19/09/2006

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19.09.2006

Wolfgang Schreiber interviews conductor Kent Nagano, who will appear with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich for the first time tonight in his new function as Music Director, after a six-year spell at the head of the Deutsche Symphonieorchester in Berlin. Asked which opera directors he likes to work with, Nagano tells of his first collaboration with Achim Freyer: "We met in Los Angeles, where we put on Berlioz' 'The Damnation of Faust.' There I met an unbelievable artistic spirit, with a real talent for seeing and hearing. His feeling for the music's timing, for the rhythm, is consummate. I've told the story often: When Freyer came to the first rehearsal we sat together on chairs and looked up at the stage. We just watched and thought, no one said a thing, not a word. Somehow I could feel everything. We looked at the set and the costumes, the orchestra rehearsal had just ended and the music was still in the air - and no one said a word for ten minutes. But I felt I'd communicated with him intensely. Then we said: 'OK, we're ready for the next rehearsal.' Communication without words, it was fantastic."

Johan Schloemann reports from the German Historians' Conference, which begins today in Konstanz: "In one section of this huge conference you can attend a lecture on the topic 'Glacier war or thaw? Soviet Alpinism and international mountain sports in the 1950s.' Another lecture treats the subject 'Smoke signals: trademark images as a sign of continuity and change in the German cigarette market.' Without wanting to insinuate too much about the lecturers' credentials, I surmise that if researchers of their calibre were asked to relate the main events and personalities involved in the fall of Constantinople, they'd have to pass."


Die Welt, 19.09.2006

Tonight Finnish electronic musician Jimi Tenor will open the Berlin pop music trade fair and festival Popkomm, at Berlin's Deutsche Oper theatre. In an interview he talks about his new CD "ReComposed", and explains why he takes a wide berth around modern composers in his work. "There's a lot of things we have to stay away from completely. Living composers loathe the idea that someone can just do what they like with their music. Their work is like their children. One said: remixing basically means putting your little daughter into the hands of a rapist."


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19.09.2006


On the Media page, Heiner Kiesel portrays Islamic TV preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi, whose show on al Jazeera "ash-Shariah wal-Hayat" (Sharia and Life) has been watched by an estimated forty million people every Sunday night since 1997. "Before that he was Qtar's top Islam expert, a student at the famous al-Azhar university in Cairo and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (Wikipedia). He grew up in rural Egypt and is said to have learnt the Koran by heart at the age of ten. Despite his biography he is not simply a traditionally conservative Sheik ... He wants more women in the magistracy, and more women doing men's jobs in general. But his views on domestic violence have pitched the liberals against him. He wrote, for example, 'As head of the family, the man has a right to expect obedience from his wife and only when left with no other option should he admonish her using his hands." Al-Qaradawi was quick to condemn Pope Benedict's recent speech saying that Jihad was used in self-defence and not to force Islam onto others, quoting the Koran: "There is no compulsion in religion."

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Saturday 6 - Friday 12 November, 2010

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Saturday 30 October - Friday 5 November, 2010

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Author Doron Rabinovici protests against the concessions of moderate Austrian politicians to the FPÖ: recently in Vienna, children were sent back to Kosovo at gunpoint. Ian McEwan wonders why major German novelists didn't mention the Wall. The NZZ looks through the Priz Goncourt shortlist and finds plenty of writers with more bite than Houellebecq. The FAZ outs two of Germany's leading journalists who fiercely guarded the German Foreign Ministry's Nazi past. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt analyse the symptoms of culturalism, left and right. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht demonstratively yawns at German debate.
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Saturday 9 - Friday 15 October, 2010

The FR laps up the muscular male bodies and bellies at the Michelangelo exhibition in the Viennese Albertina. The same paper is outraged by the cowardice of the Berlin exhibition "Hitler and the Germans". Mario Vargas-Llosa remembers a bad line from Sweden. Theologist Friedrich Wilhelm Graf makes it very clear that Western values are not Judaeo-Christian values. The Achse des Guten is annoyed by the attempts of the mainstream media to dismiss Mario Vargas-Llosa. The NZZ celebrates the tireless self-demolition of Polish writer and satirist Slawomir Mrozek.
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Saturday 2 - Friday 8 October, 2010

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Saturday 25 September - Friday 1 October

Three East German theatre directors talk about the trauma of reunification. In the FAZ, Thilo Sarrazin denies accusations that his book propagates eugenics: "I am interested in the interplay of nature and nurture." Polemics are being drowned out by blaring lullabies, author Thea Dorn despairs. Author Iris Radisch is dismayed by the state of the German novel - too much idle chatter, not enough literary clout. Der Spiegel posts its interview with the German WikiLeaks spokesman, Daniel Schmitt. And Vaclav Havel's appeal to award the Nobel prize to Liu Xiabobo has the Chinese authorities pulling out their hair.
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Herta Müller's response to the news that poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant was one of overwhelming grief: "When he returned home from the gulag he was everybody's game." Theatre director Luk Perceval talks about the veiled depression in his theatre. Cartoonist Molly Norris has disappeared after receiving death threats for her "Everybody Draw Mohammed" campaign. The Berliner Zeitung approves of the mellowing in Pierre Boulez' music. And Chinese writer Liao Yiwu, allowed to leave China for the first time, explains why schnapps is his most important writing tool.
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Saturday 10 - Friday 17 September, 2010

The poet Oskar Pastior was a Securitate informant, the historian Stefan Sienerth has discovered. Biologist Veronika Lipphardt dismisses Thilo Sarrazin's incendiary intelligence theories as a load of codswallop. A number of prominent Muslim intellectuals in Germany have written an open letter to President Christian Wulff, calling for him to "make a stand for a democratic culture based on mutual respect." And a Shell study has revealed that Germany's youth aspire to be just like their parents.
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Saturday 4 - Friday 10 September, 2010

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