From the Feuilletons


Berliner Zeitung 09.05.2007

Ulrich Seidler talks to theatre director Peter Stein and actor Klaus-Maria Brandauer about their upcoming production of Friedrich Schiller's entire "Wallenstein" trilogy. Stein, one of the founders of Berlin's Schaubühne theatre in the 70s who now lives as an olive-grower in Italy when he's not directing plays, explains his current directing ethos. "The essence of the classics is that their message is enduring. As opposed to the know-it-alls in business, politics and journalism who produce exceedingly perishable goods, art can speak beyond its own time. That's why I seek to let the author's voice be heard as much as possible. That is, to the extent we can understand it today. But there are ways to help the understanding along. You just have to focus on these, and that means having certain interests. A lot can be discovered together with the actors, who are a wonderful critical instrument."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The "freshest prime cuts from the art market" will not be on view at the coming Documenta, Thomas Wagner announces in a speculative article about the 100-day event which begins on June 16. "Spectacle, so much is clear, will not be the selling point of the d12. No doubt for many people in the business the art and how it is shown will not be sensational enough, not market-friendly enough, too subtle, too differentiated. And since there will be almost a total lack of stars in the exhitibion, there could be a major fallout in the reactions of the art business. The d 12 may disappoint expectations, but it will practise what Catherine David's documenta 10 merely preached: a major distance from the market. Galerists and investors have known this was going to happen for a long time."

Die Tageszeitung

Romanian-born theatre director Luisa Brandsdörfer toured Romania as organiser of the Heidelberger Stückemarkt, a forum for young playrights currently underway in Heidelberg. She talks to Kristin Becker about the dynamic Romanian theatre scene: "What's in vogue there is the West, for example Sarah Kane. There's also a young squad of actors and directors known as DramAcum - Drama today. They support young dramatists by publishing a yearly anthology of the five best plays. One young author to become known this way was Peca Stefan, the rising star of the theatre scene, who at 24 has already written over 20 plays. He's one of the youngest, and has a brutal take on things. His play 'Romania 21' (which will be performed on Saturday at the Stückemarkt - ed) tells a bitter tale of a family's moral corruption first under communism and then after the fall of the communist regime."

Süddeutsche Zeitung

On the music pages, Klaus Frederking introduces a series of African pop CDs. Ever heard Congo Rumba? Here's how it came about: "Africa dances... An unorthodox demonstration that in every clichee lies a grain of truth, was delivered by Patrice Lumumba in January 1960. In the Hotel Plaza in Brussels, he was negotiating with the colonial powers about the independence of Belgian Congo. Everything went swimmingly and so Lumumba, soon to be prime minister, had the African Jazz orchestra flow in. The best band of what was still a colony played triumphantly in the foyer and the singer Joseph Kabasele issued the victory cry: 'At the round table, cha-cha, that's where we won.' Congo danced. The 'Independance Cha-Cha' spread as a hymn of a new era throughout Africa – and in its wake came a melange which quickly became known as 'Rumba Congolaise'. Cuba was the major influence on the new genre, but into the mix also came French pop music, from Kabasele's unmistakeable role model Tino Rossi, the brill-creamed crooner from Corsica. The music crossed tribal and national borders - and that was its greatest strength."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

"Death in Venice was never like this," exclaims Samuel Herzog about a show of contemporary painting and sculpture from the Francois Pinault Collection in the Palazzo Grassi in Venice: "A huge skull stares with dark orifices over the Canale Grande - so grim that the 'O sole mio' freezes on gondolieri's lips as they paddle by. Only the Japanese giggle oddly when they see the sculpture - perhaps because they are quicker than others to see through the skull's symbolism to its material reality. Because this huge sculpture is made of a huge number of shining silvery kitchen utensils: pots and pans, kettles and bowls, boxes and platters." - let's talk european