“When you receive this letter, listen to it carefully;
you might hear my voice whispering…“
Beethoven in Stalingrad is a new play based on letters that were confiscated and hidden away by the Nazi regime. Around Christmas 1942, the German soldiers in Stalingrad were given one last opportunity to write home. Their powerful testimonies are here intertwined with a live remix of Beethoven’s music. Scottish violinist Ian Peaston unravels and remixes the Appassionata in distorted electronic strands that mirror the narratives of real soldiers’ letters from Stalingrad, adapted and performed by the Swedish actor Jesper Arin.
Through the texts we get a glimpse into one of the worst wars in history of mankind in a most personal way. Although the soldiers are well aware of the disastrous situation that they are in they all handle it very differently. The letters contain messages of hate, longing and despair but they also send us reassurance, love and hope.
Intertwined with the letters throughout the performance are parts of Beethoven’s Appassionata, arranged and performed live on electric violin by Ian Peaston. You can hear his music at elucian and at Violin Variations.
Beethoven in Stalingrad was performed at Edinburgh festival fringe between the 16th through to the 31st of August at Spotlites @ The Merchants’ Hall.
“…powerful, haunting and occasionally shattering solo theatre piece.”
“The emotive and powerful performance of Jesper Arin provides the focus of the play … proving intensely brutal in its emotional honesty.”
“The themes of the letters are universal, and that’s exactly what makes this piece of theatre so powerful.”
“… Peaston’s beautiful violin playing finally comes to the fore and brings home the messages of the piece.”
“The play hits you emotionally and makes you think about big questions of belief, survival, suffering and love.”