Take one long night, some jazzy days, a nearly new culture festival, and a very elegant museum. Wash it down with a fruity glass of new wine – and you’ve got this week’s German culture picks.
Art is everywhere during the Long Night of Museums
Long Nights are slowly becoming old hat in Germany -- but that doesn’t make them any less fun. This Oct. 15, for 15 euros, you can buy a ticket to Munich’s Long Night of the Museums and visit any of the city’s 70 museums and galleries from early in the evening until 2 a.m. The good thing is, in Munich, this means access to world-class institutions such as the Alte and Neue Pinakothek, the Pinakothek der Moderne, the Bavarian National Museum or the Lenbachhaus. Past Long Nights have drawn up to 40,000 visitors. Special busses will cart you from one spot to the next to save your weary feet.
East meets west at the Leipzig Jazz Days festival, through Oct. 15. Concerts take place at a number of venues in the town, with the main concerts staged at the Leipzig Opera. The festival mixes up-and-coming musicians with big names and the eclectic program underpins the organizers’ goal of showing off a range of musical styles -- this year's centerpiece: jazz from Poland. Highlights include The Dave Holland Quintet, The Tomasz Stanko Quartet, The Branford Marsalis Quartet and the best of the Polish jazz scene.
"Winterlandschaft", 1629 by Esaias van der Velde the Elder
Tired of loud, agressive modern art? Then get your fill of quiet beauty by travelling to Stuttgart. On Oct. 15, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is opening an exhibit on 16th and 17th century Dutch landscape painting. No other European country can touch the Dutch when it comes to the variety and quality of landscapes they produced in those two centuries. This exhibit looks at the political, religious, and economic influences that brought about the landscape boom – but it doesn’t shirk on pure aesthetics, with 90 paintings and 33 graphic works on display.
Bill Frisell, 2005
Since the first RuhrTriennale, the idea of linking an international arts festival with the industrial heritage of the Ruhr District has been enthusiastically received. Spectacular venues offer music, theatre, literature and dance. The second RuhrTriennale closes at the end of this week -- catch it now, or you have to wait another three years for the chance. Directed by Jürgen Flimm, the 2005 season has focused on the simultaneous development of both the Romantic Movement and the Industrial Revolution. To wit: This week’s performances feature modern jazzman Bill Frisell’s (photo) take on American music culture (specifically, country and gospel,) or Schubert. Through Oct. 16.
Wine -- its all in the grapes
Autumn in Germany without a wine festival? No way. The winemaking region of Rhineland-Palatinate ( Rheinland-Pfalz) is bursting with opportunities to sip your way through the towns along its fabled wine route during its Pfälzer Weinfeste season. This week’s highlight: wine tasting in Speyer. Small vintners set up their stands through the old town of the city, with its famous cathedral looming above, and thousands of visitors make their way through the streets. Don’t miss the very sweet local Federweisser, a still-fermenting, cider-like wine that is traditionally eaten with onion tart.