He plays the piano with his astral body

Photo: MM

It’s a fun idea: a city festival visitor from the long queue at the market stall Dynamo Dresden enters the Kulturpalast and sees that a concert starts in fifteen minutes in the Great Hall, so: buy a ticket (it is cheap in the range ), balloon and cap with the tip placed in the wardrobe – and get away!

What is there to experience Sunday morning? Contemporary (or almost contemporary) piano pieces alternating with poems by Huchel, Bachmann, Rühmkorf (“I play the piano with my astral body”), Enzensberger or Rosenlocher. First short pieces of characters (Friedrich Goldmann: »Four Piano Pieces«), which exhaust the instrument in terms of sound and mechanics. A first time listener will hardly be able to recognize any structure here. Everything seems fragmented, the rhythm and tonality are suspended.

Steffen Schleiermacher, whom I think I last heard in the red blood room of the Museum of Hygiene, shares the big stage in front of a sparsely occupied hall this morning with actor Erik Brünner, who slowly got used to the years fifty (Paul Celan: »I heard you say«) in the sixties, seventies and late eighties Angela Krauss »Montagsnächte«. They were written in 1989 and mark the chronological end of the concert, which is dedicated to the music and literature of cleverly balanced piano from East and West Germany. Fortunately moderate – because without explanations, without composer names, only connoisseurs would have been able to locate the music here or there (logically, this is more successful with lyrics).

But anyone who now suggests setting up a respectable concert immediately – as a game in which you have to decide whether the painting is a contemporary work of an art college graduate or an elephant from the Hanover Zoo – misjudges the actual function of the compositions. . : last but not least, in a culture business to choose from that is more or less adapted by composers ‘and writers’ associations (East) or banal social expectations (West). followers (or just for the drawer? See Christfried Schmidt’s evening concerts) to create their own inner world with individual forms of expression that can only apply here. In this respect, these pieces have their justification in the concert hall only in the contemporary historical aspect. But now they lack the scenic background, the antithesis. Today, thirty years after the fall of a part of the country and the two generations of composers after the new Stockhausen and the new Rihm, their key can hardly be found. This may have been easier to understand in contrast to the works of Louis Fürnberg, Ottmar Gerster or Ernst Hermann Meyer. From Kurt Barthel to Kurt Bartsch, so to speak.

Schleiermacher’s temporary presentations sometimes seemed sober, almost cynical, due to the ignorance of mostly West German visitors to his concerts over the past thirty years. But even music critics got a bad rap; After all, one of them had heard of the Leipzig Revolution in “Piano Piece 1990”. I do not find this interpretation so foolish: you can hear how something here gradually breaks down after tedious repetitions, after routine processes that have been consumed. In her return poem, Angela Krauss brought “the beginning of future beginnings”.

Yes, what was the concert? A look at the navel of often failed initial attempts? It made me sad and melancholy. Hardly the situation that composers and poets aspired to.

Martin Morgenstern

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