Harald Bergmann: Scardanelli (ECM New Series 1761)

Harald Bergmann

Harald Bergmann Buch und Regie
Walter Schmidinger Sprecher

Scardanelli André Wilms
Ernst Zimmer Udo Kroschwald
Lotte Zimmer Geno Lechner
Waiblinger Baki Davrak
Schwab Jürgen Lehmann
Räuber Rainer Sellien
Marie Nathusius Amalie Bizer
Wurm Raimund Groß
Die Maske John Chambers
Dr. Gmelin Günther Weinmann
Tischlergeselle Gottfried Pipping
Zeuge Schwab Heinz E. Hirscher
Zeuge Waiblinger Ernst Specht
Zeugin Lotte Zimmer Gertrud Fritz
Zeugin Marie Nathusius Elisabeth Scheib
Sammler Wolfgang Rin
Erzähler 1 Hans Treichler
Erzähler 2 Egon Schäfer
Gedichte gesprochen von Walter Schmidinger
Recorded 1997-1998

“Yes, the poems are mine, I wrote them, but this name is a fake. I’ve never called myself Hölderlin, but Scardanelli!”
–F. Hölderlin

German filmmaker Harald Bergmann was born in 1963 in the town of Celle in Lower Saxony, and studied film in Hamburg and Los Angeles. With the exception of his latest film, all of Bergmann’s major work has been dedicated to the life and words of Scardanelli, better known as Friedrich Hölderlin. After the more experimental Lyrische Suite/Das untergehende Vaterland (1992) and Hölderlin-Comics (1994), which chart the poet’s childhood and early adulthood, Bergmann turned to the later years with Scardanelli (2000) to complete his Hölderlin trilogy. This last film explores Hölderlin’s declining mental state under the care of carpenter Ernst Zimmer, and takes great care to reconstruct the latter half of his life solely from extant witness accounts. For 36 years Hölderlin was holed up in Zimmer’s tower in Tübingen overlooking the Neckar River, where he spent his days at piano and paper, producing on both a continual stream of verses, sounds, and images, and it is precisely this creative sustenance the film seeks to capture. Hence the production of this CD, which selectively documents the film’s spoken and non-diegetic soundtracks. Moments of private insanity intermingle with dramatic readings of poetry against a backdrop of music by Mozart, Bach, Schubert, and scorer Peter Schneider. The result is a self-styled “audio book” by which Bergmann pays homage to his eponymous muse. The German-only booklet and dialogue means this album will have a limited audience, and those who don’t speak the language may wish to turn to ECM’s fine recording of the Scardanelli-Zyklus by Heinz Holliger in order to gain a deeper insight into the influential effects of one of Germany’s greatest literary minds.

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