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Schoenberg's vision about the play of Maeterlinck

Pelleas und Melisande tells the story of a love triangle, in a version for large symphony orchestra whose atmosphere differs enormously from Debussy's opera.


To accompany the listening of this powerful composition, the libretto has been reduced to a few sentences, which are superimposed on a rich but dark visual universe that gradually decomposes.


The reflection on the possibility of looking is essential to this vision, with lighting effects responding to the leitmotivs and bringing Pelleas, Golaud and Melisande to life.




Het Collectief
Ivo Venkov (conductor)  

Lise Bruyneel (live video)


Festival 20.21 in Leuven



The mysterious Mélisande with her incredibly long hair, from Maeterlinck’s well-known stage play made her way into the minds of many a composer around 1900. 

Even Arnold Schoenberg was charmed and wrote a stunning score about her eccentric love for Pelléas. The music basks in the sultry sensuality of the Viennese fin-de-siècle, balancing along the precipices of human emotion. 

Lise Bruyneel has designed an intimate video to accompany Schoenberg’s wordless work. The video both shows the narrative thread and reinforces the sense of mystery in Maeterlinck’s piece.


" The final piece, Pelleas und Melisande, was sublime. Combined with the visual arts of Lise Bruyneel, Het Collectief brought the story to life. It is hard to explain how this composition, which felt like a clenched symphony, touches you soul-deep as a listener.... For the short duration, you are swept along from one emotion to another - supported by the necessary melodic references. Schoenberg gives overwhelming musical suggestions, and Het Collectief brought them forward with strong intensity. My recommendation is above all: definitely experience it for yourself."

Jessy Baeken, klassiek centraal, 27.09.2023

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