Once a year, on their wedding anniversary, Estes and Sophie meet in Venice for a revival of a marriage which is no longer a marriage. "As a man, one loves memories," says Estes – and after all, they did spend twenty years together. Sophie has already travelled to Venice with Schubert – not really a lovers' trip, since they do not even use the intimate "du" form to each other, but they still see themselves as a couple. Sophie had saved Schubert's life after his first suicide attempt. Months later, he gets up, showers, shaves and combs his hair, dresses in his black suit, takes his Winchester, reloads it, puts on a record of Rachmaninov's 3rd Symphony, drinks a triple cognac, lies down on his bed with the rifle at his side, takes an overdose of veronal and suffocates in a fit of hiccups. A strange and sad story.
Estes feels responsible for the death of Schubert, of whose existential suffering he was aware; he ought to have done something about it. Whereas others are all too ready to reject blame, Estes is almost manic in his attempt to take it upon himself. He can and will not resign himself to the inevitability of his friend's action, until he himself comes alarmingly close to death.
Nowadays this is all taken for granted. The classical music market is populated by whole droves of ensembles producing "original" sound, young musicians demonstrate their mastery on period instruments, and the term "Klangrede" [music as speech] has long become everyday usage. In 1953, when the cellist Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his wife Alice, a violinist, began a private artistic experiment together with a handful of interested colleagues, Early Music was uncharted territory. For four years, Harnoncourt and his friends rehearsed in their living-room, researching musical material and instruments, techniques and sounds until they were ready to venture into public performance. Insatiable curiosity, unseen assiduity and inexhaustible devotion to an idea whose success was unforeseeable characterised the early days, during which the Concentus Musicus of Vienna developed into an ensemble which had a determining influence on period style.
This book is intended to bring to life fifty years of adventure, during which a conspiracy of highly specialised musicians set new standards with each stage of their development, making interpretative history. Milan Turković, a member of Concentus, and Monika Mertl, Harnoncourt's biographer, examine all these various events in a balanced view from both inside and out. A CD with commentary by Nikolaus Harnoncourt accompanies the text.
This is the book of a Vienna-enthusiast who doesn’t seem to get tired to go through this city with open eyes. He lists a whole range of popular personalities, who also visited or lived in Vienna for several reasons. Protagonist are for example: Antonio Vivaldi, Mark Twain, Karl May, Bertold Brecht, Zhomas Bernhard or Gustav Klimt.
Gerhard Amanshauser has been called the "most important of Austria's as yet undiscovered authors" (Daniel Kehlmann). However, in the meantime even the major German-language media give regular space to the self-styled outsider who lives on the hill under Hohensalzburg Fortress. In this collection, the man who has no difficulty in describing the people on our planet as seen from a probe, takes a stand against all dogmas, with penetrating wit and an exceptional refusal to compromise. Entlarvung der flüchtig skizzierten Herren collects his most forcible writings from six decades – narrative, satirical, theoretical, always autobiographical. Gerhard Amanshauser has the staying-power for large-scale constructs, but he is also a master of small-scale, precise form. His point of view, always original, throws light on us all from unexpected angles, not least on himself. This makes the book a pleasure to read; rarely have literature and philosophy been so clearly and realistically presented. Amanshauser rejects banal discourse and the business of literature. He has no time for vanities, but pursues his radical, rigorous exploration of "modern" society and is, moreover, a brilliant stylist.
When the writer and lawyer Albert Drach (1902-1995) was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize of the German Academy for Language and Letters in 1988, there was great astonishment even in usually well-informed literary circles. Albert Drach – who? A man who had caused a sensation in the 60s and 70s with novels such as "Das große Protokoll gegen Zwetschkenbaum" [The Massive File on Zwetschkenbaum, trans. Harvey I. Dunkle] and "Untersuchung an Mädeln", who was mistakenly hailed as the new Herzmanovsky-Orlando and finally forgotten again. But the Drach renaissance initiated by the Büchner Prize brought the decisive turning point. A new generation of readers and critics discovered in Drach (now aged 86) – whom the Times Literary Supplemement had counted in the same breath as Elias Canetti as being amongst the "most important avant-gardists in the German language" – one of the most original and radical writers after 1945.
In 1988, Eva Schobel began her series of conversations with the author. She encountered a still raging but wise man who judged the Austria of the Second Republic, contemporary literature, and also his own life and work, with provocative severity.