GesamtkunstwerkGesamtkunstwerk - a term introduced into circulation by the composer Richard Wagner in the middle of the 19th century. Its literal meaning is the combined work of art. This concept Wagner tried to describe the “art of the future”, which saw him as a synthesis of, the unification of all kinds of arts. This concept was the beginning of pan-aesthetic positions of romanticism. For Wagner embodiments of this synthesis were musical drama productions with application of specific stage of the funds. Many of Wagner’s contemporaries shared his idealistic aspirations. This idea was preached by a writer, a music critic and a philosopher Vladimir Odoyevsky in Russia. In Switzerland, a synthetic approach to the art was used for the stage decorations in works of Adolphe_Appia - a theater artist and theorist, and in England - Edward Gordon Craig. The influence of the ideas of synthesis of the arts can be observed in productions of the Diaghilev’s “Russian ballet”, and Eizenshtein embodied the idea of Gezamtkunstverk in the film industry.
In the first half of the 20th century the idea of synthesis of arts continues to soar in the air and inspire the search for new expressive means of artists, musicians, art theorists. Among those who actively deals with the issue of “synthesis of the arts” is Wassily Kandinsky. After all, Kandinsky is not only an artist, he is a creator in a broad sense. He writes poetry, he is fond of music and theatre. And he feels a certain relationship between the different types of art and the necessity of combining them to create something special, new and unique. For the first time about this, he talks in his book “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, where he voiced the idea of spiritual kinship of all types of art, especially music and painting, in the future, he continues to develop this idea. In the understanding of Kandinsky, the maximum essence of synthetic art (in his terminology – “monumental”) may be manifested in the “scenic compositions”. From the ordinary stage productions compositions are distinguished by the fact that they are abstract. On the first place is the color. It is on the stage of the color should find something movement, which for it didn’t available in painting.
Since 1909 to 1914, Kandinsky created four the stage songs: “Green sound”, “Purple curtain”, "Black and white” and “Yellow sound”. The last song was the most significant and interesting. Its libretto is published in the almanac “The Blue Rider”, in 1912. And in 1914 Kandinsky with their colleagues and friends A. Kubin, F. Ìàrñ and À. Ìàcke is busy preparing for the production of “Yellow sound” in Munich. According to the artist, the song should harmoniously combine music, color, plastic and word (orchestra, colored projectors, pantomime and singers). A composer Thomas de Hartmann writes music for it. But authors saw never their own project on the stage - began the First World War. For the first time the product was delivered only many decades later, - in May 12, 1972 in the Guggenheim Museum.
Another possibility to realize his dreams is available Kandinsky in the period of his teaching at the Bauhaus. The cultural life of the institution is opened for all sorts of experiments. And in 1928, Kandinsky prepares and implements the staging of theatrical compositions to a cycle of pieces for piano written by Mussorgsky. The premiere of “The Pictures from the Exhibition” was held in April 4, 1928, in “The Frederick Theater”, in Dessau, and it had a great success. It was a complicated and technically complex composition, which required from the author of the detailed instructions. Unfortunately, the scenery weren’t preserved, and there were no photos. The only things that have been remained - 16 watercolors, sketches, which are stored in the Pompidou Center.
In subsequent years, the composers and the musicians many times turned to these two works by Kandinsky, were the staging of “Yellow color” on the musical scenes of different countries. On the basis of the Kandinsky’s watercolors French pianist Mikhail Rudy created a video for his own execution plays of Mussorgsky.