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Heiner Goebbels: Songs from Wars I have seen

Texts Gertrude Stein: ,"I cannot remember how it is when there is no war"

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Sinfonietta/Anu Tali
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London 25 April 2009

I could not get onto Goebbels' wavelength in this extravagant and to me tedious work nor, before the interval, his Surrogate Cities Sampler Suite, the instrumental element of an earlier multimedia work. Is he really a composer, I wondered?

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Sinfonietta joined forces, with the women - segregated in the front - required to declaim Stein's repetitious banalities whilst playing bits of Matthew Locke etc. I did not remain long enough to appreciate the ending, "a superb piece of theatre" (Barry Millington).

I defer to my part-namesake in Musical Criticism - "the listener is rarely bored at a performance of Goebbels' music - - "Songs of Wars I have seen" surely one of the greatest new works of the twenty-first century", and you may like to pick up too a "blog" report which I commend, which includes a UTube video which will give the flavour of it all and help you to decide whether to catch the R3 broadcast which is promised...

Peter Grahame Woolf