Media & credits
Dood Paard will presents the legendary Quartet (1980) by Heiner Müller, performed by Manja Topper, Kuno Bakker and Michiel Weidner (cello).
Müller was inspired to write Quartet by the epistolary novel Les liaisons dangereuses written in 1782 by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos. The protagonists, Vicomte de Valmont and Marquis Merteuil are among the last representatives of the decadent Ancien Regime that was violently overthrown during the French Revolution 7 years after the book was published.
Les liaisons dangereuses is a collection of letters belonging to two (ex) lovers and their (potential) lovers and mistresses. The Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquis Merteuil are like two predators in a diabolical game pursuing a common prey while stirring up a mutual fire of lust.
In QuartetMüller reduces the novel to two characters, Valmont and Merteuil. It offers virtuoso dialogue both funny and malevolent in which the duo assume each other’s identity and that of their respective lovers in a unscrupulous game of seduction that tempts death.
Müller situates the drama in a salon before the French Revolution or in a bunker after the Third World War.
Vicomte de Valmont writing to the Marquis de Merteuil in Paris
Your orders are so charming and the way you give them are probably even more endearing; you could make a person learn to love tyranny. As you know, it is not the first time that it pains me I am no longer your slave and although in your eyes I am such a monster, I always think back with pleasure to the time that you honoured me with more loving epithets. Often I wish I was worthy of them again so that together we could show the world what it means to be resolute. But greater interests call us: to conquer is our destiny and we must follow. (…..)
Castle….., 5 August 17**