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This is day 10 in my Dance Inspirations Advent Calendar (II)
lotsroad_small.jpg I used to love forcing a smile out of Klaus Beelitz for class by finding ever more obscure or oddball German songs to play when he least expected it. You can’t get more oddball than the songs, and the way they performed them, of the Comedian Harmonists; and of all their repertoire, Ich wollt’ ich wär’ ein Huhn (‘I wish I were a hen’) surely wins a few prizes for lunacy. Even the title is funny, with its crescendo of nitpicking umlauts, elisions and subjunctives leading only to the word ‘hen’.

In terms of rhythm, tempo, articulation and dynamics, it’s got everything you want for frappé music, with the added bonus that it’s got ridiculous lyrics sung by nutty Germans, and the strangely uncomfortable knowledge that they were singing them at one of the darkest moments in the history of the world. You need context like this if you’re going to do that many frappés in your life.

? (mp3/531kb)

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist