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Reports from our NICE-Correspondent Dr. Michael Lang
sent us this report from the Saxon Capital City of Dresden:

A Remarkable Evening


Daniel Mihailescu / AFP
The American folk singer Joan Baez gave an impressive concert in Dresden on 19th July 2004. In open air and with fair weather, numerous listeners were able to enjoy an icon of the ’68 generation, who intended to remove every barricade, whether she sang about love, for “Angelina”, for civil rights or about small delights.
A singer who was known to fill large halls thirty years ago and who afterwards hardly found an audience with her upright civil rights songs, was able to open up new musical worlds. Borrowings from the blues, country songs, from Elvis or Woody Guthrie were skilfully arranged and performed with such poetic style, that even a song about the murdered American labour leader Joe Hill did not come across as a fighting song, but as a song for humanity and the dignity of ordinary people.

Michael Lang / priv.

Michael Lang /priv.
The harmony of the music was rounded off by the magnificent view across the Elbe River, with the Zwinger, the Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Church) and the Semper Opera House on one side and the government buildings on the other. In such a setting, it was no wonder that Joan Baez went into raptures about the beautiful city of Dresden, “even if you’ve often heard it and perhaps can’t hear it anymore.” But the audience was pleased to hear it and it was hardly any wonder that most listeners sang along spontaneously when the song “Where have all the flowers gone” was performed in German, and then honoured the artist with standing ovations.

The harmony of the music was rounded off by the magnificent view across the Elbe River, with the Zwinger, the Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Church) and the Semper Opera House on one side and the government buildings on the other. In such a setting, it was no wonder that Joan Baez went into raptures about the beautiful city of Dresden, “even if you’ve often heard it and perhaps can’t hear it anymore.” But the audience was pleased to hear it and it was hardly any wonder that most listeners sang along spontaneously when the song “Where have all the flowers gone” was performed in German, and then honoured the artist with standing ovations.

Michael Lang

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Always on duty, he is collecting interesting news items for you.
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2003-2005 / A Remarkable Evening from Michael Lang