16. April 2019

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” / “Vergib uns unsere Schuld, wie auch wir vergeben unseren Schuldigern.”

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A late nineteenth-century rendering of the Prodigal Son by James Tissot.Ölgemälde über die Rückkehr des verlorenen Sohnes aus dem späten 19.Jh. von James Tissot  As always, a setting of the Lord’s Prayer, this time one composed by Arvo Pärt.  Wie immer eine Vertonung des Vater Unsers, dieses Mal eine Komposition…
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02. April 2019

“What is left?” / “Was bleibt?”

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ENGLISH“What is left?”This was the question asked by many people following the fire at Notre Dame as they watched in Paris or on the screen. “What is left when there is no church anymore?”: It may be that this unspoken question also occurred to some people. Among them perhaps a number who have never really paid attention to the church or who…
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12. März 2019

“Loveliest of trees” / “Schönster aller Bäume”

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ENGLISHLandscape and beautyPictures of the English countryside near the Welsh border, the harshness and the rewards of farming life, the joys of youth, the wisdom of age, hopes and promises, setbacks and disappointments, all seen through the eyes of a number of figures, most prominent among them a young man, and yet with the shadow of death falling over many of its…
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01. März 2019

“Give us this day our daily bread” II / “Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute” II

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ENGLISH In our last TuneIn* we looked at the petition, “Give us this day our daily bread,” but from the account found in the Gospel of Matthew, which focuses more on the blessings of the coming Kingdom of God. In this reflection we will turn toward Luke’s account of the…
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22. Februar 2019

“Give us this day our daily bread” / “Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute”

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ENGLISH The first part of the prayer Jesus gave us* is all about God. We are not to let our own needs and issues dominate prayer; we are rather to prioritize praising and honoring him. Adoration and thanksgiving – God-centeredness – comes first, because it heals the…
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14. Februar 2019

“Your Kingdom Come…” (II) / „Dein Reich komme…“ (II)

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ENGLISH When we pray for the Kingdom of God to come, what are we praying for?   Hallowed be your nameFirst, we can look back at the phrase immediately preceding this petition: hallowed be your name. How can we make God’s name holy, when…
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07. Februar 2019

“Your Kingdom Come…” / „Dein Reich komme…“

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ENGLISH When we pray for the Kingdom of God to come, what are we praying for?   Hallowed be your nameFirst, we can look back at the phrase immediately preceding this petition: hallowed be your name. How can we make God’s name holy, when…
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31. Januar 2019

“Our Father, who art in heaven…” / „Unser Vater im Himmel…“

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ENGLISH The Lord’s Prayer, the Our Father. It’s familiar.  Too familiar, sometimes. Many of us can recite it without even thinking about it, and unfortunately, we often do. It is frequently on our lips— especially for those of us who worship in more traditional liturgical settings— and that is good and right. But with this familiarity comes the risk…
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21. Januar 2019

The great Shakespeare tradition – where is it going now? / Die grosse Shakespeare-Tradition – wie geht’s weiter?

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ENGLISH Shakespeare’s long Christmas   Last week, we heard some thoughts on Epiphany. Immediately before Epiphany comes “Twelfth Night”, the end of the 12 days of Christmas.  In 1601/2, Shakespeare wrote a play with this title. As usual, he did not invent the story, but largely used older material. His success was not due…
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14. Januar 2019

Our word to our readers / Ein Wort an unsere Leser

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Since we began with the TUNE INs in January, 2016, they have appeared every week. We receive a lot of encouraging feedback, which is a great motivation for us to continue.  We have noticed, however, that these weekly appearances are too frequent for many readers. And we, in view of the growing tasks in our Crescendo work, are reaching certain limits on our capacity.  <!--...
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10. Januar 2019

The three kings an us / Die drei Könige und wir

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ENGLISH In the Western Church, 6 January is the day on which the Three Kings are remembered. We read about them in Matthew 2, 1-12. What can this story say to us today?   1.Jesus reveals himself to the outsiders “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to…
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01. Januar 2019

A word for melancholy artists: How are we going into the New Year? / Ein Wort an melancholische Künstler: Wie gehen wir in das neue Jahr?

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Andrzej Turkanik ENGLISH On the threshold of 2019, we are asking ourselves what the New Year may bring. The question may be mixed with a certain sadness that the old year, and thus a further part of our life, has passed by so quickly. This makes us all…
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29. Dezember 2018

A wonderful Christmas song / Ein wunderschönes Weihnachtslied

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With a wonderfully beautiful Christmas composition by the Latvian composer Richards Dubra (*1964), available on our CD “Ich schau Dich staunend an”, and an accompanying interview with the composer (below), we heartily wish our TUNE IN readership of around 2500 in the whole world a blessed Christmas time.  Mit einem wunderschönen Weihnachtslied des lettischen Komponisten Richards Dubra (*1964) von…
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18. Dezember 2018

What do angels play when they are off duty? / Was spielen Engel, wenn sie unter sich sind?

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ENGLISH On 10th December, 1968, exactly 50 years ago, Karl Barth, one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, died. In one of his early writings, “The Letter to the Romans”, he directed sharp words against any mixing of human ideology with the word of God. Together with the “Confessing Church”, Barth raised his voice against National Socialism. With…
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10. Dezember 2018

When complete strangers tell an artist the most personal things / Wenn wildfremde Menschen einem Künstler persönlichste Dinge erzählen

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ENGLISH In the Crescendo network there are many outstanding organists who bless others with their work in churches, concerts and teaching positions. In recent weeks we have had memorable meetings with organists who recounted events from their lives and service – and also showed us their instruments (including the organ in Cologne Cathedral).  One of the organists was Chelsea Chen,…
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03. Dezember 2018

What is the task we artists have? A meditation after Luke 4, to be read as a dialogue / Welchen Auftrag haben wir Künstler? Eine Meditation nach Lukas 4, im Dialog zu lesen

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ENGLISH Artist: I often ask myself, “What in fact is the task of art?” I am not satisfied with the answer given by many colleagues when they say, “I serve art! And art helps mankind!” As a Christian, I would like to have other thoughts.   Voice: There are many answers to your question. I am sure you are thinking…
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29. November 2018

Gabriele Münter’s “Still Life Pentecost” / Gabriele Münters “Stillleben Pfingsten”

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ENGLISH The Ludwig Collection in Cologne is currently giving an insight into the work of Gabriele Münter (1877–1962) in a large exhibition under the title “Painting to the Point”. Münter was a cen­tral fig­ure of German Expressionism and the Blue Rid­er artist group, which was found­ed at her house in Mur­nau. Besides wonderful landscapes and portraits, one is struck by some still life paintings,…
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21. November 2018

TUNE IN 282 Does a synthesis of Christ and culture exist? / Gibt es eine Synthese von Christus und Kultur?

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ENGLISH What thoughts do we Christians have about culture? And how do the creators of culture perceive the church? The answers to these questions are connected to theological reflections on the topic of “art and culture” and to the church’s conceptual and concrete responses. Reinhold Niebuhr’s categories in “Christ and Culture” help us to find an orientation here and to reconsider…
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14. November 2018

The Christ of Culture / Der Kultur-Christus

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ENGLISH Convert to Mendelssohn !? What was the designer thinking about as he worked on advertising for the Bach Choir in Basel and chose the motto “Let yourself be converted – to Mendelssohn”? What were those in charge of the Bach Choir hoping to achieve? Perhaps not much. Or something like this: “Today one can no longer take the message of…
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07. November 2018

Small goals kill us / Kleine Ziele bringen uns um

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ENGLISH There are people who have a special gift of faith, as Paul writes in 1st Corinthians, 12,9. Such people can encourage us to invest faith in places where everything seems hopeless. If this gift of faith is exercised with love, an open heart, and without any claim of authority, it does not produce an unhealthy pressure to believe. A…
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01. November 2018

Good news for bad Christians! / Gute Botschaft für schlechte Christen!

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ENGLISH Repeatedly I hear this phrase: “I’m just not such a good Christian!” Many artists in particular think this way. They compare themselves, for example, with the good Christians in their church congregation who are pursuing a “proper” career and do not sing Lady Macbeth on the opera stage on Monday, beat a member of the theatre company to death, or pose…
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15. Oktober 2018

Building bridges / Brücken bauen

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ENGLISH How can I speak about faith? “How can I speak about faith?” A question I hear repeatedly from artists. It is a good question! But then I ask for more details: “Do you mean using art to speak about faith? If yes, is this something you really want to do? Or are you asking because you think that art has…
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04. Oktober 2018

Cross your fingers, knock on wood, or bless? / Toi toi toi, Holzklopfen oder Segen?

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ENGLISH The subject of the last TUNE IN was encouragement. In the Bible we also read of blessing. But what is blessing really?  What exactly do we receive when the pastor stretches out his hands at the end of the church service and blesses the congregation? Or when someone writes to us or says, “I wish you a shower of blessings”? Is…
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26. September 2018

Encouragment / Ermutigung

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ENGLISH One of the most important and most beautiful fruits of fellowship among artists is mutual encouragement. Not a one-way street Encouragement should not be a one-way street. It is easy to expect encouragement from others (from an audience, for example), but very much more difficult to overcome one’s self-centredness and to praise others. “Love until it hurts” was Mother Teresa’s maxim. This…
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21. September 2018

Paintbrush and film-camera, violin and dancing shoes, awake! / Pinsel und Filmkamera, Violine und Tanzschuhe, wacht auf! (Psalm 57)

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ENGLISH “Psaltery and harp, awake!”, the church sings in the original German version of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” by Joachim Neander (1680) or in the eponymous Bach choral cantata BWV 137 (1725).   What does this metaphor mean? Why and how should the instruments awake? By the way, is the same statement applicable…
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06. September 2018

Destructive genius?! / Zerstörerische Genialität?!

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ENGLISH In TUNE IN 272, we spoke of a culture-rejecting attitude as encountered among certain theologians and entire denominational traditions. It is easy to criticise this attitude. But do not let us be too glib in our criticism! The power of the Christian faith – including its power to attract – develops not when it is constantly “being conformed to the…
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30. August 2018

Where separation is important / Wo Abgrenzung wichtig ist

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ENGLISH Do not love the world As we mentioned in TUNE IN 271, the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (“Christ and Culture”, 1951) identifies five different categories of relationship between Christianity and culture. Initially, he points out that Christians have at times separated themselves radically from the surrounding culture. The biblical starting point for this is John 2,15: “Do…
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22. August 2018

Christ against culture? “Enter through the narrow gate…” / Christus gegen die Kultur? “Gehet ein durch die enge Pforte…”

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ENGLISH In the pre-conference for the recently held “Crescendo Summer Institute” (LINK),  35 participants discussed different aspects of “Christianity and culture”. When one looks at the history of theology and the church more closely, it becomes evident that the relationship between “Christianity and culture” can be defined in differing ways and accordingly takes…
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15. August 2018

Artworks as our companions – No. 3 / Kunstwerke, die uns begleiten – Nr. 3

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Which good work of art – which picture, which piece of music, which poem, which story, which choreography accompanies you in your life and faith? Please send us a short text with a few personal words on your chosen artwork (to info@crescendo.org). Include a link to the corresponding artwork…
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07. August 2018

Which light shines brighter? – Which artist is greater? / Welches Licht schient heller? Welcher Künstler ist grösser?

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ENGLISH  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in…
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02. August 2018

Artworks as our companions – No. 2 / Kunstwerke, die uns begleiten – Nr. 2

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Which good work of art – which picture, which piece of music, which poem, which story, which choreography accompanies you in your life and faith? Please send us a short text with a few personal words on your chosen artwork (to info@crescendo.org). Include a link to the corresponding artwork…
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20. Juli 2018

Artworks as our companions – No. 1 / Kunstwerke, die uns begleiten – Nr. 1

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  ENGLISH Which good work of art – which picture, which piece of music, which poem, which story, which choreography accompanies you in your life and faith? Let us put this question to our readers during the summer weeks – and beyond. Our assumption here is that there are artworks which leave an impression on our faith and which accompany us intensively…
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04. Juli 2018

Able to play / Spielen können

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ENGLISH The World Cup, or the joy of playing Currently, the World Cup in football is captivating millions of spectators. Despite all the shady sides and aberrations in this commercialised sport, this game with the small, round piece of leather is a source of joy not only for our male contemporaries. Art – a game, or…
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27. Juni 2018

“…Far from the mark we stray” The message of the famous Evening Poem by Matthias Claudius / „…Und kommen weiter von dem Ziel“ Die Botschaft des berühmten Abendlieds von Matthias Claudius

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ENGLISH It is one of the most beautiful poems and, with the melody by Johann Schulz (1747-1800), is one of the most deeply felt songs in the German language: the Evening Poem by Matthias Claudius (1740-1832). It was published in 1779 and even today has lost none of its power. 1 The silent moon is risen,  The golden star-fires…
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20. Juni 2018

Artists – Apostles of Beauty / Künstler – Botschafter der Schönheit

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ENGLISH SCHØN – an unusual conference Last weekend, a German-language conference on the topic “BEAUTIFUL” . Even the use of the Swedish script in the word “SCHØN” suggests that one should get ready for something unusual. The whole thing was organised by the House of Prayer in Augsburg under the leadership of Dr. Johannes Hartl, supported by the involvement…
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13. Juni 2018

Flamingos

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ENGLISH In the Creative Church * in St. Paul’s Church in Basel on 10th June, Pastor Fredy Staub held an original sermon.   Very close to death A few years ago, he was in hospital with a highly dangerous disease. He lay in a small room – facing death. At the same time, however, he could see…
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05. Juni 2018

“I had to cry during the Shostakovich Flute solo” / „Ich musste beim Schostakowitsch-Flötensolo weinen“

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ENGLISH In Crescendo Teachers’ Conference which has just finished in Birmingham, there were many interesting talks and encouraging reports. Here are some quotations – rendered so as to give the broad sense – on the power of prayer, taken from the abundance of valuable contributions.   Prayer before teaching “There are difficult days as a music teacher. One pupil after another…
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29. Mai 2018

The rusty Christ-figure / Der rostige Christus

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ENGLISH Swiss media have been full of this story in recent days: at Pentecost, the probably most prominent Protestant pastor in the country died at the age of 91. And everyone is praising the main work of his life. “He saved my life,” say many. Who was Pastor Ernst Sieber (1927-2018), and why is his name appearing in the TUNE INs, which…
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22. Mai 2018

After Pentecost / Nach Pfingsten

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ENGLISH These festivals of the church year lie behind us: Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost. Now everyday routine “threatens” again. But, interestingly, the Christian faith is in fact a faith for everyday life. Here are some thoughts on this. Christianity begins on a day like any other!  In every movement, the direction is set at the beginning. Christianity begins on a…
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15. Mai 2018

Cultural Renewal; Quotes by Timothy Keller about the role of „Christian artists“ / Erneuerung der Kultur; Zitate von Timothy Keller über die Rolle “christlicher Künstler”

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ENGLISH About “Cultural renewal” “I am often asked, “Should Christians be involved in shaping culture?” My answer is, “We can’t not be involved in shaping culture.” But I prefer the term “cultural renewal” to “culture shaping” or “cultural transformation.” For a possible model, think about the monks in the Middle Ages, who moved out through pagan Europe, inventing and establishing academies, universities,…
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08. Mai 2018

Makrothumia – a forgotten virtue? / Makrothymia – eine vergessene Tugend?

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ENGLISH Turning one’s back on culture? There are certain statements which I repeatedly hear from artists who are Christians, such as “I can no longer identify with worldly culture. I am distancing myself from it and beginning something of my own.” – In concrete terms, this can mean, for example, ‘I am turning my back on art and going into…
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01. Mai 2018

TE DEUM by John Featherstone A reconciliation of Classical, Jazz and Gospel / TE DEUM von John Featherstone Eine Zusammenführung von Klassik, Jazz und Gospel

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ENGLISH We have asked the French-based musician and composer John Featherstone to give the background of his new work.   A chord in the night ‘As a composer, what would you most regret not having written before your retired?’ ‘My setting of the Te Deum,’ I replied without hesitation to the relative stranger who asked me. That night I woke up with a complex…
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24. April 2018

The important echo to the “Echo” / Das wichtige Echo auf den “Echo”

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ENGLISH Prize-winning anti-Semitism A couple of years ago we found the jury of the German “Echo” prize great when they selected two of our friends, the Japanese conductor Masaaki Suzuki and the Austrian singer Miriam Feuersinger, for awards. A few days ago, however, the enthusiasm gave way to sheer dismay. On 12th April, of all days, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the album…
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18. April 2018

“It has to be God or it’s all nonsense” An interview with Patrick Kavanaugh (1954-2018) / „Da muss Gott eingreifen – oder es ist totaler Unsinn“ Ein Interview mit Patrick Kavanaugh (1954-2018)

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ENGLISH A few days ago, the conductor, composer and author Patrick Kavanaugh, for many years the leader of the Christian “MasterWorks Festival” in the USA, passed away. This unexpected and painful loss of a friend who was an important mentor for countless musicians caused us to search through our in-house archive and look again at an interview in an early number of the…
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20. März 2018

“Framed by God” Thoughts on an image on Psalm 139 / „Umrahmt von Gott“ Eine Bildbetrachtung zu Psalm 139

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ENGLISH The artist Anita Sieber has created a series of Psalm images. She exhibited some of them on 11th March, 2018, in the “Creative Church” in Basel. The sermon reflected on them. Here are some (shortened) thoughts on Psalm 139. “You know when I sit and when I arise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down;…
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13. März 2018

A modern psalm at the Brit Awards 2018 / Ein moderner Psalm bei den Brit Awards 2018

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ENGLISH A few days ago, the Brit Award 2018 was given. Astonishingly, the title “best artist” did not go, as expected, to Ed Sheeran, but to the rapper Stormzy (*1993, real name Michael Omari). His debut album “Gang Signs & Prayer” came out in February 2017, and reached number one in the British charts. The album includes a modern psalm, “Blinded by…
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28. Februar 2018

Joy, humour, fun – Christian virtues? / Freude, Humor, Spass – christliche Tugenden?

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ENGLISH In recent weeks, there were carnival celebrations in many places. In Rio, Cologne, Mainz and in Switzerland. In my hometown of Basel, the “Fasnacht” has a special satirical character and a strong artistic component which has even been reflected in “highbrow art”, for example in Arthur Honegger’s 4th Symphony or in visual arts. There are great differences in the ways people celebrate “Fasnacht” and carnival….
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21. Februar 2018

“Half of all the poets and artists were Christians” / „Die Hälfte aller Dichter und Künstler waren Christen“

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ENGLISH “And this is how we imagine the establishing of Christian culture: the misery, suffered in the past and still continuing, provoked by the spirit of atheism and anti-Christianity, shakes the heart of people so that they freely begin to return to Christ and to receiving the gifts of His Spirit in life and culture. This process cannot be initiated externally…
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21. Februar 2018

A word on our own behalf / Ein Wort in eigener Sache

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We have just reached, with 250 TUNE INs, an important mark. This is good reason to pause for a moment and be grateful in our hearts to God, and the same time to thank our readers. Thank you! We thank our readers for all the positive feedback which reaches us repeatedly. We feel particularly glad when someone writes, “This was exactly the text I…
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30. Januar 2018

The artist and Christ / Der Künstler und Christus

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ENGLISH A few months ago, I chanced on this masterwork in an exhibition in the Art Museum in Basel with works from the Prado. It is one of those pictures which exert fascination at first sight. The observer notices at once that an important statement is being made here with great intensity. But what statement? Questions relating to the picture When the picture is studied…
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24. Januar 2018

Ways out of isolation / Wege aus der Isolation

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ENGLISH Ways out of isolation   An astonishing number of artists feel isolated as Christians, whether in the culture world (because they are Christians) or in the churches (because they are artists). I am still busy with thoughts arising from a musicians’ project in St. Petersburg which ended with a large-scale sacred concert last Sunday and where we discussed precisely this topic. It…
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24. Januar 2018

The Legend of the Artist / Die Legende vom Künstler

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ENGLISH Protogenes’ Sponge, Titian’s Paintbrush… In their book “The Legend of the Artist”, published in 1934, the authors Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz show, with a fascinating plethora of anecdotes, how numerous legends grow up around artists. Some examples: The ancient painter Protogenes attempted to depict a dog foaming at the mouth. He could not get it right. Angrily, he threw the…
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09. Januar 2018

On the art of completely natural prayer – and a prayer for the beginning of the year / Von der Kunst des ungekünstelten Betens – und ein Gebet zum Jahresanfang

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ENGLISH “With Lissa in church. Couldn’t pray. The solemn official language of the church sounded foreign. Artificial vocabulary. Do the faithful believe that God only hears them when they pray, that he has no idea about the words that they otherwise think and say? … My life can no longer be fitted into the language of prayer. I can no longer twist myself into…
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30. Dezember 2017

Short texts for busy people / Kurze Texte für geschäftige Leute

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ENGLISH Some TUNE IN readers already know that my main efforts in the literary field go into aphorisms*. A large number of them have recently been translated by our praiseworthy “chief translator”, the lutenist Bill Buchanan (who has, by the way, been working for some years on an academic translation of the Mozart family correspondence). In all the pre-Christmas stress, hardly any of us…
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29. Dezember 2017

NEW LAND – an invitation / NEULAND – eine Einladung

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ENGLISH From 29th December to 1st January 2018, there will be a Christian conference (EXPLO 17 – LINK) taking place under the motto “New Land”, with a truly large number of professional artists taking place. Explo and Artists In an ‘Art Zone’, there will be a display of contemporary visual arts, part of it offering interaction with the public. In <span...
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12. Dezember 2017

How can we be provocative? / Wir können wir provozieren?

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ENGLISH We are coming up to Christmas. The story of Christmas is a provocation from start to finish. It is not only Herod who is provoked on Christmas Eve, but also our entire thinking and acting in human categories and structures. It cannot be that the son of God comes into the world in a stable! On top of that, in a no-man’s-land in terms…
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05. Dezember 2017

Between artistic perfectionism and laziness / Zwischen künstlerischem Perfektionismus und Faulheit

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ENGLISH In the last TUNE IN, we printed some excerpts from an interview with the 90-year-old conductor Herbert Blomstedt. Herbert Blomstedt is considered to be a very precise interpreter who spends an enormous amount of time going deeply into the works of the composer in question. How does he confront the danger of perfectionism in this process? His answers are profitable not only for…
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21. November 2017

“He who has no roots can be driven in any direction.” Herbert Blomstedt (90) / „Wer wurzellos ist, kann in jede Richtung getrieben werden.“ Herbert Blomstedt (90)

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ENGLISH At the age of 90, the conductor Herbert Blomstedt is a living wonder: he is still travelling round the world giving full-length concerts in full halls. And with all the freshness of youth. The charming birthday greetings sent by the Berlin Philharmonic are evidence of this. And they also let us sense something of the source of strength for this former chief conductor…
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15. November 2017

Rightful listening * Richtig zuhören können

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ENGLISH A conversation with my son Last week I was talking with my 4-year-old son about self-control and making wise choices, and how we can always ask God to help us when we are struggling.  He noted, “But when God is telling me not to do bad things, he speaks so quietly!  His voice is so quiet.” I imagine we have all felt that way at one…
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