Barbara Morgenstern – Michael Stipe. Super World Indie Tune Of The Day – 22.01.2019
Michael Stipe was always a god amongst men. Given that these days he sports long white whiskers, I think it’s fair to say he bears more than a passing resemblance to the traditional Judeo-Christian deity also. How appropriate then that the wonderful Barbara Morgenstern should write what sounds suspiciously like a secular hymn for Saint Michael. The tune is from her 2018 masterpiece “Unschuld und Verwüstung” (staatsakt label). As recorded on the album it’s a striking, melodic oratorio, underscored by stately church organ and it stays long in the memory.
It takes on a whole other life when played here at Ballhaus Berlin in December last year. The performance features Christian Biegai on saxophone, with the Clair-Obscur Quartet and the Barbara Morgenstern Choir from Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Sure it sounds maybe a little more melancholy and, counter-intuitively, more joyful. The addition of the choir and the brass is inspired, I love in particular the seemingly discordant breakdown of the performance from about 3.30 onwards. This is great music.
SWIT Spotify 2019
SWIT YouTube 2019