Favorites of the week – Culture

Red hot: Michael Kohlhaas

Is this the winter of “Michael Kohlhaas”? One can hardly count the theaters where Kleist’s revenge campaign story is being staged everywhere. The “Kohlhaas” is available at the Deutsches Theater and the Schaubühne Berlin, in Potsdam and in Brandenburg an der Havel. At the Schauspielhaus Hamburg it is called “Coolhaze” and is particularly stubbornly sold out. Is the concentration a reaction to the radicalization of angry citizens protesting against the Corona policy? If you shy away from full theaters or don’t get a ticket: whatever is possible is a, yes, a walk – namely from Kleist’s suicide site on Kleiner Wannsee to Kohlhasenbrück on the outskirts of Berlin, where the historical model for the man who was so murderously outraged by the authorities before 500 lived and raged for years. This is scenic and calms the nerves. Peter Richter

Picture poems: Capsar David Friedrich

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Like the poet Friedrich Hölderlin, the painter Caspar David Friedrich was enthusiastically rediscovered in the 20th century and co-opted from two extremely opposite positions. Some of Friedrich’s admirers believed that all the motifs in his paintings and drawings had to be interpreted religiously. Those on the other side were almost suspiciously sure that everything Friedrich wanted to convey to us in his pictures was to be interpreted politically. Both attempts at interpretation narrow the view of the work so decisively in a certain direction that the secret of the wonderfully ambiguous picture poems is stolen.

In his paperback monograph, Werner Busch, one of the best experts on German art of the 19th century, draws attention beyond the ideologically one-sided positions to something that can be comprehended in a comparatively conclusive manner, to Friedrich’s working method, to the process of pictorial invention, to the Succession of drawing and painting. As a draftsman, Friedrich felt deeply committed to nature. On his pencil sketches, drawn directly in front of the motifs, he chiselled the natural details – such as the layers of a hilly landscape or the branches of a bizarrely jagged old tree – as faithfully as possible with an almost religious fervor. As a painter in the studio, however, he gave a new function to the always deserted landscape sections captured on paper. By exposing individuals to the places where he himself has experienced the extraordinary, who surrender to the atmospheric event in front of their eyes, he charges the constructed natural spaces with emotions that spread to the viewers of the pictures via these observing figures. Friedrich gives his pictures an additional boost towards the audience through the consistent rhythmization of the pictures according to the golden section and via the vertical and horizontal central axis. In the last chapter of his stimulating book, Werner Busch shows the astonished readers how much such famous pictures as “Chalk Cliffs on Rügen” or “Abtei im Eichwald” owe to the invisibly inserted coordinates. Gottfried Knapp

Nordic Thriller: “The Chestnut Man”

Favorites of the week: Nordic Noir: "The chestnut man"

Nordic Noir: “The Chestnut Man”

(Photo: Netflix)

There are said to be people who still don’t like the Danish-Swedish crime series The bridge have seen, the television masterpiece about the investigator Saga Norén, which was created in four seasons between 2011 and 2018. If you already know it and have been looking for a replacement in the matter of serial murder in Scandinavia, Nordic Noir, we recommend this little consolation. The chestnut man on Netflix is ​​set in Denmark and follows the investigation of Commissioner Naia Thulin into a series of cruelly staged feminicides in Copenhagen. The character depth of the investigators in The bridge the protagonists tend not to have, but Nordic tension comes from the narrative digging into the past of the characters, sometimes also the brutality, in the six episodes of chestnut man however up. Aurelie von Blazekovic

Classic: Magic Wooden Trumpet

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Two years ago they caused a sensation with their spectacular new recording of Claudio Monteverdi’s “Marienvesper”. The French vocal ensemble “La Tempête” – the tempest – is after the Belgian group “Graindelavoix” the most ambitious and convincing when it comes to the musical rediscovery of great old European traditions. Today’s concert life hardly reflects the high culture that existed here before Johann Sebastian Bach. On their latest album “Hypnos”, La Tempete are dedicated to Renaissance music as usual, but at the same time also to modern music. Some ensembles are currently trying this, and it often sounds more interesting than it sounds. The main reason that La Tempête succeeds so convincingly is that they don’t care much about the album concept and instead treat each individual piece, be it by Pierre de Manchicourt, Heinrich Isaac, Ludwig Senfl or Giacinto Scelsi, as an independent work of art give equal attention. The connection often arises more from the intensity of the music-making than from parallels between the old and the new that can be fathomed through musicology. One also understands the overarching concept – Greek mythology, Christian spirit, music as therapy, the combination of old and new – as a sensual artistic event. Simon-Pierre Bestion, director of La Tempête, speaks of a “journey of the senses and emotions”. That is of course a gross understatement. Because this music is actually about the sensuality of the pure form, the pure construction, the all-encompassing art of thought, which is revealed in a quasi-emotional way in this journey. You have to be careful that none of this sounds too esoteric, but remains tangible art. Expressive, straightforward, and unrestrainedly subjective-objective. Both coincide wonderfully, for example, in the Requiem by Manchicourt, instructor of the Kapellknaben von Tours and Kapellmeister Philip II. And anyone who has always wondered why wooden trumpets were used back then will no longer ask after listening to this recording. They support the human voice more congenially than any other instrument. Helmut Mauró

Pop: Punch Brothers

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It’s a relatively special process, that’s for sure. But very cute in it. the Punch Brothers, itself a kind of chamber music all-star formation of progressive bluegrass – the highly brilliant mandolinist Chris Thile belongs to the band, for example, and also the bassist Paul Kowert – have a new album. It’s called “Hell On Church Street” (Nonesuch Records). Sort of a reworking of Tony Rice’s 1983 album Church Street Blues. Very quirky minor-whiny arrangement of Streets of London, for example. Otherwise, there is always the danger of being perceived as academic or, almost worse, of becoming the background carpet. But if you listen more closely, it’s a wonderful piece of Americana. Played with great virtuosity. But so confident that it sounds random. Jacob Biazza

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