The Kreutzer Sonata - Author and actress


In 1887, during the concert that was performed at the estate of the Tolstoy family, Leo Tolstoy was listening with tears in his eyes the first movements of the Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata and though he could not control himself, he went to the window to silence his sob.

In such circumstances there was born an idea for one of the most controversial novellas in the epoch at the end of 19th century, the publishing of which was one of the most significant intellectual events in many parts of the world, Europe, Amerika and Asia concerning the theme called at the time the problem of the woman and sexual problem.

Who is that nameless woman in the novella the Kreutzer Sonata?

Sofia Tolstoy, the wife of the great artist Leo Tolstoy, who dedicated her life and all her energy to their wedlock and family life during 45 years of their common life. In extremely hard moments of her life, the music was maybe the greatest comfort for Sofia; and the friendship with the composer Sergei Taniev which relation her husband could not accept and understand. The writer vented such almost pathological jealousy in his piece the Kreutzer Sonata. While Tolstoy flew over the world she was tied on the earth with her problems her husband left to her to solve alone. Thus, unfortunately, she – Sofia, during their marriage became a representative of all values the great writer wanted to release from. Sofia Tolstoy was one remarkable, complex woman, with almost iron body and poetic soul.

This dramatization of Tolstoy’s novella, the Kreutzer Sonata, is in a way a tribute to unique and misunderstood Sofia Tolstoy. Her diaries were published first time and translated one hundred years after she wrote them.

"Intertwining with the Russian playwright's novella excerpts from Sofia Tolstoy's diary, Irina Decermic and Jean-Marc Barr give depth and power to this harsh text, to this confession of a feminicide. If Beethoven's music, perfectly performed live by Tijana Milosevic on violin and graceful and noble Irina Decermic on piano, underline the intensity of the drama and allow you to be carried away by this famous Sonata in Kreutzer, the real trigger of the drama. Tolstoy's words, Jean-Marc Barr's acting, all in controlled tension and nervousness, the luminous presence of his partner (Irina Dečermić), whose singing accent, warms the slightly feverish atmosphere, are enough to make the violence of the act palpable."

L’oeil d’Olivier (Olivier’s Eye)

"Chroniquesartistiques et rencontresculturelles (Artistic chronicles and cultural encounters ) Irina Decermic's theatrical adaptation is flavorful and rich. Combining music with excerpts from Sofia's diary Tolstoy's wife, who are intertwined with selected writings from the "Kreutzer Sonata". The musicians Irina Decermic on piano and Tijana Milosevic on violin offer a precise interpretation, of a beautiful musicality and with a clear scope. Yes, an amazing show, of simple and touching beauty, which surprises us with its purpose and its construction, almost bewitching us with its intertwined lyrics and the music that flows around it."

Frédéric Perez, Spectatif

"In her adaptation, which includes a few moments of the Sofia Tolstoy's "Diary", Irina Decermic, who also plays Pozdnyshev's wife, who will soon be the victim of her husband's jealousy, wanted to remain as close as possible to the raw feelings of this tragedy, which could have been just a vaudeville."

Philippe Person,

"To the fictional strength of the book Irina Decermic added the power of truth, by inserting excerpts from the diary of Tolstoy's wife, Sofia. Irina Decermic, both as an actress and pianist, has a magnificent presence, a permanent grace. This theatrical narrative is of great venerable charm."

Gilles Costaz, Veb theatre

"In her adaptation, conceived as both a theatrical performance and a classical concert, Irina Decermic brilliantly blends the words of the Russian writer with those of her wife's diary, Sofia. Thanks to the careful and sober staging of the Serbian actor and producer GoranSusljik, the play immerses us into this famous train of Leon Tolstoy's novella, with its main character, Pozdnyshev."