Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

When Past & Future Collide: Paris 1919 Live

Bochumer Symphoniker

When critics are asked to name the best works in the history of pop music, one record regularly features amongst the top choices: Paris 1919. Critical opinion is now undivided that John Cale’s 1973 solo album Paris 1919 is a masterpiece of the songwriter’s art.

Amid large orchestral arrangements the art rocker designs a complex historical tableau on various different levels of time. The American professional journal Rolling Stone describes Paris 1919 accurately as a work »which views the whole of European high culture through a Dadaist perspective«. Cultural critic Diedrich Diederichsen goes one step further and calls the album the most important song cycle since Franz Schubert’s Winterreise.

With its sentimental wallowing in melody, Paris 1919 fitted perfectly into the nostalgic atmosphere of the early 70s. Within John Cale’s work, the album - which remains his most accessible to date - marked a radical shift away from the experiments with minimal music and avant-garde rock he had conducted in the 60s.

Following this brief excursion into a romantic emotional register, Cale would soon turn to harder sounds and cemented his reputation as a rock performer of unpredictable genius. Since his conversion to Buddhism, the times characterized by drug consumption and self-destruction are well and truly over, when audiences at his concerts had to deal with verbal and physical attacks.

And so it comes about a John Cale who has returned to his old creative power ends this year’s concert programme by opening a dialogue with this early work. Accompanied by his band and the Bochumer Symphoniker he will perform the entire album Paris 1919. This will be followed by a cross-section of the artistic highlights of John Cale’s wide-ranging career.


John Cale – Paris 1919

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From the album »Paris 1919«

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