Monday, 21 April 2014

A bit more German culture

Via cinema, Midland Arts Centre (thanks to ARTE ) TV company from the Easter Music Festival in Baden Baden, with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle with a wonderfully moving Elgar Cella Concerto, young soloist (they so often are these days ...) Sol Gabetta, and the Rite of Spring, powerful and clear, as well as a cleverly interwoven Ligeti piece and Wagner Overture (Lohengrin Act 1).
There were no problems with the transmission, sound and picture quality excellent, even too effective as all the coughing was broadcast too (and there seemed to be an outbreak of something in Baden Baden, perhaps the audience should have taken the waters beforehand ... ).
Rather more downbeat, Downfall (Der Untergang), the film, on TV: I caught the last half which proved grimly fascinating in its portrayal of the last throes of Hitler and his inner circle, denying the reality of defeat till almost the last, and unrepentant of the terrible acts it instigated (even ordering the execution of disloyal officers hours before the arrival of the Russians). Perhaps most disturbing was the devotion inspired in Hitler's followers, genuinely prepared to follow him to the grave rather than trying to escape.
Bruno Ganz played a weary, angry, obsessed and socio- or psychopathic all-too-real monster with no time for feelings other than his own, no time for the millions who died due to his raging notions, his savage prejudice and resentment. Hardly an easy role ...


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