The New Yorker‘s music critic Alex Ross released the bestseller The Rest is Noise back in 2007. The German translation appeared two years later, and was lauded for the dramatic language he used in telling cultural history, and for how he managed to weave the history of the twentieth century and its music. A whole spectrum of music is set against a social and political backdrop, and the book won several international prizes after its release.
The Dutch theatre director Johan Simons set about transferring Ross’ tour de force to the stage, which he has successfully managed to do in four parts. Part II, premiering in the Kammerspiele’s Schauspielhaus tomorrow, takes on one of the most important figures in pre-jazz African-American music, Will Marion Cook and sets him alongside young composers in Berlin – including Kurt Weill and Hans Eisler – all looking for a way to make popular music.
Music is provided by the Kammerspiele’s talented team, including Japanese-born Sachiko Hara on piano and Carl Oesterhelt on the organ. Tickets are available for 19 € (and just 6 € if you’re a student), and the show gets underway at 8pm.
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