Favorites of the week – recommendations from the SZ editorial team – culture

Classic: relationship magic with Vladimir Jurowski

“Bringing things together” is “essentially” all thinking, said Arnold Schönberg, composer. The conductor Vladimir Jurowski, born in Moscow, with Russian-Ukrainian roots, emigrated to Berlin at the age of 18, has now curated and conducted a concert that is thoughtful in this sense: it sets musical present and history in motion, 1787 and 2023, but at the same time also feelings and thoughts, sounds and words.

In the Berlin Philharmonie, the passion music of the old “Papa” Haydn sounds, title: “The seven last words of our redeemer on the cross”, ingenious adagio movements from the Bible. And then six living composers, commissioned by Jurowski, dare to step in with their own thoughts and orchestral sounds. The music-political coup: The six composers come from today’s combat regions, from the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus as well as from Tehran. In the end they are all overjoyed, with the exception of Victor Copytsko, who stayed in Minsk, together with Jurowski and the radio musicians on the podium.

From the simplest musical lines, even phrases, Haydn created spacious, profound, often dramatic. And Oleksandr Shchetynsky, Victoria Vita Poleva and Anton Safronov, Boris Filanovsky and Sara Abazari, like Joseph Haydn once upon a time, have a clever, vital originality to offer with their beautiful pieces for expressively modern sound structures. But other connections are also active in the chamber music hall of the Philharmonie, with texts about suffering, torture, pain, and death, written by today’s author and war witness Serhij Zhadan and the poet Anna Seghers, who died in 1983 in a war-divided Germany – all accusations that the currently incumbent Berlin Senator for Culture, Klaus Lederer, reads out. This reflects the thinking of Vladimir Jurowski, the music director of Germany’s oldest radio orchestra and the Bavarian State Opera: “The concert hall is part of our lives and we are part of the society in which we live,” he said recently. Wolfgang Schreiber

Pop: All right on the Andrea Doria

This masterpiece of German pop rock was released half a century ago.

(Photo: Uwe Zucchi/picture alliance)

German in rock was as unthinkable as basil in ice cream. And then came Udo, the unique Lindenberg, and he kissed German into rock music. That was 50 years ago, on the masterpiece “Alles Klar auf der Andrea Doria”. Everything that the musician Udo Lindenberg is is laid out on this LP: his gripping grasp of language, his mixture of musical styles, his view of social reality, his “thin garbage can voice” (he talks about himself) and his most tender feelings, expressed in “Girls from East Berlin”. A moving, snotty, wistful classic album with themes that are still relevant in 2023: “And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a boy or a girl.” Marc Hoch

Series: Fleishman is in Trouble

Favorites of the week: Doctor in desperate need of all the help he can get: Jesse Eisenberg as Toby Fleishman.

Doctor who desperately needs all the help he can get: Jesse Eisenberg as Toby Fleishman.

(Photo: FX Networks)

A few years ago, a German broadcaster invented the genre of the “big TV novel”. But there was nothing big about it, neither the templates nor their film adaptations. The US series version of the enjoyable millennial novel “Fleishman is in Trouble” by Taffy Brodesser-Akner shows how to do it right: The story of Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg), who breaks up with his wife (Claire Danes ) divorced and left alone with the children. For the New York doctor, everything is at stake from now on: “Money, lack of satisfaction, jealousy and ambitions, career, parenthood, nostalgia and lifelong friendship.” But the battered title hero doesn’t suspect that, only the clever narrator knows that – she turns this mini-series (on Disney +) into a true TV novel. Even a big one. Josef Gruebl

Painting: Rudolf Levy Exhibition in Florence

Favorites of the week: Albert Weisgerber: "Portrait of Rudolph Levy" (1906).

Albert Weisgerber: “Portrait of Rudolf Levy” (1906).

(Photo: Uffizi)

A mighty head with a massive chin, pince-nez in front of his eyes and a bowler hat on top – this is how the painter Albert Weisgerber portrayed his colleague Rudolf Levy (1875 – 1944) before 1915. Levy’s self-portrait from 1943, on the other hand, shows the face of an elderly man with a balding forehead, a slightly open mouth, steep wrinkles above the bridge of the nose and round horn-rimmed glasses against a green-blue background. Not a happy facial expression, bitterness lies over the features, the man seems driven, nervous. It is painted like a snapshot, expressive, sensitive, unmistakably troubled.

Both paintings are on display at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence until April 30, in a show that focuses on Levy’s paintings from the exile period. Colorful still lifes with fruit or flowers, sharply outlined portraits in front of almost monochromatic backgrounds. There are also vital images of coastal landscapes in France, on Ischia or Mallorca. Expressionist harshness mixes with the fire of French colourfulness, but an indelible melancholy hovers over everything. Levy was once one of Henri Matisse’s most important students and was also a friend of Hans Purrmann.

The fact that this expressive painter is mostly only known to specialists today has to do with his biography, which began in Stettin and then went via Munich to Paris. As a German volunteer in World War I, he received the Iron Cross. In the 1920s he lived in Berlin. Hitler’s rise to power forced him into exile in 1933. Levy’s life ended in January 1944 on the brutal transport to Auschwitz.

The Nazis classified the Jewish painter as “degenerate art” twice over: because of his work and because of his descent. Levy’s importance and rank are only gradually being rediscovered. The Florentine exhibition offers the best opportunity to convince oneself of the power, beauty and melancholy of this work. He did not manage to escape to America, he ended up living in Florence, where two SS men ambushed him on December 12, 1943. They said they wanted to buy paintings. They arrested him on the stairs to his apartment and had him deported. Harold Eggebrecht

Movie: Kiss Before Death

Favorite of the week: It's all about the money, baby: Scene from "kiss before death".

It’s all about the money, baby: Scene from “The Kiss Before Death”.

(Photo: Plaion)

The American dream as a dark perversion: A young man wants to get upstairs, out of the cubicle where he lives with his mother – to marry a fellow student whose father owns a big copper mine. The girl stupidly becomes pregnant, and there is a risk of disinheritance. So all that remains is to kill the woman who has been seduced and then approach the sister. “Kiss Before Death” by Gerd Oswald (DVD/Bluray on Explosive Media), released in 1956, is a nasty one film noir, lots of sun, bright colors, based on the novel by Ira Levin, who also provided the basis for “Rosemaries Baby”. The murderous Sonnyboy is young star Robert Wagner, just successful as Prince Valiant. At that time, talk of pregnancy was frowned upon in Hollywood, today the way upper-class wealth is displayed is unpleasantly obtrusive. Once, in a bar, you have to be very careful not to miss the decisive movement of a shadow at the edge of the cinemascope. Fritz Goettler

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