Ode an das Deutsch

In the fourth annual collaboration between the music and modern languages departments, Ode an das Deutsch celebrated quintessentially German music, from Kraftwerk to Beethoven, set in its cultural context. A packed Pamoja Hall enjoyed listening to a suitably bewigged and frock-coated Beethoven (Laurentius Heukamp, L6) discussing the Enlightenment with Immanuel Kant (Jakob Hunger, L6) before hearing the opening of his 5th Symphony performed by the ever-impressive Symphony Orchestra. The focus then moved to the Romantic movement and outstanding German women, featuring music from Clara Schumann and Josephine Lang, as well as Brahms. 

The second half moved into Germany’s troubled 20th century, with readings of poems by Germans in exile and the words of two women who had grown up on different sides of the wall. The music ranged from Kurt Weill’s ‘Mack the Knife’, sung with sinister sweetness by the Senior Girls Ensemble, to the Space Collective’s rendition of Kraftwerk’s ‘Die Roboter’ featuring two grand pianos as well as electric keyboards, both on stage and in the gallery, beneath swirling disco lights. Nena’s protest song ‘99 Luftballons’ was charmingly led by Andrea Olsen (L6) and featured a foot-stomping chorus from Years 8 and 9. The evening reached an uplifting climax with a fittingly Christmas-y ‘Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht’ before the stage filled with musicians from all the different ensembles for a final burst of Beethoven: the Ode to Joy.

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