Who am I anyway?

Who am I anyway?

The “poetic-documentary performance” has a strong reference to Graz and runs as a co-production in the “Steirischer Herbst” at the Theater am Lend. This makes sense, since this year’s theme of the festival is “Humans and demons” and many of the contributions and their contents are linked to Graz.

The text was written by the ensemble itself. Bernhard Berl, Vinko Cener, Franciska Farkas, Natalija Teodosieva and Christian Winkler tell stories from their lives and those of their ancestors. Except for Natalija and Christian, who takes over the intro part, they all belong to the Roma population group and come from Austria, Slovenia, Hungary and Macedonia. Between the individual descriptions, they all work together on a wooden boat with the inscription Feuerwehr Steiermark. They core it, sand off parts of the surface, paint and glue together individual wooden parts.

Moritz Weiß and Ivan Trenev (photos Edi Haberl)

Ivan Trenev (accordion) and Moritz Weiß (clarinet/bass clarinet) contribute a musically harmonious background from the edge of the stage. Klezmer with a strong Balkan drive, but also lyrical pieces that are easy on the ear, as well as dramatic sounds when the events on stage come to a head, are part of their repertoire.

The boat that is used on stage is one that was already used as a lifeboat in the Mur in the 1930s. The fact that it was not used when Bernhard Berl’s great-grandmother drowned herself in the Mur on March 13, 1938, testifies to the hostile social attitude that the Roma had to bitterly experience in the interwar period and during the Second World War.

Bernhard, who comes from eastern Styria, vividly recounts that when he was barely 20 years old, he set out to find his ancestors and learned that he was a Roma. During his narration, one notices how much he is still emotionally gripped by this circumstance, even if he downplays it first and foremost with the means of humor. “I’m Roma? Great, an Italian!” was his reaction to the revelation of his ancestry. Only his grandmother’s curt reply, “No, not Italian, a Gypsy!” pulls the rug out from under the young man. He freely admits that without psychological support he would not have been able to get his life back on track.

Natalja has had opposite experiences. From infancy, she was very attached to one of her “babas”, who was one of the most famous Roma singers. She wanted to become like her. When, at the age of eight, her brother told her that there was no blood relationship between this grandmother and her and that she was not a Romni, a world collapsed for her.

Vinko, a Roma from Slovenia, did not have to learn the language of his ancestors until adulthood. His parents were too concerned about integrating into their country and not standing out as Roma. It almost sounds like irony of fate that Vinko eventually had his own television show where he hosted Roma affairs. He has been living in Graz for many years now and experiences again and again what it means not to have been born here.

Franciska finally begins her account with a horrific story from the Nazi era. After a pause of consternation, in which one notices that the audience has become very uncomfortable, she suddenly puts on a completely different face and asks what would happen if this story were made up. Franciska is a professional actress, a celebrity in Hungary and would like nothing more than not to be constantly cast only in Romnja roles.

As different as all of the ensemble’s life stories and approaches to their Roma origins are, they are united by the fact that at some point in their lives their identities began to falter and they had to come to terms with their origins, whether they wanted to or not. With the inclusion of the boat, Franz von Strolchen created two artful dramaturgical levels that at first glance seem quite unobtrusive. On the one hand, he uses scrolling text to explain the philosophical paradox of the Ship of Theseus. Second, he creates a parenthesis with the rowboat. It encompasses the story of Bernhard’s great-grandmother, which is told at the beginning of the production, to the end because: In the last scene, the boat is sheathed in white fabric without words, wrapped with ropes and ultimately left alone on the stage. The association that stops here has it all: tied up in this way, people who die at sea and are not brought ashore, but find their final resting place in the floods of the seas or rivers.

“The Ship of Theseus” opens many windows into the past, but at the same time the almost overpowering desire of the performers for a better future becomes palpable. A future in which a person’s ancestry and origins should no longer play a role. Utopias become reality when they are lived. Starting now seems to be the order of the day in times like these, in which national countercurrents are on the rise again. Contemporary theater can hardly be more topical.

Sea glitter and fire crackling

Sea glitter and fire crackling

According to Greek mythology, Dido, who came from Phoenician royalty, was the founder of Carthage. She fled her homeland to escape her brother and, by acting intelligently, obtained enough land in the new land where she had arrived with followers and ships to build Carthage. Described as a tall, beautiful, wise and untouchable queen, she fell in love, through the intervention of the gods, with Aeneas, who, having fled Troy, asked her for the right to stay. The love story, which ends tragically, has been adapted many times in literature and found its way into some 90 operas. Henry Purcell created “Dido and Aeneas“, from which ‘Dido’s Lament‘ gave rise to one of the most famous and beautiful mourning arias in operatic history.

Turkish dancer and choreographer Korhan Basaran made a guest appearance at the wortwiege festival “Europe in Scene“, this time subtitled “Sea change”. He presented his dance piece “Dido” in which he himself slips into the role of the woman loved and then abandoned by Aeneas. The gods demand of Aeneas to leave Dido alone in Carthage to sail across the sea with his people in order to found a city himself, namely Rome. This breaks the heart of the once proud woman. Basaran condenses the action to the last moments of Dido’s life, after she has been abandoned by Aeneas, and makes visible all the emotions that heartbreak can bring. In Dido’s inner monologue, he concentrates on the existential emotions that arise at the moment of abandonment. Small paper boats, folded by the audience under his guidance at the beginning of the performance and placed on the stage floor, make it clear: it is the sea that has brought the two lovers together, but ultimately also separates them again. Underpinned with musical layers by composer Tolga Yayalar, Purcell’s Dido Lament resonates from the start. If at first it is only the harmony sequence, transposed into electronic sounds, that can be heard delicately, at the end Dido herself will sing along the refrain of this lament loudly and emotionally fiercely moved. Yayalar also created the auditory perceptions of the horn of a large steamer, the chirping of birds, ominous-sounding demon noises, and the cracking and crackling of burning wood. Ataman Girisken also contributes significantly to the success of the production with his visuals. Depending on the mood, he bathes the space in glittering blue and white wave refractions, provides it with a twinkling starry sky, transforms it into a dark cave or triggers frightening moments when Dido meets her death at the stake. Red tongues of fire blaze until the figure of Dido lying on the ground visually dissolves. The billowing conflagration that follows also remains palpable in its abstractly designed undulations, which at the same time seem incredibly aesthetic.


Korhan Basaran’s Dido is wracked by painful convulsions, but also reveals that defensiveness that results from wounded pride. An expressive facial expression makes every single emotional emotion visible. Be it despair, fear, hope or disgust. The tall figure in a long skirt, the upper part of the body clad only in a shirt, conveys in a contemporary way the image of Dido that has been handed down in tradition. But Basaran also slips into Aeneas, who, lantern in hand, affirms to Dido that it is not his will but that of the gods why he must leave her. It is the brilliantly crafted melange of his expressive dance, the selected text passages from Virgil and Christopher Marlowe that he recites, the atmospheric visuals as well as the music that create a harmonious, emotionally gripping stage event. With Basaran’s interpretation of Dido, he continues to write a tradition that has captivated countless generations to date and, judging by the audience reaction, continues to emotionally grip them today.

This article was automatically translated with deepl.com


A good story is like a fit knife

A good story is like a fit knife

“A good story is like a fit knife”. Anna Luca Poloni recites this sentence at the beginning and end of her production “Orlando Trip“, which she premiered in Austria together with Christian Mair at the festival “Europa in Szene” focusing on “Sea Change – the art of transformation” at the Kasematten in Wiener Neustadt.

The cinematic-musical show, produced under the label “Fox on ice”, leans on the tradition of “concept albums” with 12 songs. With his album “Frank Sinatra sings for only the lonely“, Frank Sinatra is considered the forefather of this genre, in which the individual titles refer to each other and thus follow a certain “concept”.

“Orlando Trip” refers to Virginia Woolf’s famous book “Orlando” in which she tells of the transformation of a medieval knight into a woman. The fact that this transformation takes place over a period of 400 years additionally underlines the story’s fantastic construction of ideas. The original inspired and continues to inspire many artists to take up the material again and add their own interpretations. What is little known, even among literature geeks, is the fact that Woolf had a model for her text. Ludovico Ariosto’s “Orlando furioso” from the 16th century.Interestingly, it is precisely in our time that it is increasingly popping up in different ways. Several film adaptations, an opera by Olga Neuwirth, radio play adaptations, dance performances, but also those in public space, such as the Orlando project in Vienna make it clear that the material still offers sufficient impulses to deal with it in an original way.

Orlando Trip 19 c Ludwig Drahosch web

Orlando trip (Photo: Ludwig Drahosch)

Christian Mair and Anna Luca Poloni alias Anna Maria Krassnigg do this in their own way, which has a high recognition value. Film material, recorded by Christian Mair, is interlocked with texts by Anna Luca Poloni, which are sung by her, but partly also recited in a speech style. One is amazed at how polyglot the artist couple is in this production. The texts are largely written in English poetry, an undertaking usually only mastered by those literary artists whose mother tongue is English. In addition, there are Italian, but also French sprinklings, which underline the international touch that the production has.

It is not necessary to read the material beforehand, yet “Orlando Trip” manages to make you want to pick up Woolf’s book afterwards to read it for the first time, but also to read it again. A fact that is often found in productions by ‘wortwiege’. This also shows that one of the main tasks of this theatre is to convey literature. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about dramas or dramatised material. Sensual, joyful, theatrically realisable – these are the criteria that are decisive for a reception and a realisation of wortwiege. Not to forget: worthy of discussion.

Christian Mair’s compositions in “Orlando Trip” move between soft, often darkly coloured, lyrical songs and rocky, rhythmic, up to poppy catchy tunes. The performers trace the development of Orlando, underpin it with current visuals from many different countries and open windows into dream worlds. The main theme is the physical, but not mental transformation that Orlando undergoes in his sleep without any active intervention on his part. One witnesses how, as a young man, he discovers his feelings and his infatuation with Sasha, who abandons him at the all-important moment. One follows his turn to literature, which he continues to uphold as an elixir of life even later as a woman. And one marvels at the resistance of the female Orlando, who knows how to preserve her independence despite marriage and a son.

Orlando Trip 10 c Ludwig Drahosch web

Orlando trip (Photo: Ludwig Drahosch)

Anna Luca Poloni’s androgynous charisma in this production supports the fluidity between the gender boundaries. At the same time, despite her delicate appearance, one feels a permanent force in the portrayal of both the male and female parts that seems to be independent of gender. Young Orlando turns to literature as a matter of course after his love disaster in his inner emigration. Financially independent, he does not even ask himself whether he can and is allowed to do so. But one can also authentically empathise with the female astonishment at the games between man and woman. When Anna Luca Poloni sings “dimmi, Capitano”, this also addresses the female fascination with the uniform. At the same time, however, she conveys an irrevocable will for freedom at every moment, which she retains even after her transformation into a woman.

Christian Mair forms a kind of rock in the surf of the production next to her with his electric guitar. Setting the pace, he nevertheless succeeds in giving his partner so much playful freedom that they both appear equal in the audience’s perception. A circumstance that is seldom encountered in the concert business, but here it works perfectly in a symbiotic way.

“Why glue together? Is this nature’s will?” Orlando sings at one point, raising the question of cohabitation and marriage as a socially established phenomenon. Unlike current gender debates, Orlando`s transformation is completely frictionless, almost natural, at best astonishing. It is to this production’s greatest credit that it highlights this, albeit hypothetical, pacifist possibility.

As part of the “Sea Change” initiative, “Orlando Trip” was and is shown in many European countries. It would be a pleasure to be present at every single performance abroad to be able to follow the different audience reactions. At the premiere in the casemates of Wiener Neustadt, “Fox on ice” was applauded frenetically.

There will be another performance on 23.9.

This article was translated automatically with deepl.com


From the ape-like gait to the human jogging mania

From the ape-like gait to the human jogging mania

Man moves and fights against gravity from his first days to his last. This is one of the core statements of Aleksandar Acev, who was invited by wortwiege to the casemates of Wiener Neustadt. As part of the festival “Europa in Szene”, in the special “Sea change” edition, he rocked the hall with his production “Lucy was not long ago”.

Acev is a “body language teacher,” author, director as well as a university lecturer at various European universities, where he imparts his knowledge to acting students. Moving on stage and finding the right expression for the character and the situation is one thing. Observing people in everyday life and analyzing their emotional state or even their character in a few moments – this is also possible with Acev’s Bodylanguage knowledge. Both mediation approaches are thematized in his performance – however not theoretically dry, but made visible with his grandiose use of the body.

C Julia Kampichler Lucy was not long ago ASC 0069

Lucy was not long ago (Photo: Julia Kampichler)

Lucy the monkey is considered one of those ancestors of man who practiced the upright gait and thus established our way of life on two legs instead of four. Acev approaches this topic with a great deal of knowledge, body awareness and a large dose of humor, and delighted audiences across all ages with his story of animal and human movement history.

His brilliant show ranged from an easy introduction, the explanation and pointing out of many possible human gaits to four grandiosely performed, different shoulder looks and the resulting different forms of expression. With Lucy on one side of the stage and Scully – a miniature human skeleton – on the other side, he had brought two artificial antipodes to him, which he filled with life.

Particularly entertaining was the part in which he demonstrated his observations of jogging people: he juxtaposed one type, characterized by its looseness and bouncing gait, with another who, with his upper body bent backwards, seemed to be stuck in his past. Still others, who rush headlong into the future, without ifs and buts, or those who, bent with grief, nevertheless set off on the run – all of them and many more were alternately imitated by Acev almost every second. In the process, the performer juggled words just as well to accompany his performance.

The different ways of greeting, submissive, deprecating, fearful or hopeful triggered just as cheerful moods as the references to the direct Lucy kinship in the field of male sports greats. The tennis player Djokovic beating his chest with a clenched fist, the famous, unforgettable headbutt of the soccer player Zinédine Zidane – against the Italian Materazzi at the World Cup – or the wide-legged goal celebration of his colleague Ronaldo: all these short and yet so striking movements, demonstrated by the mime, made it clear that Lucy and her kind cannot have been extinct for so long. The evolution of man’s fusion with his chair – this was another theme that served as an eye-opener for one’s own movement patterns. Who hasn’t lounged at the office chair without energy on several occasions, who hasn’t had the feeling of being fused with his keyboard, and who hasn’t felt prompted to expose his body to sporting activities more often?

Probably the most amazing thing about Acev’s performance is the realization that with this kind of “edutainment” you can gain knowledge in a short time that you wouldn’t get by reading books for hours on end. And it does so in a highly enjoyable way. All who have seen “Lucy was not long ago” have been given a new observational insensitivity by the artist at the bottom. What a great side-effect, triggered by a theatrical event as part of the wortwiege festival.

This article was automatically translated with deepl.com

Orlando’s Vienna Stroll

Orlando’s Vienna Stroll

The theatrical project aimed to interactively confront the audience with the story of Orlando by Virginia Woolf along various stations within Vienna’s city center. On foot, equipped with a cell phone and headphones, they set out on a path with a total of five stations, accompanied by a charming guide. Approximately 9,000 steps had to be completed in a time of 1.5 hours. At each station, the participants received instructions on which environment they had to point the camera of the cell phone provided in order to activate the app installed on it.

Anisoglu and Pacher’s work is highly transnational, which in this context meant that every single station in Orlando’s life had been designed by other artists. Visuals that could be seen on the small cell phone screens partially merged with the environment for which they were made. Except for one station, the audience listened to the text by Sophie Steinbeck, who had made an abridgment, but also an overwriting of Woolf’s literary model. In doing so, she had used narratives from the individual book chapters on the one hand, but also introduced her own ideas, which at times added another layer to the original text. A small sample:

“the english language is not enough to say what he feels
the german language must be enough for the author to understand what orlando cannot say in english.”

Aras Levni Seyhan delivered the musical bracket that connected all the individual stations.
Claudia Virginia Dimoiu, Simon Goritschnig, Theo Emil Krausz, Nour Shantout, Cosima Büsing, Metamorkid and Lara Sienczak are those artists who had also been invited to this project and delivered contributions.

The story of Orlando is diverse and colorful, dreamlike and at the same time visionary in structure. “The Orlando project” adopts this multicolor. The narrative of the life of a man who transforms into a woman stretches from the Middle Ages up to our own time. Each of the five stations marks a particular time period and bears its own artistic signature. Visual transformations with the help of virtual reality, dance and song interludes recorded on video and reworked on the computer, but also a sculpture garden that you can walk through thanks to a magnificent artificial architecture, create variety and excitement. What begins in the Griechengasse finally ends in the Museumsquartier in front of the Mumok.

The diverse impressions have been charmingly recorded in a leporello, which one receives at the end of the trip. It thus becomes a kind of memory tool along which one can let one’s thoughts wander. Both a brief description of the individual stations and the complete text to be heard are recorded on it. The individual text stations are supplemented with a small photographic excerpt. Large enough to set the memory in motion, small enough to revive one’s own sensations and impressions.

In fact, the artistic team managed to create a sustainable work, which – it is planned – can be discovered in the future with the help of the app alone. This also makes sense, because the overabundance of impressions, coupled with the “real life” that inevitably surrounds you during the performance, do not allow you to take in, hear, see and process everything at the same time.

Individual aesthetically very successful realizations remain in the memory. For example, the artificial landscape of sculptural imprints by Simon Goritschnig in the Schweizerhof of the castle, or the work of Manuel Biedermann, who expanded the transgender performance of Metamorkid with a memorable mapping animation on the wall of the Mumok. The fragmented Persian carpet by Nour Shantout on the facade of the Weltmuseum, which symbolizes Orlando’s stay in Istanbul, also belongs to this group. It should also be noted that it succeeded in plausibly tracing Orlando’s passage through the centuries and ultimately seeing his change of gender in a contemporary light.

Should the project emancipate itself in the next step with a self-operating app, this could develop into a new Viennese attraction that artistically underscores the internationality of this city.

Julius Bürger – expelled and rediscovered I A Viennese composer returns

Julius Bürger – expelled and rediscovered I A Viennese composer returns

The RSO, under the direction of Gottfried Rabl, performed works by Julius Bürger (1897-1995) for the Austrian premiere on Aug. 18, 2023, in the large broadcasting hall of the ORF RadioKulturhaus. And it came 18 years after the Jewish composer died in New York at the age of 98.

Portrait Buerger vor Klavier Brian Coats

Julius Bürger (Photo: Brian Coats)

That the pieces were able to be heard at all was thanks to the shrewd actions of Ronald S. Pohl, a New York estate attorney. He had been hired by Bürger in 1989 to administer the estate of his wife Rose, who had died shortly before, and to give most of the money to young, Israeli musicians. Not yet knowing that Julius Bürger had a remarkable compositional oeuvre to his credit, Pohl asked him whether, due to his advanced age, he might not want to tackle his estate in time, which turned out to be a stroke of luck. Bürger, born and raised in Vienna, had moved to Berlin as a young man with fellow students and his composition teacher Franz Schreker, and thereafter commuted between London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Hitler’s invasion of Austria, however, alarmed him so much that he was able to emigrate to America with his wife in time. There he received American citizenship, worked at the Metropolitan Opera, but also for radio and television stations as a conductor, arranger and commissioned composer, without, however, completely abandoning his own independent compositional activity. Fortunately, Bürger had found a man of action in Pohl. He pulled out all the stops to fulfill his client’s wish to hear his Cello Concerto from 1932, which was first performed in 1952 and had not been heard since 1991, once again. Pohl’s efforts were successful. After performances in the USA, it was also played in Israel – by those musicians who had received scholarships from Rose Bürger. Only after contact was made with Gerold Gruber, director of the Exilarte Center for banned Music at the mdw, and Julius Bürger’s musical estate was brought to Vienna, was it possible to perform a concert of works by him here as well. If Pohl had not met with the composer, one may assume with great certainty that his works, which were collected in a small piece of furniture, would have been disposed of after his death when the apartment was vacated.

The RSO Vienna plays Julius Bürger.

Photo: Benjamin Pieber – Herzog Media

Adagio for String Orchestra

The range of works heard in Vienna was rich. The opening was an Adagio for string orchestra, from 1978, which was the only work that had ever been performed in Austria. Flowing gently, it darkened briefly every now and then to expose more dramatic material. The bass violins at some points literally push the strings to moments of tension, but they are always overcome by them. They finally manage to leave behind the wild, the evil, the almost unspeakable, which makes itself audible again and again, and let the work end with a tender euphony. A good choice, as far as the solo part of the cello concerto was concerned, which was played afterwards, had been made with Anna Litvinenko. Impressive were not only the technically difficult passages, mastered with bravura, but especially the intimacy and sensitivity of her solo in the last movement. Technique is only one component of a successful performance, but filling the work with soul makes the difference that Litvinenko was able to show the audience. After a quiet introduction, the winds form and release a pulsating rhythm that the orchestra and cello pick up. Soon the musical action becomes lightly dance-like and develops into a slow flow in which the rhythmic pulsations repeat themselves. Again and again, the little theme, spanning barely 3 measures, emerges across the orchestra. Bürger allows the movement to end only with the winds, supported by the cello. The composer subsequently dedicated the 2nd movement to his mother, who had been killed by the Nazis during the march to Auschwitz. A long, dragging march is intoned at the very beginning, and the cello theme is soon taken up by the oboe. The strings enter elegantly and are carried by the solo instrument, which continues the theme. The dragging ductus gradually transforms into a general shimmering and a transition of the theme into a brightened scenario with harp accompaniment. The soothing, lovely attitude does not last long; soon the sound clouds over again. It experiences a sharp agglomeration and comes up with a long wind sequence with disharmonies that wake up the orchestra and animate it to a wild, gloomy event. Now the cello gets a solo that can be described as illusionless. No trace of that calm, life-affirming passage with harp accompaniment is perceptible anymore; rather, it seems as if the cello has surrendered to the voices of wild violence. Logically, this is followed by an ending in which the orchestra, as at the beginning, reproduces the dragging march. Knowing the fate of Bürger’s mother, one can feel what last moment of life he has captured here musically. In the rapid 3rd movement, the cello responds almost chamber-like to the individual instrumental solos. Again and again, soothing passages, often supported by the strings in unison, counter the lively ones heard earlier, which then pick up speed again with the help of the winds in interplay with the cello. The finale is a cello solo with differentiated, beautiful dynamic colorations, which is followed by a furious final wind and timpani event. The orchestra and soloist rightly received prolonged applause for the performance.

Songs with symphonic accompaniment

The following two songs with symphonic accompaniment were interpreted by Matija Meić. “Legend” after a text by Christian Morgenstern and “Silence of the Night” after Gottfried Keller, allowed musical comparisons with Gustav Mahler. Almost every line, every mood, every description of a state of landscape, soul or action receives its own, musical expression in Bürger. Whether Jesus before his walk into the garden of Gethsemane, completely unexpectedly begins to dance with a young woman and these exuberant steps become audible, whether the surf of a sea addressed in Gottfried Keller, triggers musical surges in the body of sound, music and word support each other most artfully. Meić’s baritone sounded full, warm and very mature, without, however, lacking clear enunciation. He managed with ease to leave the broad symphonic support, a challenge for the singer in these works, as such and rather to contribute vocally like a solo instrument. Both pieces can be characterized as small symphonic poems, but endowed with an epic weight using a large instrumentarium, which makes them extraordinarily exciting. One would like to hear more of them.

The RSO Vienna performs Julius Bürger. Pictured here is baritone Matija Meić

Photo: Benjamin Pieber – Herzog Media

“Eastern Symphony”

The concert concluded with the “Eastern Symphony” from 1931.In 3 movements, it opens with a bright theme in the winds that is answered by the strings. Memories of Gershwin, one year older, are evoked, mainly by the strongly accented rhythms, which also change frequently. It is striking, as in the songs before, that Bürger keeps the entire orchestral instrumentarium in almost constant motion. There is hardly a passage in which the musicians are not challenged at the same time, which proves immensely appealing. Cymbals, timpani and drums set the predominant tone, as do the winds, and allow the movement to be experienced as hymn-like and progressive. The 2nd movement begins with the oboe, broadly supported by the orchestra. She is answered by violins and cellos in such a way that a fluidity takes hold of the entire body of sound and a wide, opening landscape can easily be imagined. Again it is the harp that leads to the clarinet, bassoon and strings, as well as the soft wood. It is this instrumental thematic wandering and at the same time the continuation of the same that makes this movement so interesting. The quiet ductus is maintained and the end also sounds accordingly. How could it be otherwise, the final movement begins furiously in the entire orchestra with a wild run. Trumpets and drums set the rapid rhythm, which only calms down with the harp and oboe with the theme sung by the strings above. Now it is the flutes that complete this description of the landscape. As if following a river with small whirlpools of water, the violins, held by the clarinet, spiral on in a lively manner, handing over to the flutes. With a final, massive orchestral entry, the theme, presented once again, ends the beautiful work. The characteristics of Bürger’s music are unambiguous and can be clearly stated. As a composer, he stands aesthetically between the 19th and 20th centuries, from which he borrowed not only the courage to blur sound, but also hitherto unusual rhythms and some new instrumentation. However, his compositional technique is always clearly comprehensible, structures are easily recognizable and – this is what distinguishes Bürger’s symphonic works in particular – he captivates with a musical richness of color par excellance. Austria, especially Vienna, has not made amends with this concerto. There is no such thing. The statement that was made, however, is clear and was more than necessary. Taking care of the estates of expelled composers is an absolute imperative of the hour. The work of the mdw’s Exilarte Center should be brought much more into the public consciousness. A broader awareness of this inglorious chapter in the context of music history can at least help to ensure that the work of the exiles is not consigned to oblivion. We, who are in the fortunate position of being posthumous, can either get actively involved in this event or – and this must not be underestimated – we storm concerts like these and fill the halls to capacity. In doing so, we express our interest and give the music what keeps it alive and what it deserves: our undivided attention.

f.l.t.r Prof. Gerold Gruber, Anna Litvinenko, Ronald S. Pohl, Gottfried Rabl

f.l.t.r Prof. Gerold Gruber, Josipa Bainac Hausknecht, Ronald S. Pohl, Gottfried Rabl (Photo: Ronald Pohl)

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