Paradiso, third part of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Brandenburger Theater 23.-24.-25. September 2005.

reviews - concertsOprettet af Jacob Pertou lør, oktober 18, 2008 21:42
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The joy of expectation

I have received tickets for the two first Paradiso shows. Paradiso is the final part of Dante's Divine Comedy, in Tangerine Dream's interpretation.
I have huge expectations to the concerts. Second part, Purgatorio, was one magnificent epic piece, with loads of dynamics and beautiful melodies.
It will be, if not better, perhaps even grander, because TD will be accompanied by six singers from Inferno and Purgatorio, as well as a 12-voice strong choir and a classical orchestra!
Compositorically, this must be Edgar Froese's most ambitious project ever. When one is writing music to so many singers and musicians, the project must have run over a considerably longer time-span, than all the other albums. I'm very excited about the result.

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23rd september

The idea was that I should join the fan meet before the show, but I did not make it. I wanted to buy a ticket from a central Berlin station to Brandenburg. The vending machine was out of (my) order, and I spent over an hour in a queue, buying a ticket to Brandenburg. Once it was my turn, I fumbled over the words. The saleswoman smiled forbearingly, and I got my ticket.

When I finally arrived in Brandenburg I spent nearly an hour finding the 'Theater'. I walked through a town which looked like Danish provincial mediocrity and East German depression in all its beige and grey façades of triumphance. I crossed a brook, and I was finally there.

While I waited to get in, I could through the window see Edgar at the merchandise stall. The personal walked in and out, and so could've I done, getting an autograph or something, but I didn't. It would have been too awkward. Not only would've I've been loss for words, but was probably kicked out immediately.
At 18:45 CET, I had the courage to ask to get in, as I recognized some of the faces from previous shows. As long as I stayed on the ground floor, it was okay. He said.

Apart from a well assorted merchandise stall, there was also a very beautiful exhibition with abstract and cubistic paintings from Bianca Froese-Acquaye.
Compared to previously only having seen them in the booklets of "Ambient Highway", "Inferno" and "Purgatorio", there was a significant difference, as the painting techniques were more radiant exposed to naked eye.

Before heading to the grim town of Brandenburg, I had tried to find the moqART gallery on Schwäbische Strasse 7b in Berlin - near the Eisenacher Strasse's U-bahn station. I was more than lost. First attempt was two months earlier in connection with the Jeanne d'Arc gigs at the Französischer Dom.

This time I was more stubborn, and didn't give up before I visited a ghetto-like area on the street, with miserably looking destitutes accompanied by their mandatory 0,5 liters of bottled Pilsner and unleashed German shepherds. I also asked for the address in a photoshop on just across the U-Bahn - but to no result.
So, when I got to gig, all my efforts had been released… and enjoyed every second of it… the atmosphere, and the newly finished suspense.

Once I was granted access to the theatre, a bunch of recognizable faces were there. Especially 'Fozziebear' was very welcoming - a very friendly, talkative person whose presence made me feel very comfortable 3½ months earlier at the SBE show in London. And also this night.

I also had a chat with some Conrad bloke, who in one way or another knew Johannes Schmoelling, and had arranged a meeting with him. Conrad said I was welcome join him and Johannes at the bar upstairs, but I was in the same dilemma as before…What should I say?
After the concert, I had the courage to ask for a little scribble on my newly purchased "Sohoman" cd.

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Johannes was very humble and friendly, and asked what kind of cd I had there. Funny to think about that, as "Sohoman" is recorded in 1982 in Sydney, when he used to be a member of the band. The more hardcore fans, standing in a circle around him, could tell him it was recorded live in Sydney 1982.

I did not start a a conversation afterwards, as it would have been too absurd for me to grasp, and I was also very satisfied with a signed booklet.

The time was reaching 20.00 o'clock, and it was time to find my chair. Havíng reserved numbers, meant tha one did not have to stand in line, making the concert experience very stressless.

The orchestra an choir hit the stage almost precisely on time. They played an intro, and I suddenly realized TD were playing along. The combination of synths, choir and orchestra worked very well, but especially in the first track with vocals, the hairs began to stand up on my arms. Jayney Klimek and Tatjana Kuchev sang the English vocal of an epic character, with the unforgettable words "Sodoma Gomorrah", and the orchestra underlined grand nature of the music very convincing.

The concert was an interplay between operatic vocals in Italian, recitation by Bianca in French, as well as more poppy items in English and Spanish. Last mentioned presented very beautiful by Iris Camaa, who had the best contact with the audience. It was like we had eye-contact, and I'm sure many felt that, too.

Different planets, sun or lunar eclipses were projected on a screen in the background, which I could not see having any relation to the music.

The most surprising during the concert was when a little child dressed in a white tunic, probably seven years of age, talking with Edgar Froese, as he played the keyboard. Suddenly this kid stood in front of the audience and sang for us. It was perhaps a little off-key, but the surprise was worth it all.

That was the conclusion to a very exciting evening. Compared to other people I talked to, I didn't find the 140 minutes too long to cope with!
Tangerine Dream also received an applause lasting for many minutes - or so it felt that way. My hands were in pains and I thought it was good that I did earn my money as a claqueur.

During the concert, I was wondering why I couldn't find Jerome. He was mentioned in the concert programme, which some people bought (but foolishly did not), so maybe he wants to spend his future on solo projects. If he leaves the band, it's too bad, as his contributions were fresh and innovatory.
From here, a loud "good luck" should be heard, and I understand perfectly why he wants to make his own solocarreer, outside the shade of his father.

I took som photos on a one-off camer, and as I sat around 10 metres from the stage, the turned out grainy and useless. Have a look.

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After the show I tried to stay as long at the Theater as I could. Thorsten appeared near the bar and talked to some of the familiar fans. I could not get a word in, but had not dared anyway. So it was one little victory to meet Johannes Schmoelling, who was a very important member of TD in their prime. I can thank Conrad for that.

I was getting a little tired, and headed back to the train station. I had to get back to Charlottenburg were my lousy hotel was located. It met Errol from Amsterdam, who also missed the previous train. He had to catch plane back to his hometown, so while we waited, we evaluated the gig. He surely did not like it, with all that singing and stuff.
The ticket vending machines were out of order
Once we finally got into the train, we didn't talk much as we were both very tired.

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24th September

My fellow student, Jonathan from back in Aabenraa, Denmark was also in Berlin. He was going to run the Berlin Marathon the following day, so we decided to meet up at a very central U-Bahn Station to get a meal and some beer. It took some time before we actually found each other, and we had to skip the meal - and headed for the beer - the most sensible thing to do...not!
So we got a beer at Potsdamer Platz, and enjoyed that, but as the clock was nearly 6 in the evening, I had to move on. Once again I missed the fan meet, but I didn't mind.

Yesterday I experienced that it was possible to buy a train ticket in the train, so I refused to spend another hour in line at the ticket office. I just went directly for the platform. I was wearing the "Inferno" T-shirt, and a German fan with his wife asked me about something, and I responded in English, because I couldn't give the right answer in German.
But when I ordered the train ticket onboard, he heard I did it in German, and refused to talk anything but German to me. So I was happy, that I could make myself understandable in German. We walked together to the Theater, which I knew how to find. It was his first time to see Tangerine Dream in concert, since the two concerts in the St. Marienkirche, Bernau in October 2001. He talked very positively about TD - his wife did not have much input!

Upstairs at the bar, I was beginning to get hungry, and as the only eatable they had was a bag of peanuts, I ate like crazy, so I wasn't going to get hungry through the show. In the meantime, I talked TD with a fan from England, I haven't met since.

The concert was much like yesterday, although some memorable parts had left their impression on me. I began to realize that work had it's weak sides. I became restless and waited for the parts that intrigued me yesterday.
A journalist in front of me, crossed his legs to the left and to right, and walked out halfway through the set.
Behind me sat a little girl I saw also at the Jeanne d'Arc, and she coughed away through the entire performance. Her dad did not shush on her, so it was quite annoying.

The concert was enjoyable enough, though. I talked Geoffrey K. afterwards and we agreed that the music was better than "Inferno" but not as good "Purgatorio" - perhaps it was like a cross between the two albums...

This night, I wasn't keen on waiting for the late train, so I headed straight for the station. Two young people from the orchestra - looking like a couple - walked in front of me for some time, carrying their instruments on their backs.


The line-up:
Edgar Froese: Keyboard / Synthesizer
Thorsten Quaeschning: Keyboard / Synthesizer / Drums
Iris Camaa: Percussion
Linda Spa: Saxofon
Barbara Kindermann (Sopran), Jayney Klimek (Alt), Saskia Klump (Mezzosopran), Iris Camaa (Sopran), Tatjana Kouchev (Alt), Bianca Acquaye (Recitation)
Brandenburger Symphoniker directed by Michael Helmrath
Neuer Kammerchor Potsdam.


25th September

The last day the show was performed, I decided to go home. A decision I did regret in hindsight, as it would only require one day off at the college, and missing a TD concert deliberately, is an act of stupidity, on my part.
I had a great weekend, nevertheless. I took a walk in one of Berlin's quieter neighbourhoods, were the Marathon would pass through later.
I tried to see if could spot Jonathan, but to no result. The most spectacular was a couple dressed up like Asterix and Obelix.

When the little kid in tunic sang the last strophes in Brandenburg, I was standing on my doorstep, thinking about a wonderful weekend, with some of the best TD concerts - so far.

Written shortly after the gigs. Translated and slightly enhanced during October 2008.

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