Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Location location location


Location specific performances are the new big thing. After Gruppen in a hangar at Berlin's Tempelhof airport (seen above in 1948) the action moves on November 9 to the airport's redundant terminal building where a concert commemorates the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. I suggest the next location specific performance should be George Butterworth's idyll for orchestra The Banks of Green Willow on the floor of the London Stock Exchange. Other suggestions very welcome.

As the U.S. presidential election approaches try this one.
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2 comments:

Pliable said...

I struggled to find a website to link to with details of the November 9 concert. So here is a text description instead.

DO SOMETHING!” – NOVEMBER 9 AT BERLIN’S TEMPELHOF

BRITISH VIOLINIST DANIEL HOPE REMINDS WORLD OF CONTINUING DANGERS OF POLITICAL EXTREMISM AND HATRED, WITH CONCERT AND MULTI-GENRE ARTS EVENT

COMMEMORATING 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT, PRELUDE TO THE HOLOCAUST



“DO SOMETHING!”, FEATURING HOPE WITH HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD, MENAHEM PRESSLER, THOMAS QUASTHOFF, SOL GABETTA, AND OTHER CLASSICAL ARTISTS, WILL TAKE PLACE IN DEPARTURE TERMINAL AT BERLIN’S TEMPELHOF AIRPORT ON NOVEMBER 9 WITH SUPPORT OF GERMAN GOVERNMENT AND PARTICIPATION OF OTHER SPECIAL GUESTS, INCLUDING ACTOR KLAUS MARIA BRANDAUER, CABARET STAR MAX RAABE, ROCK AND JAZZ MUSICIANS, AND LITERARY FIGURES

BERLIN, GERMANY, October 6, 2008 – The former passenger departure terminal of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport will be transformed for the first time into a concert hall and multi-genre arts venue on Sunday, November 9, when British violinist Daniel Hope, with the support of some of Germany’s most prominent political figures, comes together with fellow classical, rock, and jazz musicians and other special guests for “Tu Was!” – the German term meaning “Do something!” – a special event commemorating the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

“Tu was!”, a collage of music, words, pictures, and video installations, was conceived by Hope, who was inspired by distinguished British historian Sir Martin Gilbert, and his book Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction, a collection of personal reminiscences of the so-called “Reichskristallnacht” of late 1938. On the night of November 9-10, 1938, Jewish homes and businesses were attacked and half of the synagogues and prayer houses in Germany and Austria were badly damaged or totally destroyed in an orgy of violence propagated by the members of the Nazi SA and SS units. The following day, over 30,000 male Jews were deported to concentration camps, before the eyes of the international press, continuing the Nazi reign of terror that ended in the cataclysm of the “final solution” and the Holocaust.

Daniel Hope comments:

I came across Gilbert’s book recently, and while I knew about the “Reichskristallnacht”, it wasn’t until I read the book that the historical consequences of that night’s events became clear to me. The horrifyingly meticulous description of the violence against the Jews was utterly overwhelming. Since then the question as to what I would have done in such circumstances has begun to haunt me.

“Reichskristallnacht” took place 70 years ago and yet its consequences are still reflected in today’s society. Situations that require civil courage, individual or collective, continue to arise, whether it’s an individual attack on a defenseless fellow human being or the brutality of groups such as rightwing radical skinheads. Remembering the 1938 pogroms is a much-needed symbolic action in our society today. It echoes a call to all civilized people never again to ignore unacceptable violence by inaction.

For Hope, whose family was forced to flee Berlin and the Nazis, the event has urgent political importance as well as obvious personal significance. Throughout his career, Hope has advocated – both in live performance and with recordings – the music of the so-called “Entartete” composers – those composers deemed “degenerate” and subsequently destroyed by the Nazis.

Daniel Hope not only raised the money to make this project happen, he also persuaded leading political figures to back it. “Tu was!” now has the support of the Foreign Minister of the German Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, and his Cultural Minister, André Schmitz. The Jewish community of Berlin and their Chair, Ms. Lala Süsskind, have also pledged their help and support, along with many other individuals and companies.

The proceeds from the evening will be donated to the Freya von Moltke Foundation. Ms. von Moltke, now 97, was a participant in the Kreisau Circle, the anti-Nazi resistance group co-founded by her husband, Helmuth James Graf von Moltke. During World War II, her husband acted to subvert German human-rights abuses in territories occupied by Germany. With the Kreisau Circle, he discussed the future of a Germany founded on moral and democratic principles, such as could develop after Hitler, and was subsequently executed for treason by the Nazi government. Daniel Hope’s great aunt, Marlene Maertens, worked closely with Freya von Moltke after the war, to help refugees who had been forced to flee Germany.

Event Details:

The Place: Although Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport had an important place in the plans of architect Albert Speer’s reconstruction of Berlin during the Nazi era, it is symbolically even more important because of its central role in the so-called “Luftbrücke”, the Berlin airlift. The courageous deployment of individual pilots during that crisis therefore stands for civil courage in a divided city.

The Artists: Hope has brought together artists and friends from many disciplines for “Tu Was!” Classical, jazz, cabaret, and rock musicians, literary figures, and other artists will participate, including Klaus Maria Brandauer, Hélène Grimaud, Max Raabe, Thomas Quasthoff, Sol Gabetta, and the reggae artist Patrice. Menahem Pressler, who invited Daniel Hope to join the legendary Beaux Arts Trio as its youngest ever member, and who, as a Jewish musician living in Magdeburg in 1938, personally experienced Reichskristallnacht, will participate in the event.

The Performances: Menahem Pressler and Daniel Hope will play music by “Entartete” composers; Klaus Maria Brandauer will read from Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction and other works; Max Raabe will present music from Berlin in the Thirties in his inimitable style; rock musicians will give us the here and now; and all will be joining in making a statement against violence and in favor of civil courage today. These multifaceted perspectives will underline the message of the evening: “Tu was!” – “Do something”.

Pliable said...

Email received:

How 'bout Wellington's Victory at Waterloo Station? Or the Brandenburg Conertos at the Brandenburg Gate?

Holst's Planets would be harder to do, but Arnold's The Fair Field is much easier: Fairfield Halls, Croydon.

Cheers
David Cavlovic