An Ox on the Roof, part 26

fri 30 apr 2021

Some people compare the coronavirus to war situations and the counter-measures to contain the pandemic to a dictatorship, and very inappropriately so. Adriaan van Dis called it rash comments by people who are spoiled rotten. Real dictatorship is very different.



Russian poet Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) knows true dictatorship: she lived through Stalin’s oppression. Her poems expressed her compatriots’ pain, but her clear, simple verses also touched the common folk. American-Austrian Nancy van de Vate made a moving rendition of Akhmatova’s poignant poetry with her Akhmatova’s Songs. For Palate Cleanser, her compatriot Clare Shore took inspiration from a nightmare after a period of stress. “While falling asleep, I fight demons until a scream from inside of me wakes me up.” Once on the streets, her gloomy thoughts disappear as she hears the music by street musicians and a rehearsing choir.


In her cantata Voice of Women, American-Austrian Nancy van de Vate sings about the sadness of the older women who no longer have a place in society. Lost Orpheus for percussion and cimbalom by the Czech Ivana Loudová is inspired by the eponymous hero from Greek mythology, whose lamentation over the death of Eurydice irritated the Bacchantes so much that they tore him to shreds.



The Ox in times of the coronavirus, episode 13, Sunday 2 May 2021, from 5 to 6 pm.