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The weather may be different, perhaps the food tastes unfamiliar, you may not sleep so well because it isnt your own bed. The air smells different, and the people, too, turn out to be strangers. Nothing resembles the recollections of the distant home- land, which once surrounded its indwellers with a tranquil sense of security. Seem- ingly, though, its also the particular idiosyncrasies of a country or a loved one that quietly reassure us thats where we belong, thats home. In far-off climes, memories then mutate into matchless lifestyle scenarios, places and regions into backdrops of monumental magnificence. The homesickness seems insurmountable. For centuries, homesickness was indeed regarded as a fatal illness, from which Swiss mercenaries and soldiers, in particular, were widely reputed to suffer when abroad. In common parlance, this outbreak of melancholy was therefore popularly described as the Swiss disease. In the 18th century, it was even forbidden in France to sing a Swiss folk song, a simple cowherds ditty called Ranz de Vaches, because it made the troops homesick, and allegedly caused them to desert. Artists, literati, poets and musicians, however, embraced it as a theme for their works, and immortalised it for posterity. One early manifestation of these yearnings for home is a folk song dating from the 15th/16th century Innsbruck, now I have to leave you, / Along the dusty roads I wend / To far-off lands with far horizons / My broken heart too sad to mend / All joy is lost to me for ever / And now in misery I end.(ascribed to Emperor Maxi- milian I). And since the great era of Romanticism at the latest, homesickness has entered the pages of literature and poetry: What know ye, dark-clad tree-tops, / Of the goodly times of yore? / The home behind the tree-tops, / On a distant, distant shore!(Heinrich Heine) The feeling of being cut off from home and impossibly far away from it also fascinated the great composers of musical history. Not infrequently, it was difficult political conditions that drove them into emigration. Tortured by the pain of possessing a home only in their memories, the fugitives went through a gruel- ling dialogue between the familiar and the new between home and exile. Home- sickness as a wellspring of inspiration, as a driving force of creativity, served at least as a mental journey home. The composers thus created some new, indubitably unique worlds in their works, building an aural monument to their home countries. The traces of home, however, reflected in the aural splendours of the music, will for all eternity bear witness to their creatorsoriginal roots ô

Concerts 30 June 5 July 17 July

12 August 24 August

Martin Grubinger: The Percussive PlanetAnd above us the sky/ Eva Mattes, Recitation House of my Heart/ Lieder Night with students of the Lieder Class by Hartmut Höll and Mitsuko Shirai Like a lonely wandring star/ Ulrich Noethen, recitation Hideyo Harada, piano òInnsbruck, now I have to leave you/ Monika Mauch, soprano Hamburger Ratsmusik

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