Blog / Unpacking Murder & Redemption: I

Unpacking Murder & Redemption: I

Posted on 25 Jan 2017 by Cristina Maldonado

What do you do when you see your spouse in the arms of another?

If you’re the jealous husband Pozdnyshev in Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, you take a ‘curved Damascus dagger’ and kill your wife.

Or if you’re the protagonist of a murder-ballad from the folk tradition, you pull a revolver, or use some other unspecified weapon that leaves you somewhat incriminated by the blood all over your shirt.

And after the murder? What then?

If you follow the line of the United Society of Believers (aka ‘The Shakers’), the best way to avoid these inconvenient consequences of Murder and Redemption is to abstain from marriage and sexual relations altogether, and Tolstoy agreed.


Whether it’s the ageing Janáček using Tolstoy’s novella as a prism through which to view his infatuation with the young (and married) Kamilla Stösslova, or John Adams drawing his inspiration from an almost-lost sect who sought spiritual transcendence through ecstatic and frenzied dancing, Murder & Redemption is a concert that journeys from darkness into light, from hell into heaven, and from guilt into forgiveness.

By Martin Buzacott

2 - 14 February 2017
Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney.

Pekka Kuusisto Director & Violin
Sam Amidon Voice & Banjo

TRAD. (arr. Muhly) Kedron
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: I. Adagio con moto
TRAD. (arr. Muhly) Way Go Lily
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: II. Con moto
TRAD. (arr. Muhly) Wild Bill Jones
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: III. Con moto – Vivace – Andante – Tempo I
TRAD. (arr. Muhly) How Come That Blood
JANÁČEK (arr. strings) String Quartet No.1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: IV. Con moto
TRAD. The Redemption Set
ADAMS, John Shaker Loops: I. Shaking and trembling
BRACKETT Traditional Shaker hymn: Simple Gifts
ADAMS, John Shaker Loops: II. Hymning slews, III. Loops and verses, IV. A final shaking