Joseph Brodsky - Elegie an John Donne Christian Reiner

Cover Joseph Brodsky - Elegie an John Donne

Album info

Album-Release:
2017

HRA-Release:
25.08.2017

Label: ECM

Genre: Spoken Word

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1In memoriam Fedja Dobrowolskij02:30
  • 2Strophen II, XI, XXIV, XXVII02:17
  • 3Große Elegie an John Donne26:12
  • 4Aus nirgendwo in Liebe01:31
  • 5Der Polarforscher00:41
  • 6Wiegenlied02:43
  • 7Wir sahen damals abends dieses Ross02:41
  • 8Für G.P.01:04
  • 9Große Elegie für John Donne17:06
  • Total Runtime56:45

Info for Joseph Brodsky - Elegie an John Donne



When the Russian born poet Joseph Brodsky received the Nobel prize for literature in 1987, he was praised for his "all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity." It was "a big step for me, a small step for mankind" he jokingly commented on the critical acclaim. Yet, it was much earlier when he wrote his most famous poem, his Great Elegy to John Donne. The young poet was kept prisoner in a Russian camp for writing anti-Soviet poetry in 1963 at the age of 23 when he wrote about the death of the English Renaissance poet John Donne. This poem, of over 200 lines, commemorates Donne suggesting that when a poet dies, everything around him dies with him. The heaven, hell and even God himself is sleeping, because "John Donne is dead."

This poem forms a central theme on this album, on which spoken word artist Christian Reiner recites poems of death and love by Joseph Brodsky in German, Reiner's mother tongue, including In Memoriam Fedja Dobrowolskij and From Nowhere with Love (Aus Nirgendwo in Liebe), among others. Reiner presents an anthology of Brodsky's work, ranging from his early poems during his Russian denunciation, to his Lullaby (Wiegenlied) of 1992, written a few years before his death.

In winter 2012/13, Viennese actor and voice artist Christian Reiner attracted much acclaim for his interpretation of Friedrich Hölderlin’s “Turmgedichten”. “Reiner is able to coax the music out of the words”, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungattested, while the Süddeutsche Zeitung stated that “the recitation of the poems resembles a performance dedicated to the human voice as a solo instrument”.

In his second recording for ECM New Series, Christian Reiner explores verses written by Russian-American poet and Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky (1940 – 1996). “Brodsky’s ‘Große Elegie an John Donne’ is, in my opinion, a masterwork in the history of poetry,” Reiner says. Brodsky’s early, famous long poem is heard here in a translation by Alexander Kaempfe and Heinrich Ost and another by Karl Dedecius. “We are very fortunate to have these two marvelous German adaptions,” Christian Reiner emphasizes. “Each of them inspired me to a unique way of speaking and a distinct rhythm.” Additionally, the recording features a selection of seven shorter poems written between 1958 and 1992, giving a broader impression of Brodsky’s multifaceted language. The album was produced by Manfred Eicher and German writer Wolf Wondratschek.

Christian Reiner, narrator



Christian Reiner
ist Sprecher von Gedichten, Prosa und experimentellen Texten.

Solo und in unterschiedlichen Formationen arbeitet er an Hörstücken, Theaterprojekten, Lesungen, Konzerten und CD-Einspielungen. Seine Arbeiten sind meist im Zwischenbereich von Sprache und Musik zu finden. Mit improvisierenden Musikern und Tänzern kooperiert er seit Mitte der 90er Jahre und entwickelte seine ihm eigene Art und Weise, mit gesprochenem Wort und den Möglichkeiten der menschlichen Stimme zu improvisieren. In unterschiedlichen Formationen und Ensembles, präsentiert er seine Arbeiten auf Festivals, bei Gastspielen und Konzerten. Für ein junges Publikum auch auf Kinderaugenhöhe.

Seine Stimme setzt Christian Reiner seit 1996 auch als Sprecher für Film, Funk, Fernsehen ein. Seit 1999 wirkt er in verschiedenen Theaterproduktionen mit.

1970 geboren in München, lernt er vorerst den Beruf des Maschinenschlossers und ist ab 1986 Sänger in verschiedenen Rockbands.

Nach einer klassischen Gesangsausbildung (neben anderen bei Bennie Gilette) beginnt er 1994 das Studium der Phonetik an der Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in München. 1995 bis 1999 studiert er Sprechkunst/Sprecherziehung an der staatlichen Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart. Hier experimentiert er mit der Verbindung von Gesprochenem Wort und Musik, tritt in unterschiedlichen Ensembles auf, entwickelt sein erstes Hörspiel und wird 1999 Stipendiat der Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg.

2000 folgt der Umzug nach Berlin. Heute lebt er in Wien.

Booklet for Joseph Brodsky - Elegie an John Donne

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