Fringe in Sketch: SONGS OF WARS I HAVE SEEN (Heiner Goebbels)

Songs of Wars I Have Seen juxtaposes modern and period instruments, electronic atmospherics, baroque compositions, modernist harmonies, and the haunting text of Gertrude Stein’s World War II memoir to create a bittersweet lament on war’s insidious effects. Read the Phindie review >>>

songs_of_war 1

An American Jew living in the Nazi puppet state of Vichy France, Stein detailed everyday life in a neutral, descriptive style, pausing as much on the food she ate as the atrocities engulfing Europe. Her Wars I Have Seen tells us what is happening, without telling us how to feel about it.

songs_of_warConducted by Estonian maestro Anu Tali, the staged concert sees female performers from Philadelphia’s leading classical music groups — Philadelphia Orchestra and Baroque ensemble Tempesta di Mare — speak Stein’s words.

songs_of_war 2 (1)

Male and female musicians play compositions that bridge centuries of music, with melodies ranging from jazzy bursts to plaintive moans, incorporating melancholic and violent segments by the 17th-century English composer Matthew Locke.

songs_of_war 4

[FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard] September 7-8,


Features, Fringe Festival, Music - Tags: , - no comments

About the author

Chuck Schultz

Educated at the Delaware College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the University of Pennsylvania, Chuck Schultz is a painter and sketch artist with a love of dance and theater. Check out his work at