Georg Katzer: Ballade vom zerbrochenen Klavier

Ballad of the broken piano. Excerpt, recording from 17 June 2020 in the studio for electroacoustic music of the Berlin Academy of the Arts. The recording of Georg Katzer’s Ballad of the broken piano documents a rehearsal for the concert, which was dedicated to the electroacoustic music of Georg Katzer, and which took place on 16 December 2020 at the Berlin Akademie der Künste, as part of the concert series “EM4 | Berliner Studios” with musicians from the JungeMusik ensemble (canceled due to the pandemic).

The voices of the author himself, his son and the pianist tell of the pursuit of material property, childlike play, the thirst for freedom and memories of authoritarian, stuffy piano lessons. The selected section shows the piano as a symbol for tradition (be it musical or social) and its destruction by unstoppable forces of nature (the German birds). The Prussian forest cannot help but embrace the instrument and even the sacred symbol of musical tradition, the piano, is mocked. Even in the bitterest ironic moments, Katzer’s composition never loses its humor, or as it says in the text of the ballad: `Let’s sing, even in dark times’.

The studio for electroacoustic music of the Akademie der Künste is a facility for experimental sound art with a long tradition. The studio was founded in 1982 by Georg Katzer (1935–2019), one of the pioneers of new electronic music in the GDR, who was in charge until 1995. The studio of the Akademie der Künste has been a production site and meeting point for artists and master class students since the 1980s and has realized numerous productions, seminars and concerts.