The Voice(s) of God

When God speaks it is in the form of a small chorus (for the Straubs a way of insisting that wisdom and power comes from the people, not from above).

Dave Kehr, New York Times, Sunday, February 5

In an article about a 1975 film version of Schoenberg’s Moses and Aron, Dave Kehr might give the impression that the filmmakers (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet) came up with the idea of God being vocally represented by a small chorus. But anyone who glances at the first page or two of the score would know that Schoenberg wrote it that way – it is not the filmmakers’ invention.* One thing they did come up with is to change the spelling of the title – “Aaron” instead of Schoenberg’s “Aron.” No comment on what luck or lack of it may have been provoked by spelling the title with thirteen letters instead of Schoenberg’s twelve.

* Compare the pair of singers that give voice to the angel in the Abraham and Issac episode of Britten’s War Requiem – again, the singular (monotheistic) voice of the divine as multiple.

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