In Memoriam Günther Passin

Requiem aeternam dona ei.

Mozart’s Requiem, November 9, 2014 at the Pfarrkirche St. Gilgen

How people deal with the death of a loved one becomes a reflection on their life and work.
In the case of the oboist Prof. Günther Passin, deceased in spring of this year, this is reflected in the best interactions of his mourners, and the mourning is led by love and friendship, a deep connection to his attitudes, and by his spirit and work.

Günther exhibited a special kind of spirituality combined with a down to earth outlook on life as a musician of high standing. This is why I am much honored to be a part of the circle performing Mozart’s requiem in his memoriam at his last home in St. Gilgen.

‘Quid sum miser tunc dicturus – What will I say?’ asks the soprano in the Dies irae facing the Last Judgment. He suspects he will not have the chance to ask the question in the crucial moments at the end. A look back at his life leaves him only with the hope to have led a good and happy life. The look forward leaves him only with the braveness to surrender to something of more greatness.

Pie Jesu Domine dona eis requiem, dona nobis pacem. Pious Lord Jesus, give them rest, give us peace.

Mozarts Missa pro defunctis KV 626
November 9, 2014
At the Pfarrkirche St. Gilgen/Wolfgansee.

Start 20:00
Chamber Orchestra M. A. Mozart St. Gilgen,
Choir and Soloists
Conducting: Max Pommer

About the Superhuman.

Preparing for my next part, I catch myself trying to bring Carl Maria von Weber’s ‘Der Freischütz’ to a human, more comprehensive level. I am searching for explanations in the ghastly and diabolical visions that come from the drugs that are given to Max by Kaspar. I also envision that Agathe’s ideal love is a result of naivety, and that Max’s devotion to his fate is a result of fear and being overburdened. Continue reading

The Swan on the Spit

About Carmina Burana, New Year’s 2014, great Festspielhaus, Salzburg

“You spend half of your life waiting for nothing.” This saying of one of my colleagues at the Tyrol Festival in Erl, 2012, has stayed with me every time I think of Carmina Burana.

In operas, as in concerts, some tenor parts are an enormous challenge because of their shortness. One example is the ‘singer’ in Strauss’ ‘Rosenkavalier’; another is Carmina Burana’s ‘swan’. To begin with, you sit on the stage for an hour and a half listening to your busy soloist colleagues, the soprano and the baritone. Continue reading

“MeTube” wins Epic German Web Video Award 2013!

This Monday morning I am entering the dentist’s office with a huge smile – this was indeed a great weekend!

My impressions of the German web video award ceremony are still with me, along with a big smile and a lot of confidence.

Since the rise of social media there has been a new cultural development that is remarkable. The German Web Video Awards 2013, given out by the  European Web Video Academy, is the most considerable show case for this new culture. The variety of topics, the depths of social significance and the quality of the nominated works astonished me several times during the award ceremony in the Capitol Theatre in Düsseldorf. For me the most impressive examples are the video “Nur neun Jahre Glück”, by the Hochschule HS-OWL, and the organisation for their narration of the true story of an abused boy.

And then there was the award for the ultimate ‘Epic’ category for the best video on the net in 2013. Winning for MeTube  seemed impossible while listening to the list of nominees. As mine and Daniel Moshel’s names were announced all my prepared comments were forgotten. What did I actually say? I have to watch it on the net – I do not remember. I don’t even remember the details of the following award party on the banks of the Rhine with the Japanese fireworks, and all the fabulous conversations, and the dancing and the alcohol…

I am lying happily in the dentist’s chair and thinking of the great time I had in Düsseldorf. See you next year.

What remains is for me to thank everybody involved. Thanks to the director Daniel Moshel, Stephanie Winter, with whom the next project is already in progress, to Martin “Martini” Bauer for the camerawork, to Jörg Mohr, to Bernhard “Draxtor” Drax for the musical arrangement, to Phillip Preuss for the Remix, to Jan René Lai for the second Remix, to Sammy Zayed for the styling,  to Roland Pfannhauser for the production management, to the great Elfi Wunsch for her performance as the mother and her legendary comment “Ulrich, du bist ein Schwein!” (Ulrich, you are a pig!), to Jakob Krisper and the KK-Strings for suffering in latex suits and to all the other participants of this fine work.