The world premiere of "Cardillac" in 1926 placed Hindemith in the
forefront of contemporary composers. In 1952 Hindemith thoroughly
revised the work, which originally celebrated the principle of
uncompromising artistic license; the artist, whose only obligation is to
his creations, stands outside the moral and ethical norms of society.
For his production, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle chose the original version,
which he found "more cheeky, youthful, aggressive. Cardillac was written
during the great age of German expressionist film: Nosferatu, M,
Caligari, Metropolis. For stylistic reasons alone I have put Cardillac
in this milieu. I use elements of the expressionist film in the lighting,
in the gestures, in the costumes."