Composer haunts in Stuttgart, Berlin, Prague
Grant Chu Covell
A recent trip allowed for some exploring in Stuttgart, Berlin and Prague. Here are some composer ephemera and monuments.
A bust of Schubert on the grounds of the Liederhalle Stuttgart.
Also in Stuttgart at the Württemberg State Museum (Landesmuseum Württemberg) in the Old Granary (Stiftsfruchtkasten) was a collection of musical instruments, including a few of Mauricio Kagel’s: Klingelschuhe, Tischtennisschläger aus Plexiglas mit Schlegel, Federdose, and Schlauchtrompete.
On the wall was this wonderful picture of the composer.
As part of its permanent display, the museum had a Stroh violin and a microtonal piano.
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In Berlin there is a subway station (U-bahn, line U7) named after Wagner decorated with a tiling scheme he would probably have detested.
At the Alte Nationalgalerie you can spy Josef Danhauser’s painting of Liszt at the piano (Liszt am Flügel, 1840) surrounded by others (extra points for noting Rossini and Paganini standing in back, George Sand seated, and the bust of Beethoven).
Had you wanted to take something home, there was this bust in the gift shop. The copy of C.C. Zumbusch’s 1867 original could be had for €2,800.
Elsewhere at the German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum) you could find paintings of Händel (Balthasar Denner, 1733) and Mendelssohn (Theodor Hildebrandt, 1834/35).
Wandering near the Staatsoper, I was pleased to see the advertisement for Feldman’s Neither.
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In Prague, I made the pilgrimage to the Smetana Museum (Muzeum Bedřicha Smetany). It sits right on the Vltava very close to Charles Bridge. Because of its ornamented exterior, it appears in many tourist photos.
Inside the museum you can find biographical displays and the composer’s piano.
A plaque on a neighboring building commemorates Mozart’s friend Josef Mysliveček (1737-81).
Several blocks away is the Antonín Dvořák Museum, and they have his piano, watch and wallet among other ephemera.
There is a page from a New World sketchbook on display.
Among others who passed through Prague was Beethoven who stayed on Lázenská Street.