The restart of the “Five o’clock” concerts will be so beautiful.

Rehearsals for the first performance in the city church of Moers
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The beautiful Djamila in words and notes

The “Five o’clock” concerts are coming back: A heartbreaking love story is the focus of a musical reading in the Stadtkiche Moers on the day of German reunification.

We know little about Kyrgyz writers. The former ambassador and political advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev Tschingis Aitmatow, born in 1928, has nevertheless managed to make a name for himself internationally. His novella, published in 1958, about the young “Djamila”, who leaves her husband and family for a song and its singer, is, according to the French writer and philosopher Louis Aragon, “the most beautiful love story in the world.” This story comes on October 3rd now in a special musically accompanied reading in the Evangelical City Church in Moers.

The idea for this came from the Moers-based producer and designer of the “Five o’clock” concerts in the city church, which were regularly offered until the pandemic lockdown, Konrad Göke. With the musical reading “Djamila” this should now be reconnected. The necessary preparations are already under way.

The Kazakh pianist Gulnaz Aimakova, who was involved in the musical design, has already put together a selection of mostly folkloric pieces from the writer’s neighboring Kyrgyz homeland.

In addition, the accordionist Markus Kassl, who works at the Detmold University, the soprano and current research assistant at the Cologne University of Music and Dance Stella Louise Göke and the Italian baritone Giulio Alvese Caselli have confirmed their musical collaboration. The young Berlin actor Felix Banholzer will read the text version of the novella, which Konrad Göke created especially for this first performance.

And that’s what Tschingis Aitmatov’s “most beautiful love story in the world” is about: Djamila, married to a soldier who was drafted during the Second World War, lives with her family and 15-year-old brother-in-law Said in a Kyrgyz village. Both make fun of it almost every day, playing various pranks on the war wounded Danijar who also lives there.

One day, however, they put his life in great danger, and then they are ashamed of it. But this situation changed Djamila’s relationship with Danijar only slightly at first. Her love for him is only awakened by his singing art, which was shown for the first time on a joint cart ride, which finally causes Djamila to leave her husband, who has just returned, and to spend the rest of her life with Danijar.

These two scenes, Djamila’s shame in the face of the life-threatening torture of Danijar by her and her young brother-in-law, and the moment when she discovers her love for him through his singing, form the two main scenes of the planned event.

It has not yet been decided which of the pieces of music chosen by the pianist Gulnaz Aimakowa will be used. The first clarifying meeting with her, accordionists Marko Kassl and Konrad Göke now took place in the city church, but should have already brought some promising results, which visitors to the event on October 3rd can look forward to.

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