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Places of Remembrance

Project "KunstRäume Krems"

 

The events series “KunstRäume 2018” (ArtSpaces 2018), conceived by music school director Hubert Poell and realized by the Krems Music School, focuses on cultural heritage in the form of multimedia concerts in historical places in the city of Krems. The Ernst Krenek Forum is involved as cooperation partner and supporter.

The concert on 20 February in the former municipal movie theater, today the Ferdinand Dinstl Hall, was devoted to a confrontation with the regional past. Impulses for the two central aspects of the event came from the location of the concert hall directly next to the train station, which provided keywords for the contributions to the event in the symbolic and practical dimension as a place of departure on the one hand, and also in its concrete role in the Second World War on the other. On the basis of Krenek’s biography, Clemens Zoidl, archivist of the Krenek Institute, was able to provide interesting details between these poles, since travel was a subject repeatedly touched upon in Krenek’s compositions as well as in his memoirs, not least because his emigration – an involuntary journey – also began at a train station. The reports and anecdotes about Krenek were musically complemented by pieces from his School Music, performed by ensembles from the Krems Music School.

On 1 March, the Adagio from Krenek’s seldom performed Concerto Grosso No. 1 was heard in the Minoritenkirche in Krems, alongside Solaris by Martin Steinbatz, Hubert Poell’s DOMINI, Gerhard Rasdorfer’s Promises, and Another World by Andreas See. Beforehand, the media branch of the BORG Krems set out on a search for clues, visually documenting historical as well as current aspects of the Minoritenkirche and the Dominikanerkirche. The two historical churches were the starting points for the occupation with the topic area of culture in sacred space.

Clemens Zoidl used the thematic framework to explore Krenek’s attitude toward architecture. In his analytical descriptions, Krenek indeed largely dispensed with the architectural associations gladly employed by other music theorists, but yet was greatly fascinated by the various designs of the buildings he viewed in his places of residence and during his travels: he praised Prague for its exceptional examples of successful baroque architecture, experienced Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia equally as a revelation of genius as well as a horror, and of all things was disappointed by the “insignificant mixture of styles,” so popular among tourists, of Vienna’s Ringstrasse. In his attentive perception of architecture, he observed what was for him an unsatisfying difference to his own profession: whereas Austrian architects of the 1930s were allowed autonomous freedom for artistic evolution in the design of sacred and other public buildings, Krenek sensed great reservations toward himself and other composers of modern music.

The next event, “Kunst im Oktagon” (Art in the Octagon), will take place on 12 April in the Evangelical Heilandskirche in Krems. Among other things, Ernst Krenek’s The Holy Ghost’s Ark, op. 91a, will be heard and, corresponding to the thematic focus of the evening, Clemens Zoidl will reflect upon Krenek’s attitude toward mysticism.