Photo: Jože Suhadolnik

One of the few points of connection between both scores is the piano.

In Baroque, the piano is used in combination with strings – sometimes as an accompanying, but mostly as a leading or solo instrument. In Caligula, on the other hand, the string orchestra is replaced by a mixed choir that is invariably subordinate to the piano. The decision to use a choir in Caligula provided a sound that is, compared to Baroque's warm strings, considerably colder.

Of all our theatre works, the music for Caligula is probably the most unusual, audacious. This impression was achieved by use of dissonances, not so much in piano parts as in the harmonization of the choir. Director Tomaž Pandur wanted to imbue the music with a sense of monotony. As a consequence, the piano parts are heavily rhythmic and repetitive (Versions 1 and 2 of The Organization Of Madness provide a good example). In the mind of the listener, this creates the image of a flat, infinite line, interrupted by occasional sforzatos in the piano and sudden crescendos in the choir. The music for Baroque is more "classic", although it is possible to detect the same principle – intensified and pushed to the forefront in Caligula – in compositions like Theatre Of Beasts, Religion of Lust, and The True Nature of Happiness.

Interestingly enough, both scores – which appear quite different at first listen – were inspired by the works of early 20th century composers, for instance Scriabin's and Rachmaninoff's Piano Preludes, Prokofiev's 3rd Piano Concerto and the Children's Corner suite for solo piano, which Claude Debussy dedicated to his daughter Emma-Claude, lovingly dubbed Chouchou.

Hladnik, February 2011