13. April 2006

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

Death will smell of pepper and marjoram . . .

Easter Week Laudanum to Texts by Hertha Kräftner (1928–1951)
"Seldom have I felt so clearly that happiness and grief have no borders."

Ursl Langmayr soprano
Johanna von der Deken mezzo-soprano
Anna Hauf alto
Mirjam Jessa recital
Renald Deppe clarinet, composition

The Austrian lyric poet Hertha Kräftner, who died young, knew about the transitory nature of life. In 1939, at the age of eleven, she experienced the beginning of World War II. After the end of the supposed thousand-year Reich, six infernal years later, just six further eventful years were left to the young woman. Then Hertha Kräftner voluntarily passed away at the age of only 23. In this brief period she travelled to Paris and Scandinavia, studied German and English philology, in addition attended lectures in psychology, aestheticism and philosophy, completed her doctorate with a dissertation on Franz Kafka and worked relentlessly on her own literary language. Apart form a few publications during her lifetime, her works appeared posthumously. This Easter Week Laudanum, a compilation of texts from Hertha Kräftner’s diaries, letters, prose and poem fragments contrapuntally set to music, reflect grief and happiness, fulfilment and desire, dream and reality, anger and resignation, hope and despair, and the restlessness and loneliness of a whole generation. Hertha Kräftner’s precious textures are still valid and of undiminished relevance to the present situation. We would like to recall that with gratitude.

Neither caraway seed nor flower . . .

Saadet Türköz voice
Martin Schütz cello
Bodo Hell text

The beauty of her sung, written, whispered, sweet melting and roughened vocal range, the simultaneousness of her reference to breath and the transparency of the musical structures characterise Saadet Türköz’ dealing with the legacy of her Kazakh-Turkish origin as well as her practice in free Western improvisation. The charming, extraordinary voice artist has found congenial partners for her fascinating song lines in the bassist Joëlle Léandre, the guitarist Elliott Sharp, the oud player Burhan Öçal as well as the Suisse cellist Martin Schütz, who will accompany her to Krems. Bodo Hell, awarded several prizes for his experience in spoken poetry and literary performance, created a special body of texts revolving around the general subject "In the sign of Venus". On this Venus-Express Maundy Thursday, we will be all ears for heartfelt points of contact and sharp contradictions.

© Hertha Kräftner

© Hertha Kräftner