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Category: Music Life

What I’m Listening To Today

These days Berlin is proving once again that summer is an optional season: gray skies, wind and rain that won’t let up. I hope summer’s back by the time we head to the Baltic Sea at the end of the week. In the meantime, I have to finish the world’s most boring translation. Here’s what I’m listening to while I concentrate on wooden, academic sentences:

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The Genius of Georg Kreisler

If things had worked out differently, Georg Kreisler might have written the bulk of his satricial songs in English. An Austrian Jew, Kreisler fled Vienna in 1938. He became a US citizen in 1943 and worked on movies with Charlie Chaplin after the war. But he couldn’t find his audience. In 1947, he was rejected by the record labels, his songs  dubbed “un-American.” Listen to this example and you’ll see why his songs might have been a little over the top on the black humor side for a 1940s American audience: In 1955, Kreisler returned to Europe where he spent…

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Music And What It Means To Me: Words

When I’m speaking German, sometimes I’ll be in the middle of a sentence and suddenly I’m lost in the fog. Words disappear, adjectives smash into nouns. When this happens, I’m sure my Gegenüber assumes it’s because I’m not a native speaker. Little do they know the same thing sometimes happens to me in English. It’s like my mind is an ocean and words are fish; sometimes they jump eagerly into the nets. Other times they refuse to come to the surface. When I insist, they thrash about, causing me trouble. That why I love music: it never has to go to…

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