano and Strings’ by Russian-born pianist Anastaya Terenkova and the Solisti Aquilani Chamber Orchestra from L’Aquila, southern Italy. The performance was part of the 65th Ljubljana Festival which is ongoing through 31 August.

I was vaguely familiar with Sabato, who was chosen to chair a commission that investigated the crimes committed by the Argentinian military during the brutal ‘Dirty War’ in Argentina of the 1970s and 80s, but haven’t read any of his work. I knew nothing about ‘On Heroes and Tombs’ before and now I can’t wait to read it. Malkovich apparently has the film rights. A great time was had by all.

For further exploration, here’s Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and Strings’:

Here’s Malkovich and Terenkova performing the piece in Helsinki in 2016:

 

And the trailer for the world premiere of the project in 2015, with Malkovich performing the piece with pianist Ksenia Kogan.

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It would be a great discourtesy to not mention the show’s first half, specifically Slovenian violinist Lana Trotovšek, and her refined, inspired and inspiring performance of Johan Sebastian Bach’s ‘Violin Concerto in A minor No. 1. It was a sort of homecoming for the London-based Ljubljana native whose star began to rise internationally when she was 17.

I’ll hunt around to see if I can find a recording or footage of the Ljubljana performance; in the meantime, if you’re not familiar with the piece, here’s a Nigel Kennedy performance from 2010 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia, 20-Jul-2017

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