sat 23/03/2019

East Germany

Hardenberger, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Nelsons, RFH review - new songs for an old glory

During his quarter-century in charge of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig, the late Kurt Masur nobly held out a musical hand of friendship and collaboration from the other side of the Iron Curtain. So how heartening to hear that the Southbank...

Read more...

John le Carré: A Legacy of Spies review - the master in twilight mood

Over his long career – 23 novels, memoirs, his painfully believable narratives adapted into extraordinary films (10 for the big screen) and for television – John le Carré has created a world that has gripped readers and viewers alike. He has...

Read more...

Deutschland 83, Series Finale, Channel 4

Martin Rauch-stroke-Moritz Stamm, the reluctant spy who by the end of the final, double episode of this eight-parter had achieved more than most in that profession, managed the ultimate last night: he came in from the cold. In a series whose refrain...

Read more...

West

As its title might suggest, Christian Schwochow’s West (Westen) takes us back to the time of Germany divided. It's almost a chamber piece, catching the very particular experiences of a woman and her young son who leave East Berlin and end up in a...

Read more...

10 Questions for Actor Simon Russell Beale

It’s difficult to give Simon Russell Beale a brief introduction, so encyclopedic is his list of stage and screen acting credits. He has cruised masterfully through Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, the Restoration playwrights, Shaw and Pinter, and...

Read more...

Ghosts, English Touring Theatre

A young man eaten up by fears of inherited disease, a mother who hid the facts of her awful marriage from her son to spare him, but is rewarded with even worse pain: the emotional plotlines of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts are huge. While the plot ticks off...

Read more...

Barbara

For a remarkable BBC Radio Four half-hour programme broadcast on 14 September, The Stasi Jigsaw Puzzle, Chris Bowlby pieced together tales of treachery in the former German Democratic Republic. At one point a 1950s recording of a trial of a woman...

Read more...

Bauhaus: Art as Life, Barbican

As an art school the Bauhaus has a reputation for being the cradle of modernism, famous for establishing an alliance between art and industry which produced enduring design classics such as Marcel Breuer’s tubular steel chairs, Josef Albers’ silver...

Read more...

Reissue CDs Weekly: The Human League, The Leopard Lounge, Eastern Bloc Funk Experience

 The Human League: Dare (Deluxe Edition)Thomas H GreenLast year, when I interviewed The Human League for theartsdesk, singer Susan Sulley said of Leonard Cohen, “He’s got a personality voice. It’s not a voice that’s going to pass the auditions...

Read more...

Berlin Sounds: the not-so-new Bohemia

“I'm moving to Berlin.” In artistic circles and especially those that include electronic musicians, over the past few years such a threat has become so commonplace as to be cliché. It's not without reason, though. For one, despite gentrification,...

Read more...

The Posters Came From The Walls, Clapham Picture House

German Depeche Mode fan in video re-enactment costume

In a pirate television (pirate television!) broadcast from 1992, a large group of Russian youths in flat top haircuts and leather jackets discuss Depeche Mode's appeal. “It's romantic style,” suggests one with absolute assurance, “it's music for the...

Read more...

Kurt Masur & the Leipzig Gewandhaus

There aren’t many composers or musicians who can say that they changed society. And by that I mean really changed it. Few have ever come close to materially or politically transforming their surroundings in any truly meaningful way. There are many...

Read more...
Subscribe to East Germany