Roland Dürre
Saturday August 5th, 2017

Theatre, States and the Church …

On Thursday, August, 2rd, I went to a debut performance at the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater. Currently, they are playing a piece by  Philipp Löhle. The title is “Der Wind macht das Fähnchen“.

This time around, four female actors play on the small Torturmtheater stage: Judith RiehlNadia SchwienbacherChristian Buse and David Lindermeier. Other active persons were Oliver Zimmer as the director and, of course, the great Angelika Relin, without whom this entire enterprise would not even exist.


Visiting the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater.


And Barbara and yours truly enjoyed the privilege of being present at the debut performance. We very much enjoyed a special performance. It was an evening as it will never return and it made me truly happy.

You cannot miss this performance. It will (only!) run until September, 30th, which means you already want to plan your trip to Sommerhausen. Here is the pre-view:


“Here it is, my whole pride” – the family. An experiment for the brave? 
In the year nineteen-hundred-and-some-uneven, when the world was still a better place, the story begins. Father, mother, son and daughter can be seen smiling in fast-motion as snapshots are taken at the breakfast table or during the Italy vacation. However, the bourgeois image is tricky, because as soon as hard times come, nobody stands up for the other. The family, too, depends on economic ups and downs. Everything collapses when father miscalculates the future of the modern “internetwork” and – consistently – gives notice. And it is this of all consistent acts he hands down to his son for life at the moment of truth.  
After crisis and separation, there is re-unification and new family portraits, seemingly in total harmony, but the idyll now has cracks. Irreparable cracks.


I had already been fascinated by the last play I had watched: “Eine Sommernacht”. Now it was even better – if that is possible. There is always great theatre at the Sommerhausen Torturmtheater. “Das Fähnchen“ is an exciting comedy with plenty of whit and intrigue!


It was a great theatre evening.


The beautiful conclusion of a wonderful day we had spent on our bikes. After approximately a hundred kilometres on our bikes on our way from Klingenberg to Sommerhausen, along the river Main with a few shortcuts through rolling hills, we arrived at Sommerhausen late in the afternoon. There was still time for refreshments and relaxing. And half an hour before the comedy started, we arrived at the Torturmtheater.


Some theatre before the theatre performance.


We enjoyed the always impressive theatre foyer and were looking forward to the performance. It was not altogether by force (it was not really necessary to listen carefully) that I listened to a conversation between a middle-aged gentleman (perhaps between forty and fifty) and an elderly couple (perhaps between sixty and seventy, with the lady not really saying anything, instead only reproachfully looking at her husband). For me, it was like a “small private theatre before the real theatre started“!

It was a dispute where the younger gentleman kept noisily finding it outrageous how the church behaved and what special rights that were no longer acceptable it took for granted. The other person tried to speak in defence of the church in a softer voice.

The younger gentleman criticized the church tax as a consequence of the concordat that seems to have been first installed in the 1930ies after negotiations with the Nazis. He found it annoying that leading church managers, like cardinals and bishops, get paid by the state.

The other gentleman pointed out that, after all, the church was socially very active with good deeds and that this was probably worth the price the state pays. Then the older gentleman said that the protestant church was probably better than the Catholic church. The younger gentleman countered that the protestant church actually made quite a huge profit with the Diakonie. And it continued in that manner.

Then the younger one found it lamentable that children had three hours of religious instruction at school where they were indoctrinated. The older one defended this system by claiming that school, basically, was not just there to teach knowledge, but also to give young people values. None of it was really high-level, the arguments were the same as always and nothing new. Not really exciting. Not even the values.

(After all, in my opinion, introducing values is actually part of teaching knowledge. But then, I learned a long time ago not to become an active participant in these kinds of discussions).

So I started thinking about the experiences I myself had had with the church. That reminded me of my friend and teacher Rupert Lay. I learned so much from him, above all that I have to appreciate my own qualities and take myself seriously. And that I have to be an autonomous person who is not easily manipulated.


The Jesuit Rupert Lay.


Rupert’s goal in life was to be there for the poorest of the poor. However, for him, that were not only the homeless and those who were ostracized from society. In his opinion, especially top managers belonged in this category. Which is probably correct. For me, it is hard to imagine any other profession (with the possible exception of pastors) where you have so many crazy people as among the directors of the German and international concerns. Sorry, but when I say “crazy”, I mean people who suffer from massive psychic illness and disorders.

Rupert Lay was mostly concerned with managers who had stayed sane. The “sick ones” were sorted out during his preparatory seminars. They never were allowed to attend his advanced seminars. After all, they would probably only have been a nuisance and would not have understood anything.

The really expensive fees you had to pay for Rupert Lay’s seminars were all transferred to his order, the Jesuits. And since Rupert Lay generally structured his activities to look like pastoral care, the tax office did not benefit either. At the time, some civil servants at the tax office found this extremely unfair, but apparently even they could not win against the power of the churches.


Heinrich Henckel von Donnersmark – Stage Name: Augustinus – and Rupert Lay.


I was also reminded of Father Augustinus, whose secular name was Henckel von Donnersmark. He was a baron. I knew him as well and liked him very much. Even though Rupert Lay was a Jesuit while Augustinus was a Premonstratensian Chorister. Both of them were the protagonists for ethics in business. I rather liked that. They were important counsellors of German top people in industry and politics. And they also made a good name for themselves as excellent speakers and management trainers.

Rupert Lay saw the system church a lot more critical than the “nice” Augustinus. Consequently, we (the Ronneburger Kreis) invited them to Frankfurt for a dispute. And we were quite surprised, because in the end there was far too much harmony. Basically, they kept telling the opponent that he was right.

For me, Augustinus was the best orator I ever knew. I well remember one of his presentations in Wiesbaden in the 1990ies for ICL – at the time a relevant IT producer from Great Britain. He had introduced himself as manager of “the enterprise Catholic Church” and described his role as that of the “lobbyist of the most powerful and oldest enterprise of the world”. Quite some self-irony.


Churches talk about peace and love.


On the other hand, the presentation also gave me an insight about myself that I see confirmed to this day. The church is an enterprise that has peace and love written all over its statutes. Quasi as Marketing. They have been doing this for more than 2,000 years. In all these years, it thrived with this message and became really rich and perhaps also powerful. I find it extremely sad that, in all those 2,000 years, it never managed (and perhaps never even wanted) to make the world a little more peaceful and love-oriented. On the contrary: to this day, the Catholic Church, along with its competition on the market, cause the opposite of peace and love: war and hatred.

Consequently, that was the time when I first understood that I do not wish to associate myself with a system like the church. Nor will I say more about it.

Just like I will never again vote for CDU/CSU because they are the reason why we had re-armament in Germany. The same is true for the SPD and the Green Party. I will not vote for these parties because they broke an important taboo when they allowed fighting missions abroad for the ‘German Armed Forces.
Basically, everything is quite simple:

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
And if you want to go to Sommerhausen by train, you want to look for the railway station of Winterhausen. From the Winterhausen station, it is only one kilometre to the theatre on foot..

It is a little sensational:

In the Himmelfahrtskirche München-Sendling, there will be two concerts late in May; they complement each other in terms of subject matter:

Two “Operatic Concerts” about Orfeo in authentic sound quality!

 

On Thursday, May, 25th, 2017:

 

C. W. Gluck

Orfeo ed Euridice

 

On Sunday, May, 28th, 2017:

 

C. Monteverdi

L‘Orfeo

 

Both concerts begin at 7 p.m.!

The two composers lived in different centuries. That means it will be quite interesting to witness how they treat more or less the same material in a totally different way.



Well, obviously, hearing both concerts is the most promising approach. Which means we recommend that you buy the both tickets at a discount of 10 €.

Naturally, you can also only listen to one of the two.

For those who are not familiar with it:
Authentic sound quality means that the concert pitch is as it was at the time of composition, which means about 30 Hertz below the modern concert pitch. That can only be achieved with an orchestra that plays authentic instruments.

It is always my pleasure to advert the unique

Arcis-Vocalisten

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday April 13th, 2017

IT-Treff – Nostalgia 1999 – It was Awesome!

Among the IF Blog documents, you can find a very special article. For a long time, it was hidden at the very bottom.

It is a satire on New Economy – a theatre play titled:

“Can we be saved?“

Norbert Weinberger and yours truly wrote it. The idea originated when we were on a flight from Munich via Zurich to New-Delhi with Swiss Air.

Swiss Air was a compromise that had taken long to agree upon. My friend and partner Norbert always flew Lufthansa Business Class as a matter of principle. And, just as true to my principles, I always flew Economy. Since we wanted to fly together, we compromised on Swiss air Business Class, because at the time the price was almost exactly halfway in between.

Incidentally, the reason for our flight was the official opening of our joint subsidiary company “AMPERSAND limited“. The trees grew into the heavens at the time.

The Business Class of the Swiss Air plane to New Delhi was completely empty. In those days, Swiss Air was still an independent airline and suffering from losses – but that did not matter to the friendly crew. The service was excellent, we were really mollycoddled. During the entire flight, charming stewardesses served us champagne. That was also one of the factors that made us bold. Consequently, we developed the rough concept for our theatre piece while flying.

Together with friends of ours who were also entrepreneurs, we had the first performance on June, 29th, 1999 with an audience of considerably more than 500 at IT-Treff 99 in the over-crowded Munich Schlachthof. It was great fun and the audience were enthusiastic. For us – the cast – it was mania. And additionally, it was a great outlook towards what happened around the turn of the millennium.

How did the IT Treff come about? In the mid-1990s, it was not always quite so easy for IT enterprises in Germany. The general feeling was not too good. Consequently, a few courageous IT entrepreneurs wanted to do something to improve the mood.

Their names were: Muschka Utpadel-Domdey, Alfred Bauer, Hans Nagel, Dr. Christian Roth, Markus Winkler and yours truly.

Our idea was: let us celebrate against the crisis. So we initiated the IT-Treff and invited the entire Munich IT scene. And alas – they all came.

Stars with names like Gerhard Polt and Django Asül performed for us and extended their programs to include IT-specific topics. The Bavarian Government was always on board – I remember well how Secretary of State Hans Spitzner gave us very special welcome addresses. There was always hot music – we even produced our own CD in the Schlachthof with the George Greene Hotline Band. In fact, to this day I enjoy listening to it.

And the entire IT sector danced. That was in the years 1996, 1997 and 1998. We had our last IT-Treff in 1999 – and we (the organization team) made our own cabaret IT-Treff Satire (1734) “Can we be Saved?“ – for you to read and imitate.

Since is it such a nice piece and was such a huge success, I offer a bonus for small and big theatres if they play it. You can call it a “negative performance fee” (royalty), which means you do not have to pay 10% of the turnover, but instead get something back. It is short and very much to the point – the prelude can also be used for other occasions besides celebrations.


 

Here is the IT Treff 1999 flyer from the outside

And from the inside

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

and Great and Unique Soloists and Orchestra!

 


In 1729, when Joh. Seb. Bach first played his “St-Matthew’s Passion” during the Good Friday Vespers in the Leipzig Thomas Church, the audience was overwhelmed. The huge cast with soloists, two choirs and orchestra, along with the moving expressiveness surpassed all that had ever been conceivable. Bach tells the Tale of the Woe Jesus lived in a very haunting way. It is a top work of musical history that forms the drama of what happens in the Passion to become one musical-theological entity.

“Between emotionally sung arias and salivating tuba choirs: humanity versus injustice and death. With his Arcis-Vocalisten, Thomas Gropper gains graphic expression, even though he does without martially blaring avowals. The chorales are permitted to stream in wonderful sensuality, which is a much more convincing way of giving the secret of faith a voice” (“Klar und lyrisch”/SZ 4/13).


 

The Arcis-Vocalisten are a very special choir, not only because Evelyn (EG), who translated many IF Blog articles, is one of them.

And to top it all:
IF Blog readers who would like to delight in the concert can get a special discount. If you are interested, just send me  an email with reference to “Arcis-Vocalisten”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday February 26th, 2017

Please Treat Humans as Befits Them.

EXPERIENCING rather than LEARNING!

Carnival time will soon be over and “Mariechen” will disappear back in the attic. The Carnival Guard’s Gala Uniforms, too, which should be a thing of the past in real life (just like marching along the Honorary Guards with their bayonets if you are a Visitor of State, which I consider a pitiful tradition) will end under the roof. After all, in today’s digital world, the bodies will no longer be cut with bayonets but with drones. I do not mean this cynically – it is simply the reality in our high-tech world.

In our schools, and by now even at our universities, the evil carnival continues after Ash Wednesday.

This is why I repeat my Credo.

Above all, I want to “experience” and “live through” many things. I want to try new things and “work towards” acquiring knowledge that I need with the necessary depth. Learning in the classic diction without a goal is not my thing.

I know that I am always “part of something” and that I consciously want to belong to a “we”. It is my pleasure to take responsibility, both for myself and the shared social life. To do this, I need no motivation from outside, neither ideological nor financial.

For me, it is important to get feedback that appreciates my value and to find undistorted mirroring. However, I do not want to be graded, because I oppose for my “essence” to be metricized. Because I want to remain a human being, instead of becoming a machine. That is why I also never evaluate other persons or give them grades. In my opinion, being proud of good grades is just as absurd as being proud to be a German.

I would like to live in a society where “coaching” (in the sense of support and help) replaces reigning over others. A world where communication and networks are free and where nobody has power over others and where self-organized networks replace hierarchical structures.

Consequently, we should kiss terms such as “life-long learning” good-bye. Learning is “not nice” and getting graded for what you have learned is “even worse”. I was myself a master of “knowledge bulimia” (a better term would be: “knowledge fraud”) and know what I am talking about – also because I am a father of seven.

So it is only a logical consequence that we must liberate our children from the learning and grading stress. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised to hear that even Marlies Tepe, the director of the Union GEW, wants to  abolish all grades at school – from primary school through grammar school. Unfortunately, I also had to read that there is considerable opposition against the proposal.

I am in favour of it!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Or is that already true for the present?

On January, 3rd, Franziska Köppe interviewed me for her blog FAHRRADkultur.
Here is the result:

Franziska’s message is “bike-riders will live longer lives”. Consequently, I certainly hope that she is right and that our life will not be terminated ahead of time by some motorized vehicle. And that it will not happen that, to make up for it, one more white bicycle will be sitting on a street or crossroad.

I hold Franziska in very high esteem. Consequently, I was a little cautious during the interview. My worst provocation was perhaps (citation from the interview):

“Car drivers are the coachmen of our times. Coachmen were not very well-liked, because whenever any of the common citizens were in their way as they drove through the narrow streets of the cities, they used their whips to beat them out of the way. In those days, coachmen were considered “scum and riff-raff“?!

I abide by all I said in the interview. Let me add that the more I live (and I mean “live” in the truest sense of the word) without a car, the more I am aware of how stupid and irrational it is to drive a car.

And that is true for many dimensions:

  • For the lie behind the image and reputation you subconsciously want to gain through owning a car.
  • For the challenging work you have to do as you sit behind a steering wheel, although you have grown used to it and thus ignore how strenuous it is. More than this: you actually lie to yourself and claim that you “enjoy the experience of driving” or “relax behind the steering wheel”. Your car is perceived as your “best friend” and a place where you “feel at home”.
  • For the horrendous deprivation of exercise and fresh air you subject yourself to as a car driver. That is also true for the physical damage caused by constantly sitting and the negative consequences, including spinal problems.
  • For senselessly wasting time, especially if you drive a car. Using public transportation, you could take far better advantage of that time.
  • For the physical (considerably more than one million fatalities and far more seriously and not so seriously wounded persons) damage world-wide every year, as well as the psychological risk (double stress for instance when using the telephone while driving a car).
  • For how unfree a car makes you – it is the millstone around your neck – because you always have to go back to where it is parked.
  • For how you depend on the car: whenever there is a problem and it does not work, your personal world is under threat of destruction.
  • For how much of a burden a car is: How often do I hear people say – I have no time because my car needs to be picked up from the service/taken to the service. And the weekend is spent polishing it because you love it so much.
  • For how ruthless car drivers treat their environment and society. Neither pollution nor waste of energy are considered, the external additional costs of mobility are considerably higher if you drive a car than if you go by any other means of transportation. And we all pay the price.
  • For the fact that you accept the risk that you might kill or injure people, doing enormous damage to yourself in the process.…
  • … and for a lot more …

For me, driving a car thus gets more and more synonymous for living your life the wrong way. But:

Life is too short to live it the wrong way!

I know from personal experience that people who consider their car part of their own body like a wheelchair that has become essential to their life will under no circumstances agree with many of the points on this list. I can also relate from personal experience that it was very similar with smoking for me … you only really understand how bad it was when you no longer do it. But you know how hard it was to break with the habit.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday November 28th, 2016

A Christmas Oratory that is a Little Different

Logo ArcisVocalisten
What would the advent and Christmas time be for music lovers without a Christmas Oratory?
Not only the fans of classical music find that the festive sound is an integral part of the quiet time of each year. And whenever the word “Christmas Oratory” is spoken, everybody knows immediately who is the composer: of course, the Leipzig Thomas cantor Johann Sebastian Bach! And there is definitely no other option. Or is there?

On Monday, December, 5th, 2016, at the Sendling Himmelfahrtskirche, you can find the proof that another baroque master, too, wrote a really great piece when composing his Christmas Oratory. It is absolutely great music that goes straight to the heart of the audience and creates a festive Christmas atmosphere almost by itself: we are talking the Christmas Oratory “Mache dich auf, werde Licht (Go Ahead, Become Light)”, a work written by Carl Heinrich Graun, who was impresario of Frederic the Great.

After having sung – and recorded in cooperation with the Bayerischer Rundfunk as a CD – Graun’s Passion Oratorio “Der Tod Jesu/The Death of Jesus” in 2014, the Arcis-Vocalisten have now worked on the Christmas masterpiece composed by the impresario of “Old Frederic”.

For Professor Thomas Gropper, the choir director of the Arcis-Vocalisten, it is the differences between this work and the ever-present Bach Oratorio that make the work on it particularly attractive:
“Even the libretto is structured totally different from how Bach did it in his Christmas Oratorio – Graun took only very few of the original sentences from the Gospel of Luke, instead making heavy use of free contemplation and dialogues”, says Gropper. “And there is much more of the “gallant” concept that will be setting new trend in Graun’s music than in that of the Thomas Cantor. Said concept being the already quite obviously emerging more sensitive style that became generally accepted at the time the work was composed in 1735”.

The masterpiece was only re-discovered in 1999 and is characterized by a skilful change between melodic and challengingly counterpoint-oriented choirs and sensitively voice-caressing arias that have been given an extremely colourful orchestral accompaniment: festive string and trumpet sounds on top of the Christmas Atmosphere. Well, it is a somewhat different Christmas Oratorio…

Source: ARCIS-VOCALISTEN
(Translated by EG)

As you all know, it is always my pleasure to advertise concerts by the Arcis-Vocalisten in my IF Blog. One of the reasons is that Evelyn is a passionate part of the choir, another reason is that their concerts are always a very special experience for the audience!

Mozart

 

 

 

Translation:

“Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I consider it the inner beauty of the universe itself” (Albert Einstein).

“The taste of death is upon my tongue. I feel something that is not of this world” (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, last words on Dec, 5, 1791).

In Mozart’s mysterious legacy, his last work, this masterpiece of a requiem, both unquestionable faith and the constant mental occupation with death are ever-present. When, in July 1791, Earl Walsegg of Stuppach commissioned the requiem, Mozart thus composed his own death eulogy. Numerous legends have been told around the work, partly also promoted by the cinema hit “Amadeus”. The Requiem is one of the most touching works of clerical music and especially its religious depth and narrative drama make it such a unique and fascinating composition.

And it gets even better:
For IF Blog readers who would like to go to the concert, we have a special discount. Just contact me . The magic word is “Mozart“!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Here is another upcoming concert by the Arcis-Vocalisten on Silvester evening: Beethoven and Bruckner!

If you want something very special for the turn of the year!

I always tell you about the Arcis-Vocalisten concerts – not only because Evelyn (EG) is one of the singers, but also because the concerts are always something special, filling the hearts of the audience with great joy!

Beethoven

 

Translation:

“Music aims at filling your heart with noble emotions” (Confucius).

The 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most popular monumental masterpieces, the culmination point of his composing career. There is no other work that suggests the ideas of peace, freedom and fraternity more forcefully than this one. With its grandiose choir finish using Frederik Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” and its message of the fraternity of all humans, it is an elemental ritual to perform at the turn of the year: “All humans will be brothers where your gentle wing is present”.

We have a special discount for IF Blog readers who want to go to the concert …

All you need to do is contact me. The password is “Beethoven“.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday July 21st, 2016

Again in Munich: The Arcis-Vocalisten: HAYDN!

After the concert is before the concert!

This is apparently the motto of the Arcis-Vocalisten! As early as August, 6th, they and their partners will, again, present a work of music:

Haydn

In this brilliant oratorio, Haydn combines the sum of his own competence with Bach’s counterpoint, Händel’s magnificence and Mozart’s melodiousness. Haydn’s musical cosmos stretches from naïve tone painting to a progressive “Introduction of the Chaos” before the world was created – an ingenious musical sheet of pictures.

Again, I cannot go there. Because two very cherished friends of mine celebrate their 60ieth birthday. But perhaps you can go? I am sure you will not regret it!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For IF Blog readers who are interested, there is a special discount …
Just send  me an E-Mail titled: Haydn.