The “crisis of opera” has become a standing phrase in the ongoing debate on Berlin’s cultural developement for almost twenty years. It served as analysis and apology; as rational for demand and decline. Yet, what it this crisis all about?
This photo graced the cover of the July 20, 1942 issue of Time Magazine. The story discussed the upcoming radio broadcast by the NBC Orchestra of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony (‘Leningrad’), a piece that had been brought via 100 feet of microfilm from Kuibyshev to Teheran, then to Cairo, and finally to New York. Time considered this work to be the most highly anticipated American debut since the 1903 Manhatten premiere of Parsifal, a piece that was apparently so lofty as to be devoid of political ideology or national origins.
How German cities, how German cultural life reemerged after the Second World War has interested me for a long time. Earlier on today I was browsing the LIFE photo archive that contains quite a few images relating to the post-war music scence in Germany. Here are some of the treasures I found.
Karlheinz Stockhausen “On Thursday, December 13th 2007, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. it will be possible to personally say farewell to Karlheinz Stockhausen in the chapel of the Waldfriedhof in Kuerten (Kastanienstrasse).” – (stockhausen.org/stockhasuen_passes.html) I wish I could go. Interesting video to go along with KONTAKTE. Stockhausen lecturing:
The Academy of Arts in Berlin will open its exhibition on the life and works of Walter Kempowski tonight. No other book in recent years has fascinated me as much as Kempowski’s Echolot. A collective diary, as Kempowski call his opus magnus in the subtitle, the book brings together thousands of autobiographical reports, letters, diaries, [...]
“Dann eines Tages kam ein Ritterkreuzträger in unsere Unterkunft und wir mußten alle antreten – so einer mit einem Arm, ein Kriegsversehrter, er war Offizier, mit zwei eisernen Leuten : ‘So sagt er, Kameraden, jetzt meldet ihr euch alle freiwillig zur SS, wir wollen das Hitler zum Geburtstag schenken,’ das muß so ungefähr der 15 [...]
musica reanimata is the name of an ambitious association of musicians and musicologists in Berlin that revives the music of composers persecuted by the Nazis. The association organizes concerts, conferences, and publishes books. For their efforts they have recently been awarded the prestigious Kritikerpreis für Musik 2006. Yesterday, at the Konzerthaus Berlin, musica reanimata hosted [...]
Walking around in my neighbourhood today I came across the old C. Bechstein piano manufactury in Ohlauer Strasse. This is virtually around the corner from where I live but I had no idea it existed! It was a nice coincidence that I had my camera with me to take this shot of the C. Bechstein [...]
Riding my bike along the numerous paths through the Tiergarten today, a friend of mine showed me a spot where one can see Begas’ Bismarck monument from behind. Set back from the huge traffic circle on the Großer Stern, it sits there between trees and bushes, almost hidden from those who rush by in their [...]
Spuren alter Reklame an Hauswänden. Schilder längst nicht mehr vorhandener Geschäfte und Werkstätten. Hinterhöfe voller leerstehender Garagen und Schuppen – wer arbeitete und lebte hier einst? Geschichten der einsamen Alten. Unterirdische Kanäle und Tunnel. Wie lassen sich die Zeitschichten einer Stadt freilegen?