Martin-Gropius-Bau (R.W. Fassbinder) + Musik-instrumenten-Museum (Chopin Recital)

Took the S-42 to Wedding station and transferred to the U-6 to  U-Kochstrasse / Checkpoint Charlie. From there I walked about .5 km through the Topography of Terror exhibit once more to see R.W.Fassbinder’s life and films exhibit at the magnificent Martin Gropius building. A small show really (no pictures allowed), a 4×4 matrix of screens with random excerpts of interviews join a display of his very careful notes for films. In order to secure financing and work out his films, Fassbinder story-boarded his films very carefully and just as meticulously prepared the budgets. The costumes, mainly for the actresses and especially his muse Hanna Schygulla, are in a room adjacent. It’s always a disconnect to see the implied size of the person through the dress – we are so used to seeing the actors on the big screen. My takeaway: while visual art has an element of play in its creation, the storyboard tool can be really helpful to working out ideas in advance.

I walked from there to Unter den Linden and then on to Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Centre to the Musikinstrumenten-Museum on Ben-Gurion Strasse, a distance of about 1 km. In the sticky, summer heat of Berlin (33C), it felt longer. A fascinating museum of historical musical instruments (no touching allowed) followed by a Chopin recital in the museum by a very talented, very experienced student (e.g., BBC Young Musician of the Year, international prizes and so on). So it was a pleasure to sit back and take in the recital. Two favorite pieces were on the program (Op 55. No 1 and 2) along with a couple of Scherzi. The pianist, Melissa Gore, certainly has formidable technique and her own take on Chopin. It was interesting and a real treat in this city of so many chromatic hues.

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