From the Feuilletons


Monday July 9, 2007

Neue Zürcher Zeitung 09.07.2007

Hindu extremists are stalking Muslim artist Fida Husain (painting), who depicted a Hindu Godess naked (and since then has been living in exile). But he's not the only one being followed in India, reports Bernard Imhasly. "Film distributors are threatened if they wish to show films with critical content; parents are forced to annul marriages if their son or daughter has wed someone from the wrong caste or even the wrong religion. And such things don't only happen in Gujarat. The American actor Richard Gere received a summons to a court in Jaipur because he kissed the Bollywood-Star Shilpa Shetty on the cheek."

Die Tageszeitung

An exhibit about Scythians at Berlin's Gropius-Bau, curated by the future president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation - Hermann Parzinger - is "epochal," says Barbara Kerneck. She is obviously taken with the "Barbarians with style." "In an almost frenzied manner, these artists refined all objects - carved, painted and gilded them or provided them with applications of colourful felt in the well-known scythian-animal style. Snow leopards, griffins, snakes and many other carvings or felt animals adorn these religious or everyday objects, as well as the skin of the mummies discovered there. Just as nature scrolled past these nomadic Scythians like an endless film, so do these animals writhe into a concentrated mass of life."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 09.07.2007

Andreas Blühm, director of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, is fuming over the fluorescent lighting in the museum. The architects only included them to emphasize their spaces: "There should be an effort to show monochrome paintings under various kinds of lamps, and other light-sources. What remains of Yves Klein's blue cannot be compared, under normal conditions, with what is visible to the naked eye. The effect of the colour is taken for granted in the museum, but normally it should have nothing to do with the colour value under natural light or full-spectrum lighting. So if you build another museum, don't be taken in by the advertising from so-called 'daylight bulbs.' Instead, go buy yourself a light meter and check them out yourself."

Frankfurter Rundschau 09.07.2007

According to Tobi Müller, the Montreux Jazz Festival doesn't have much to do with jazz. But listening to fat bass tones in a concert hall also has its charms. "And on the best stereo systems of the world, in the wood-lined Stravinsky Auditorium with superb acoustics. That's a luxury holiday for ears that would like to dance if they only could. They already start twitching with the Chemical Brothers. The techno-duo from Manchester cranks its machine park really high but with such an unprecedented sound quality – it's a sound storm between underground rave and college-style music. Now one understands why the music of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons was called Big Beat a decade ago. Anyone whose body shave omitted one chest hair will now feel it fluttering."

Saturday July 7, 2007

Berliner Zeitung, 07.07.2007

In an interview with Jan Brachmann, Kirill Petrenko, the conductor leaving the Komische Oper in Berlin, explains why the partition of a Russian opera is not the measure of all things. "You learn that the printed Russian rhythm must not be sung the way it is printed. It is even wrong to sing this rhythm the way it is written. In contrast to say Richard Strauss or Janacek, who composed the exact rhythm of speech. With Tchaikovsky, and even more so with Mussorgsky, one must declaim freely. For a conductor, following this is extremely difficult. The music calls for a four four time, but the singer turns it into a five eight time. That sounds more correct, because it corresponds to the Russian intonation and the Russian accent – but it has little to do with what is printed. That's what I learnt from Anatoli Kotscherga. In the beginning, it was difficult to accompany him because he was always somewhere else. I kept asking: 'What are you doing? Listen: One, two .'. Then he said: 'No, I cannot. This movement must be like this.' He then dilated one rhythmic section and shortened another. And in fact he was right."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

In an interview with Jörg Plath, Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz talks about the "Apocalyptic abysses" that have opened in Europe – they were also the subject of his speech at the conference "Perspective Europe." "I don't want to argue politically. Politics is like soccer: everyone thinks they understand it. I don't understand politics at all. But I think the abysses have not been closed again, not even in Yugoslavia. And they can open anywhere. These days, as London is living in a state of shock, we see how vulnerable everything is. How vulnerable civilisation, how vulnerable daily life. One must be conscious of the dramatic side of life. Every day, every moment. Europe is in fact a cheerful, wise and strong entity – and has been since the ancient Greeks. I think Europe represents something that no other civilisation represents: the freedom of awareness. Freedom period. It mustn't betray that."

Süddeutsche Zeitung 07.07.2007

The paper takes a close look at the Pope's missive calling for the rehabilitation of the Latin mass. The Papal text itself has been reprinted and contains passages such as this: "What was sacred to earlier generations remains sacred and great; it can't suddenly be prohibited or corruptive." Burkhard Müller, a professor of Latin, sings Solomonic praise of this Solomonic decision. "Catholic means: considering the entirety. Today, Latin only represents a portion of this entirety but this portion has its entitlement. The papal text does not specify how large this portion should be or how it should be positioned; that decision is to be made in amicable praxis at the local level. That's more democracy than many would have expected from the Vatican." Alexander Kissler is pleased to see the end of "discrimination against those who support the traditional liturgy." - let's talk european