Settings of nursery rhymes often sound quite harmless: Not, however, if the texts are by H.C. Artmann and the music by the composer, conductor and chansonnier HK Gruber. In their Frankenstein!!, there is a pandemonium of bizarre villains who hide their true beings behind a mask of innocence.
Gruber, a former member of the Vienna Boys Choir and student of Gottfried von Einem, has composed snappy music from Artmann’s poems, inspired by the song style of Weill. The version presented in this Late Night concert was premiered in 1978 by, incidentally, none other than Simon Rattle. This night session also includes music by Kurt Weill. His peppy, cheeky song Berlin im Licht was written in 1928 for an exhibition of the same name by the Berlin gas and electricity companies. There is also the equally witty and ambiguous Öl-Musik, originally composed as incidental music for the economy-themed stage comedy Konjunktur. And, as in every “Late Night”, there is again a Sequenza by Luciano Berio, this time the tenth, played by principal trumpet player of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Gábor Tarkövi.