Author Volker Hagedorn will read passages from his book "Flammen. A European Musician's Narrative 1900-1918" (awarded "Book of the Year 2022" by Opernwelt). It is the time of great changes in art and society. The time of such diverse composers as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Gustav Mahler. But the main protagonists of the book are Claude Debussy in Paris and the English composer Ethel Smyth.
Gundula Mantu (violin) and Anja Kleinmichel (piano) bring the protagonists of the time to sound. The read passages illuminate the genesis of the played compositions from the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to little-known musical gems by Claude Debussy and Eric Satie, the program includes piano music by Arnold Schoenberg and also the Violin Sonata by Ethel Smyth (1858-1954). This work was premiered in Leipzig in the winter of 1887/88. In her memoirs, Smyth recalls of the premiere: "that the critics were unanimous in saying that it was without feminine charm and therefore unworthy of a woman - the good old remark that I was to hear again so often." Smyth was the first woman to study composition at the Leipzig Conservatory.
Many musically "known" appears here with other insights in a new light. Musical surprises are also provided. A piano piece with which the impoverished Debussy paid his coal merchant, or even a musical gift from Eric Satie to Debussy's daughter...