2019 has begun

2019 has arrived and it’s summer here in New Zealand and some reading can commence !
An ongoing project is “Livro do Desassossego: Composto por Bernardo Soares, ajudante de guarda-livros na cidade de Lisboa”, shorter known as: “Book of Disquiet” by Fernando Pessoa, one of the truly important books of the 20th century. The longer I read in it, the more I am stunned and bewildered by its author’s astute observations, and I feel utterly at home with his analysis of life. A truly exceptional read, to be cherished. Some English editions contain only about half of the material though, but there is an excellent German edition by the Ammann Verlag, that contains about 500 pages of material.
I am also immensely looking forward to finally get my paws on Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s “The Makioka Sisters”, a magisterial evocation of a proud Osaka family in decline during the years immediately before World War II, and arguably one of the greatest Japanese novels of the 20th century. ( There is also an exquisite film adaption by Kon Ishikawa.)
And then back to my favourite Austrian writer Gerhard Roth and his latest 2 novels “Grundriss eines Raetsels” and “Die Irrfahrt des Michael Aldrian”. I have always been impressed by what’s coming out of this tiny country Austria in regard to its writers ( Thomas Bernhard, Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke, Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, Joseph Roth or Karl Kraus to name a few ) and movie directors ( Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Michael Haneke, Otto Preminger ), let alone their musical achievements. Creativity abound so it seems, particularly when compared to its big German neighbour, who – apart from Thomas Mann – has little to show in 20th century literature ( apart from little known eccentrics eccentrics such as Arno Schmidt – whom I adore – or some moral preachers such as Heinrich Boell and Guenther Grass. The latter one obsessed all his life about postwar Germany’s Nazi history and conveniently forgot to mention that he had become a member in the Waffen SS shortly before the end of the war. )
Gerhard Roth has written in many genres, and his novels often are accompanied by photo books, they are also often written in the style of a detective novel, the mysteries though are rarely solved…
And apart from reading:
in next weeks Akaroa Festival I will be performing Beethoven’s 5th symphony in the diabolically difficult solo version by Franz Liszt,
a Trio concert with the resurrected “Canterbury Trio” ( Haydn: E flat minor Trio, Copland: Vitebsk, Schubert: Trio Opus 100 ),
and then a project that promises to be great fun:
Mozart’s symphony in g-minor KV 550 in a version by Johann Nepomuk Hummel for Violin, Cello, Flute and piano.
There are plans in place to record in the coming years a whole set of symphonies by Beethoven for Naxos, so watch this space !

International Akaroa Music Festival