Just Out

This publication includes previously unpublished first-hand accounts of conditions in Germany between September 1944 and May 1945.

A new book about my father Jupp Kappius and Operation DOWNEND has just been finished and is now available on Lulu. Bernard O’Connor, with whom we had the pleasure a few years back already, dived into primary and secondary sources to lay out the ins and outs of Operation DOWNEND in book format.

Last time, when he was researching the Tempsford Academy, we had very little help to offer, but this time around we could be of a little more assistance and help out with a little bit of translation and some odds and ends here and there. It is always to interesting to deal with primary sources, and this book even contains previously unpublished first-hand accounts of the situation in Germany during the last nine months of WWII, the kind of report that my father and the other ISK members wrote and sent to their ISK leadership in London, that is, to Willi Eichler who was exiled there at that time.

One little correction may be allowed here: On page 6 in the 4th paragraph, Mr. O’Connor mentions our website about Jupp Kappius and that it was built by Jupp’s granddaughter Anne Denney. While that surely makes me look younger, it is a casual error as I am, in fact, Jupp’s daughter. 🙂

Classical Sunday: SchĂĽtz’s Schwanengesang

Beautiful, and somewhat haunting.

Heinrich SchĂĽtz: Schwanengesang – Hilliard Ensemble

Opus ultimum (Der Schwanengesang)

Track Listings

  1. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 482: I. Wohl denen, die ohne Wandel leben (Aleph und Beth)
  2. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 483: II. Tue wohl deinem Knechte (Gimel und Daleth)
  3. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 484: III. Zeige mir, Herr, den Weg deiner Rechte (He und Vav)
  4. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 485: IV Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort (Dsain und Chet)
  5. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 486: V. Du tust Guts deinem Knechte (Thet und Jod)
  6. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 487: VI. Meine Seele verlanget nach deinem Heil (Caph und Lamed)
  7. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 488: VII. Wie habe ich dein Gesetze so lieb (Mem und Nun)
  8. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 489: VIII Ich hasse die Flattergeister (Samech und Ain)
  9. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 490: IX. Deine Zeugnisse sind wunderbarlich (Pe und Zade)
  10. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 119, SWV 491: X. Ich rufe von ganzem Herzen (Koph und Resch)
  11. Der Schwanengesang, Op 13 – Psalm 119, SWV 492: XI Die Fursten verfolgen mich ohn Ursach (Schin und Tav)
  12. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Psalm 100, SWV 493: XII. Jauchzet dem Herren alle Welt
  13. Der Schwanengesang, Op.13 – Deutsches Magnificat, SWV 494: XIII. Meine Seele erhebt den Herren

The Hilliard Ensemble
Knabenchor Hannover
London Baroque

Heinz Hennig direction

Heinrich Schütz (1585 – 1672) was a German composer and organist, generally regarded as the most important German composer before Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as one of the most important composers of the 17th century. He is commemorated as a musician in the Calendar of Saints of some North American Lutheran churches on 28 July with Johann Sebastian Bach and George Friedrich Händel.

Cover: Asen’s Fortress in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria

Rest in Peace, Christopher Tolkien

Christopher John Reuel Tolkien died on 16 January 2020, at the age of 95, in Draguignan, Var, France.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s third son Christopher passed on an year ago today.  He was his father’s literary executor and spent countless hours sorting, deciphering, interpreting, editing and publishing his father’s mountains of unpublished literary output.  With him, the person who was most closely connected with and most knowledgeable about his father’s work from an early age on left Middle Earth and sailed into the West.  Don’t even know where to start expressing our gratitude…  Maybe best to keep it simple:

Rest in Peace, Mr. Tolkien.  Thank you for all the work you have done.

In this video, published in 1992, Christopher Tolkien comes alive again.  Among others, you will also meet his father again, two of Christopher’s siblings (one of whom is still alive), and well-known scholars interested in the world of J.R.R.T. such as Tom Shippey.

Classical Sunday: Vivaldi’s Amor Sacro (Motets)

In furore iustissimae irae…

Antonio Vivaldi: Amor Sacro (Motets)

Selection of Antonio Vivaldi’s solo-motets.

  1. In furore iustissimae irae 00:00
  2. Nulla un mundo pax sincera 15:22
  3. In turbato mare irato 29:10
  4. Sum in medio tempestatum 46:50

Sung by the amazing German coloratura soprano Simone Kermes.
Played by the Venice Baroque Orchestra under the Italian conductor, organist, harpsichordist, and scholar Andrea Marcon.

Happy 100th Birthday, (Great-) Grandma Naomi

Today, Naomi Ann Snyder would have turned 100.

Happy Birthday, (Great-) Grandma Naomi Ann, or Aunt Na’, as you were called by your nieces and nephews. Had you lived, we would have had quite the party today, no doubt.

Requiescat in Pace.

Naomi Ann Snyder with her first husband James Dallas Christman, presumably around 1940.

Remembering Our Ancestors: Naomi Ann Snyder

Remembering Our Ancestors: Grandma Naomi

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: The 13th Warrior – Sound of the Northmen

The 13th Warrior is a 1999 American historical fiction action film based on Michael Crichton’s 1976 novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’, which is a loose retelling of the tale of Beowulf combined with Ahmad ibn Fadlan’s historical account of the Volga Vikings.

The 13th Warrior – Sound of the Northmen

A Soundtrack-Mix of the Film The 13th Warrior.

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: Braveheart – Sound of Freedom

Braveheart is a 1995 American epic historical fiction war film directed and co-produced by Mel Gibson, who portrays William Wallace, a late-13th-century Scottish warrior. The film depicts the life of Wallace leading the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.

Braveheart – Sound of Freedom

A Soundtrack-Mix of the film Braveheart.

45 Years Ago Tonight

And every man knew, as the Captain did, too, / T’was the witch of November come stealing.

On the night of 10th November 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank about 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point located along Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. All 29 crew members on board the ship tragically lost their lives.

Edmund B. Fitzgerald in front of the ship named after him, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

(Neo-) Classical Sunday: Corigliano’s Red Violin

Distraught, Nicolò returns to his shop and varnishes the violin with a red color…

Corigliano: Suite from “The Red Violin” / Misha Rachlevsky • Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

“Recorded at the Chamber Hall of the Moscow International House of Music, with Mr. John Corigliano in the audience, March 2003. Russian premiere. With author’s permission, Misha Rachlevsky amended the Suite with other episodes from the film’s score, giving every violinist of the orchestra a chance to shine.” (from the description of the above video on YouTube)

“The Red Violin (French: Le Violon Rouge) is a 1998 drama film directed by François Girard and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carlo Cecchi and Sylvia Chang. It spans four centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious red-coloured violin and its many owners. The instrument, made in Cremona in 1681 with a future forecast by tarot cards, makes its way to Montreal in 1997, where an appraiser identifies it and it goes to auction.” (Wikipedia)

Cultured Wednesday: Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s most famous extant buildings are found in and around Berlin.

If you have ever visited or seen pictures of Berlin, Germany, you most likely have seen a building drafted, re-designed or approved by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Prussian city planner, architect and painter. Born on 13 March 1781 in Neuruppin, Schinkel was one of the most prominent neoclassical and neogothic architects of 19th century Germany and despite his influence and achievements, people still think he had even more potential that he could not live up to due to the political circumstances of his time.

Medieval City on a River, 1815

Schinkels most famous extant buildings in and around the German capital include the Neue Wache (1816–1818), the National Monument for the Liberation Wars (1818–1821), the Schauspielhaus (1819–1821) at the Gendarmenmarkt and the Altes Museum on Museum Island (1823–1830). He also carried out improvements to the Crown Prince’s Palace and to Schloss Charlottenburg.

The header to this post shows Schinkel’s stage set for the 1st Act of Mozart’s Magic Flute, dated 1815 just like the above painting, a design that is still quoted by modern-day stage designers when planning the set for this opera. We find his style quite wholesome, a good example of a time when people still had a clear idea of what was good and beautiful, and pleasing in an aesthetic sense, as well as where such ideas originated in the first place.

Castle by the River 1820

Schinkel, like so many artists of the 19th century, traveled a lot in Europe and particularly to Italy, the landscape and cities of which were and still are especially inspiring, it seems – just look at Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his love for Italy, for instance. Of course, Goethe and Schinkel met and respected each other, in fact, the list of names the family Schinkel were acquainted with reads almost like a who-is-who of Germany’s 19th century artistic and royal circles. But returning to the Italian influences, Schinkel’s style, generally speaking, was defined rather by a turn to Greek than Roman architecture. “He believed”, they claim in his Wikipedia entry, “that in order to avoid sterility and have a soul, a building must contain elements of the poetic and the past, and have a discourse with them.” I guess the same kind of discourse between tradition and poetry can be found in his paintings if you are able to discern Nature’s voice in the lay of the land, or the trees that surround Schinkel’s painted buildings.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel died on 9 October 1841 in Berlin, leaving behind his wife Susanne and four children, three girls and a boy, the youngest daughter being 19 years old at the time. He was buried in the Dorotheenstädtischen Friedhof in Berlin-Center, where twenty years later his wife was laid to rest along with their two older daughters.

The Schinkel grave in Berlin

Eventually, several generations of architects from Berlin who were influenced by Schinkel’s style were classified as the “Schinkelschule“. So, if you ever visit Germany’s capital, keep a look out for building designed or re-designed by Schinkel, or later on built true to Schinkel’s style.

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