Aeschylus’ Oresteia, written in the 5th century BC., is one of the greatest works of ancient Greek theater, and the only surviving trilogy from this time.
In 1966, the Greek playwright Alexis Solomos entrusted Xenakis with the music for a new production of the Oresteia. Thus they began to work together to reconstruct the sounds of ancient Greece through the prism of their time.
“The ancient drama cannot be expressed with tonal or atonal music like serialism. This type of music is typical of another era”, explains Xenakis, who writes fascinating colourful music full of contrasts. “Collective songs and dances, invocation of Jupiter: order = disorder, madness, screams, metal, voices with different rhythms…”, Xenakis writes in his score. He explains in several letters to Solomos that the hysterical and chaotic interpretation of the choir tries to produce a sound similar to that of the demonstrations of the 1940s against the Italian and German occupation of Greece.
This is a work that swings between the conflicts of Greek tragedy and those of 20th century Greece, between balance and chaos; all this under an atmosphere of modern primitive ritual.
The Zaragoza Auditorium Chamber Orchestra – “Grupo Enigma” (OCAZEnigma) was founded in 1995 and is one of the leading chamber orchestras in Spain. The OCAZEnigma has been a resident group of the Auditorio de Zaragoza since its inception. It has also established itself through a bold program in a continuous state of crossroads, where tradition enters dialogue through new forms of contemporary expression.
For this concert at the Mérida Festival, OCAZEnigma will join the Polish baritone Maciej Nerkowski and the Ensemble Vocal Teselas, as well as the children’s choir from Extremadura Coro Amadeus-IN. Under the direction of Asier Puga, almost a hundred musicians will give life to a work that swings between the conflicts of Greek tragedy and those of 20th century Greece; between balance and chaos; all this under an atmosphere of modern primitive ritual.
This concert is produced in collaboration with the Government of Aragon.
Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)
Le Déesse Athéna 
Duration: 60 minutes (only music).
Recommended age: For all audiences.