© Yvonne Brückner

#CDF250: Pirna celebrates Caspar David Friedrich 2024

With attractive programmes, cultural institutions in the sandstone town will pay homage to the 250th anniversary of the birth of the painter Caspar David Friedrich in the coming year.

Whoever sets out on the trail of the painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) in the anniversary year 2024 will inevitably also come to the Great District Town of Pirna. This is where the famous Painter's Path begins and ends - from the picturesque Liebethaler Grund to the historic Pirna market square with the iconic Canaletto House, the headquarters of the Pirna Tourist Service. In 2024, a themed area will invite walkers to linger, and they will also be given further cultural inspiration for the anniversary year.

Modernity reflects Romanticism

A special exhibition entitled "Topography of Desire - In the Footsteps of Caspar David Friedrich" will be on display at the StadtMuseum Pirna from 1 September to 3 November 2024. The illustrious show is dedicated to today's examination of the artist's time and finds itself in the unique arc of tension between early Romanticism and the realism of our era. Four accompanying events form the framework programme of this special exhibition, for which a catalogue will also be published.

Tom Pauls Theatre Honours CDF

The Tom Pauls Theatre, together with its theatre team, the Ilse-Bähnert Foundation and the Friends of Caspar David Friedrich, also has a lot planned to honour the great Romantic painter. On 27 January 2024, the special exhibition "Wandergefährten - In der Sächsischen Schweiz auf den Spuren der Romantiker" will open in the Peter Ulrich House. Based on the hiking guide by Veith & Engelhardt "Mahlerische Wanderungen", after which Caspar David Friedrich already planned his hikes, romantic pictures from the private collection of Tom Pauls will be on display. On 27 and 28 January 2024, the puppeteer Karl Huck from the Seebühne Hiddensee will be a guest with his Caspar David Friedrich programme "Voices from the Sea of Fog". Other events related to the anniversary year are in preparation.

Classical Music in the Castle

Under the title "The Moon Has Risen", the concert celebrating the 250th birthday of Caspar David Friedrich will take place on 9 May 2024 in Graupa Hunting Lodge. The programme includes works by Malcolm Arnold, Matthias Claudius, Howart Bart, Antonin Dvořák, Jacques Offenbach and Robert Schumann. The woodwind quintet of the Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen will play in the following instrumentation: Bernd Schäfer (flute), Ulrich May (oboe), Roland Vetters (clarinet), Tabea Lüpfert (bassoon) and Eva Steinert (horn).

Friedrich meets Wagner

Nothing less than a little piece of heaven awaits the inclined guests in the venerable Richard Wagner sites in Graupa in the anniversary year. From 6 to 9 June 2024, the renowned Richard Wagner Games will send the greatest artists of their time into an unprecedented art competition on historic grounds: the grand master of opera, cult composer Richard Wagner, enters the studio of painter Caspar David Friedrich at night and demands: "Paint me!" Sparks fly in this fictional contest of the arts, in which there is only one winner in the end - the audience!

Two outstanding artists, a fantastic landscape and a bitter rivalry: these are the ingredients for the multimedia production "A Piece of Heaven. Once I'm eternal." by Johannes Gärtner, which is entirely in the tradition of Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk. An extraordinary encounter of art and nature at the gateway to Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland, in the footsteps of the Romanticists in the moonlight of the summer nights, along the "Poet-Musician-Painter Path" with its unique panoramas. This spectacle appeals to all the senses and is presented by a renowned ensemble of music, song and drama.

With Richard Wagner and Caspar David Friedrich, the geniuses of two generations and arts meet in a dream world removed from the earthly. Together, the two protagonists venture forward to the mythical places of their passion, up the river of time to the hidden sources of their inspiration. Following the unforgettable motifs of a merging landscape, their journey takes them to the darkest abysses of the soul and up to hitherto unknown spiritual heights, a unique panorama of romance to behold on a hike through the most romantic landscape in Europe.

The performance of the two matadors competing against each other opens up a new perspective on the supposed artist solitaires. They were much more similar than expected and possibly that is why they argue so pointedly. A philosophical-comedic dialogue with lots of music about the relationship between the arts, the ownership and shaping of the world, the hierarchy of nature and art, and travel itself, which was perceived as an experience for the first time in the Romantic period. At the same time, highly topical themes are negotiated: the question of the audience's attention in times of constantly increasing impressions, the question of the value and effect of art and human creativity in general - and thus, of course, the universal question of the possibility of a meaningful life.

The music for this production was written by the Dresden composer Johannes Wulff-Woesten after pictures by Caspar David Friedrich. The memorable spectacle is to be performed from 6 to 9 June 2024 on the grounds of the Richard Wagner Sites Graupa. The public dress rehearsal is to take place on Thursday, 5 June 2024.

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