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<<  -- 4 --  Tess Crebbin    THE BASIC ESSENCE

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TR: By chance, Sven had heard one of my compositions I had done in Japan. One day I received a letter from him, asking if I wanted to meet with him and outlining his project. It was a strange coincidence that we were both connected to Dresden, which is my hometown. I flew over to meet with him and also to meet his orchestra. Immediately, I was taken with their professionalism and talent. Also, what impressed me was that Sven felt the same way about contemporary classical music as I did and that he wanted to create a Lieder cycle in the manner of the last turn of the century.

TC: How did you feel about Till Lindemann?

TR: To me, Till's day job was secondary. That did not even come into it. I looked at these texts he had written and to me he was just an exceptionally talented writer with a great depth and sensitivity to the world around him. Keep in mind that he had already written a very successful book of poetry for the renowned German publisher Eichborn.

TC: Lindemann's poetry indeed points to literary excellence at work. So, like the award-winning poet and writer Charles Bernstein in the United States who is also making the connection between his literary writing and classical music, he could probably become an extraordinarily successful librettist for opera also.

GH: Lindemann is very interested in classical music. In his spare time, he listens to Beethoven, Bach and Händel. For me, classical music is also a major issue. As you know, I also direct operas. So we are aware of this option of a libretto and Till and I have been talking about it. An opera libretto is something we would like to do, but it is a matter of finding the time. Right now, Till is preparing for a major tour with his band, which is also the reason he couldn't join us for the interview.

SH: Well, he does have a day job and he is successful at it. So for now, the excursion into classical music was something he did because it just happened that I knew one of the band members of Rammstein.

TC: But the combined talents of the three of you have produced an extraordinary work and recording. Good enough to win an Echo ...

TR: That came as a big surprise for me, since the German Echo Awards are extremely competitive. For me to have been absent from Germany for so long and then have one of my compositions win this prestigious award is a great honour indeed.

TC: What did you want to express with that Lieder cycle, who were your main influences?

Torsten Rasch (right) with members of the Dresdner Sinfoniker in rehearsal
Torsten Rasch (right) with members of the Dresdner Sinfoniker in rehearsal

TR: I wanted to grasp the eternal human problems that we all face, whether we like it or not, whether we try to drown them by running head-on into instant gratification or whether we are strong enough to confront them: we are all going to die, and before we do, many of us are going to have to face the painful decline into old age and loss of those we love. Love, loss, hope in the face of despair ... these are all themes that I wanted to express with my music. Mahler was a big influence, for sure.

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Copyright © 17 October 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany

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