Monday, 24 May 2010

The Amazing Ms Lemper

The medium S Clark and I went to see Ute Lemper on Saturday. A quite extraordinary experience of watching a truly European performer who seemed to work seamlessly in German, French and times in Spanish.
I am of the opinion that it is worth going to see any performance of such calibre whether or not you are "into" their music. It was exciting, energised, touching and at time confronting. Her musical associates (a masterly piano, double bass and drums trio...all of whom stood out in their own right...along with 72 year old Tito on the Argentinian instrument which immediately seduces its listeners into endless tangoes) were just amazing. But she is so expressive, her hands just tell a story...the arch of her back...but it is of course her voice which is an amazing instrument.
Apart from the Kurt Weill songs of which she is a foremost interpreter the highlight was the extempore jazz in which she (not exactly the right word) mimicked the instruments. But it wasn't so much trying to recreate the sound as get the feeling of the piano the bass and the drums. It was just amazing. Almost overwhelming. Her final rendition of Jacques Brel's "Ne me quitte pas" was sweetly sensitive.
So let me tell you, dear reader, a couple of amusing anecdotes about the show
  • Half the audience seemed to be German. We even found ourselves speaking German to each other from time to time ("gar nicht!!")
  • After very speccy Pentecost Church was talking to W&J who we had driven past on the way into town to see Ute. Enquiring where they had been going they told me they had gone to see "What do they call her?"...we hadn't seen them. It was obvious J hadn't enjoyed it. Now as she is Mrs Music in our parish, and much admired by me I was surprised. Could I have got it wrong? Had we been at the same concert.? They were upstairs, while we were inches from the stage...maybe that's what made the difference.
  • We talked on about the Bandoneonista...don't know if that's the right word but it sounds good. I was quipping how on the way down I was annoying the medium-sized SC by talking about buying an oboe (there is one on ebay!!), but after being wrapt by Tito I said I think I'll buy a Bandoneon! J quite rightly remarked...yes spend a couple of weeks learning how to get a noise out of it...and a lifetime learning how to make it sound good...yes indeed
Ahh good times!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

not sure however that you'll see a bandoneon available on ebay.