White Shirt Tuesday: Classics cont’d

[Brigitte Fassbaender, working with Carlos Kleiber, possibly on the 1979 “Rosenkavalier” in Munich.]

I’m not sure when I first saw this photo, it must have been in the early 1990s, probably in another biography or documentary. Probably it also had a proper date and a photographer to be credited attached.

Today, I stumbled upon it again, while watching the Carlos Kleiber documentary “Spuren ins Nichts” (Traces to Nowhere) on ARTE, at least for German and French IPs still available until June 27th as stream on demand.

It features Fassbaender together with other colleagues, friends and relative and is a very respectful homage that doesn’t try to resolve the riddle that was Kleiber, but simply collects experiences and memories. What I found most touching were the expressions of the people interviewed while they were shown old rehearsal footage of Kleiber at work. Even this echo is still magic.

The full photo, btw, is this one (displayed in the documentary around minute 50):

I apologize for being a day late with the weekly White Shirt. Over the weekend, I was out on a countryside wedding and offline and yesterday, I did what everyone with a Ph.D. on Assyrian Pottery does the week after the defense: signing up at the local Unemployment Office and taking the office workers’ looks when having to detail one’s work experiences and thesis topic: “Uhm, you worked on WHAT? And you teach classes on that? And wait, THIS is what they paid you? – Did you actually have a REAL job at some point?”

And then you have to spell “Assyrian” for them. – Really, and here I thought getting this title was the challenge. Probably it’s trying to live with it, and trying to make a living with it.



2 thoughts on “White Shirt Tuesday: Classics cont’d”

  1. it was pictures like this (allerdings with a somewhat less grumpy face!) that first attracted me to Die Fass back in the early 70s (yes, i’m that old – and a bit under the weather from celebrating New York State’s FINALLY joining the civilized world by ‘legalizing gay marriage’ last night… but i digress).

    She often looked grumpy in pictures, probably because she was concentrating on work. In performance photos, on the other hand, she often looks positively ecstatic.

    A propos of Fassbaender, here is a (link to a) very sad story about a wonderful singer who studied with her and seems to be a quite unhappy person: Alice Coote: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/aug/16/alice-coote-mezzo-soprano.
    Let’s cheer her up, shall we?


    1. celebrating NY marriage equality over here as well! About damn time.

      Focuses Fassbaender…who isn’t drawn to singer so focused on their work? – Alice Coote’s interviews always read a bit like a Mahler song; perhaps it is the age-old adage that tortured souls are predestined for arts at work again?


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