A German University is set to receive an important collection of Jewish liturgical music. The donation of the collection of Robert Singer, a Viennese cantor, will make the University of Augsburg home to one of the main collections of Jewish liturgical manuscripts and recordings in Europe. The acquisition was formally presented June 25 in a celebration in the Central Library of the University of Augsburg. After introducing his collection, Singer was joined by Paul Chaim Eisenberg, Vienna’s Chief Rabbi, in a concert of cantoral music.
The words “Mehr Juden ins Kino” (“More Jews to the movies”) are plastered all over Berlin. With its yellow lettering and graffiti-like script, the resemblance to Nazi-era posters is intentional. This is the striking (and somewhat confusing) logo for this year’s Jewish Film Festival Berlin and Potsdam, running from June 4 to 17.
Today is Viennese-Jewish author Arthur Schnitzler’s 150th Birthday. One of the key modernist writers in the German-speaking world, Schnitzler (1862–1931) is regrettably little-known in America. In his plays, stories and novels, Schnitzler painted a vivid portrait of his place and time, fin-de-siècle Vienna. He was also one of the most controversial and experimental writers, both for his psychological realism and his sexual frankness. Freud considered him a kindred spirit and famously wrote to Schnitzler that the author had discovered through intuition and creativity everything that Freud had uncovered via scientific experimentation.
Amalia Beer was one of 19th-century Berlin’s preeminent salonieres. The Brothers Grimm and Humboldt, the poet Heinrich Heine and composer Felix Mendelssohn were all regular guests at her famous soirées. On May 6, this vanished world was briefly resurrected in the confines of the Berlin Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Hall with a program that combined music and spoken word performance. The packed concert, which will be repeated May 13, was titled “Soirée at Amalie Beer’s, Berlin 1820” and presented a loving portrait of the fascinating Jewish woman who once stood at the center of the city’s musical and intellectual life.
After an impressive few years of Israeli films showcased prominently at the Berlin Film Festival, there was a conspicuous dearth of Israeli fare this year.
The virtually forgotten Lithuanian-Jewish composer Joseph Achron (1886-1943) is getting a premiere this weekend in the German city of Brandenburg an der Havel.
For over half a century, Alexander Goehr has been one of England’s most important composers, an avant-garde musician whose varied (and often challenging) body of work has been championed by luminaries including Pierre Boulez, Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim and Jacqueline de Pré.
“Weimar Cinema, 1919–1933: Daydreams and Nightmares,” running at MoMA until March 7, 2011, is billed as the largest-ever retrospective of German cinema from between the Wars to be shown in the United States. The era’s defining cinematic style, expressionism, is well-represented in dozens of offerings, giving a healthy dose of the atmospheric, disturbing and downright spooky in classics like “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” “M,” “Nosferatu,” “Vampyr” and “Waxworks.”