Where, by the Prophet’s beard, is Europe?
Sat, April 24, 2004 7.30 pm CEST, Concert

For centuries the Orient was the target and vanishing point of European fantasies and yearnings, a focus of the strange and unfamiliar and yet ultimately merely an object for the projection of European dreams and desires. Most of those who departed for the Orient – irrespective of whether they did so in reality, as novelists or composers – were in search of themselves.

The musical journey, in which the audience is invited to participate, leads not so much to well-known places as to those that provide distraction. The sounds of words and music change in rapid succession like the glass beads of a kaleidoscope.

Songs for voice and piano from the 19th and 20th centuries together with sound collages composed especially for this project and comprising fragments from orchestral works and operas, in which European composers from the Baroque up to the present day conjure up their images of the Orient, form the tonal background to this imaginary journey. The famous German actress, Martina Gedeck, narrates erotic »Stories of 1,001 Nights«, while the moderator presents brief texts relating to the music and repeatedly asks about our approach to what is foreign and what constitutes European identity.

Narrator: Martina Gedeck - Travel companion: Manfred Reichert - Soprano: Julia Rempe - Pianist: Hendrik Bräunlich - Sound collages: Daniel Weissbergt.

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