02 Sep 2007
The science of music
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
In his last, largely barren years on the island of Faro, the great film director Ingmar Bergman listened to music. He saw it, his daughter-in-law said, as “a sort of gateway to other realities, different from those we can immediately perceive with our senses”. Bergman had no religious faith, but in music he heard the only possible evidence that there was something beyond this world. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein described Mozart and Beethoven as “the true sons of God”.