Klaus Hnilica
Thursday May 18th, 2017

Falling Down

I no longer remember who told me this story. Perhaps it was the tourist guide when we drove to the ’Manrique Museum’? Or that female professor of geology from Brandenburg? She has been coming to the ’Lanzarote Park Hotel’ in Playa Blanca in March for eight years now and also reads Spanish Daily Newspapers, not just this stupid island magazine Lanzarote 37°. Or was it maybe Pedro who told me this story a one of his inimitable ’language cocktail’ variations at the pool?

I simply cannot recall exactly …

But it was always about that toothless street musician!

He is a true disgrace on the never-ending boardwalk close to the ocean in the south-west of Lanzarote. With his dirty and unappetizing appearance, he should not be permitted to sit there. This is simply not tolerable! Not on this fantastic EU-financed boardwalk! After all, hundreds of people pilgrimage here until late into the night.

Besides, this ’music-playing pig’ does not restrict his appearance to his rusty folding chair in front of the last stretch of fallow land, where hardly anybody would notice him anyway. Instead, he can now be almost exclusively seen on the stone boardwalk balustrade.

What an exhibition: a ’music-playing rubbish heap’ in front of the eternally sparkling, sunny ocean! With a greasy hat lying on the floor and a cap on his sun-burned head! And two watery eyes that look like puddles …

Mostly, he dribbles into his melodica – which is some kind of key flute – from which the same melody is released at all times. But it is strangely alluring! You have to give him that. Perhaps it is even by Mozart? Even if it is perhaps a little too sad? Unfortunately, I was never able to really find out.

Seven years ago, when the concert building Lava-Bubble in Jameos del Agua was closed due to stones falling down from the ceiling, this disgrace had already been playing on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. In those days, he allegedly had a rather rich musical portfolio.

And while the volcano rocks were being glued together with special resin above the roof, he also sat there every day. Perhaps even the occasional cent out of all those six million euros this roof cost found its way into his shabby hat. Who could know? Definitely not the ’music-playing rubbish heap’.

And the inauguration concert given when the renovated concert hall in Jameos del Agua  was ceremoniously re-opened will definitely also have been something he was totally unaware of. As must have been the fact that the famous English conductor John Miguel Smith was going to be at the baton and that even representatives of the Spanish Crown had accepted the invitation.

However, he did notice that the rather pompous John Miguel Smith with his much too young female companion had had a stupid accident where he stumbled right in front of the ’music-playing heap of dirt’ on the day before the concert and fell fully on his nose; yes, that was something he had definitely noticed.

And the Spanish cursing of the noble Brit was probably also something he noticed!
Mind you, Betty had even cried out “attention John“, because apparently he had recognized a strangely alluring melody and consequently only had eyes for the shabbily dressed source of the melody. But at that moment, it was already too late! He fell full-length onto the dignified brown cobbles of the boardwalk here in Playa Blanca…

Ranting, he immediately jumped up, was appalled when he inspected his atrociously grazed hands and elbows, moved his badly ailing fingers like a maniac and kept shaking his head while he smoothed the damaged, bloody t-shirt over his stomach.
He only noticed that he had also torn his rough silver Greek Knot Cross from his neck during his fall when Betty tearfully offered it to him. He gripped it like a bird of prey and threw it into the greasy hat of the street musician, who was totally appalled.

He was quick to pull Betty after him in order to get away from this upheaval among the nosy masses of people as fast as possible. Probably his only remaining worry at this time was tomorrow’s inauguration concert at the “lava bubble”! In Jameos del Agua! And his wounded arms, his injured stomach, his bloody hands and his lacerated chin. And he certainly hoped that nobody had recognized him – the famous John Miguel Smith, when he kissed the boardwalk lying on his stomach like a fallen frog …

What mortification!

However, in at least one case, this hope seemed to have been in vain; because when the ’music-playing rubbish heap’ had overcome his shock paralysis and fished out the cross that lay between the few coins in his hat, there was suddenly a strange sparkle to his alcohol-marked face. A sparkle that even continued when he opened his toothless mouth out of which came a questioning “Miguel?”…

And then again “Miguel – Miguel, is it you?“

The street musician got more and more excited and even panicky. He dropped the soiled melodica and started using his left paw, too, for squeezing the silver cross – and again and again, he croaked: “Miguel !…Miguel !!…Miguel…!!

But John Miguel Smith was far beyond hearing and being seen. In fact, he hurried like a wounded animal along the boardwalk accompanied by his totally hysterical companion. All he wanted was crawl into his lair at the Hotel Vulcano as fast as possible!

Since, as everybody knows, the famous conductor Smith strictly forbids all attempts at finding out about his life and mercilessly deplores even the smallest public assumptions, the desperate calls of an old man, too, were lost in the rippling of the ocean that ran along the lava coast near the boardwalk balustrade.

But still, as I said, I heard somewhere that this incident is the reason and the only reason why the street musician, since that time, only plays this one ’endearing melody’ that, to this day, I could not identify. It is because he still hopes that his Miguel – whom he could not have cared less about when he was a child, in fact whom he even gave away for adoption – might one day pass by and invite him, his alleged father, to drink a brandy ’Carlos III’ with him…

Well, I am not sure if it is really the ’Carlos III’ this rubbish-like musician dreams about, but I would like to invite everyone who can tell me something new about John Miguel Smith to have a ’Carlos I’ with me in the pre-warmed glassed of the Café ’Gilbert’ on the Playa Blanca boardwalk. As I see it, the old ’music-playing piece of dirt’ should get some help, so why not through a good brandy?

PS:
Please note that all persons and activities in this story are fiction. But still, I will continue to look for this melody that caused the famous conductor to fall down. I have to find out more about it …
KH
(Translated by EG)

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
Monday April 10th, 2017

Jolly on July, 8th in the Literaturhaus München.

Every person has his or her own rhythm. They only need to find it.

Being human is not always easy. Especially if you want to live in peace, it is often hard. Perhaps living happily is even harder. You have to practice it. Above all: everybody has to begin with himself/herself. For every one of us, the world is primarily about ME, which is YOU.

Consequently, we have to learn to appreciate and love ourselves. And, above all, we have to become more peaceful. We have to take responsibility for ourselves (ME) and bring this in harmony with the responsibility for the whole (WE). This is how we can develop our own personal recipe for happiness.

My friend Jolly says it in a nutshell. We have to find our rhythms. Each his or her own. On Saturday, July, 8th, he will show you how to do it!

As always, I will look forward to meeting many friends when Jolly performs. But remember: the Literaturhaus is not very big and will be soon booked out.

So you want to buy your ticket early. I will gladly help you.

RMD
(Translated by Evelyn)

P.S.
On Thursday, April, 28th, 2016, Jolly spoke in favour of PEACE in my Unterhaching office building. We were allowed to film him. Here is his full performance!

I recommend that you enjoy the video with friends and a nice glass of red wine. I promise that the 60 minutes you spend watching it are a very good time investment. And afterwards, you will have a lot to talk about.

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)

Hans Bonfigt
Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Entschuldigung eines alten Sozialdemokraten

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Thursday December 8th, 2016

Good-Bye Until After Christmas!

And a Happy Christmas to You All!

The picture was taken two years ago when we were rafting in China.

Starting tomorrow, we will be in the Caribbean.

To be sure, I do not feel
“that the time is ripe to begin afresh“!!!

But still, I will be gone for some time. On Christmas Eve, I will be back and meet my children and grandchildren – those of them who are in Munich.

It looks a lot like I will not read any emails until then. My many chat dialogues will get a break and I will probably only rarely be on the internet at all.

During the next two weeks, I will try to live only for Barbara and myself. Many thousand miles from “sweet home”, I will simply ignore all messages from the world. And during that time, I will not publish anything on the IF blog, either (if anything is published, it will be by one of my friends or by my bot).

Normal life as I had it will start again on the evening of Christmas Day. As has been my custom for many years now, I will again spend the evening in the Munich Lustspielhaus to watch Willy Michl (It is well worth clicking onto the link). I will also howl “Silent Night, Holy Night”, listen to the eternal ISARFLIMMERN and enjoy the fact that the days will gradually get longer.

It would be a huge delight for me if I were to meet a few of my friends in the Lustspielhaus on December, 25th for Willy and if we could then do some “exchange of ideas” before the concert and during the interval!

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.