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"The Death of Empedocles" - II - Choir
    The German poet Friedrich Hölderlin (1770 – 1843) worked on a tragedy “The Death Of Empedocles”. Only fragments of the manuscripts exist. Following the ideas of this plan from 1797 the director Herbert Gantschacher worked on this unfinished play following an idea of the poet Dževad Karahasan. An important role in this concept now has music. “It is the deepest intensity, which is expressed in a dramatic poem” explained Hölderlin about his intentions writing such a tragedy. Music can express such tensions at his best. In the Concentration Camp of Terezín the Austrian Composer Viktor Ullmann worked intensively with the poetry of Hölderlin and he composed songs to poems of Hölderlin like “Evening Phantasy”, “Sundown” and “The Spring”. These songs are now part of the play. And this music by Ullmann is completed by music of the Austrian composer Wolfgang Danzmayr, which is based on the compositions of Ullmann. The main character of the tragedy of Hölderlin is the Greek nature philosopher Empedocles from Akragas (Agrigent). He was born around 500 B.C. and died around 430 B.C. Empedocles was a person of the ancient Greek times. Following a legend Empedocles should have climbed up the volcano Aetna and should have made suicide by falling down into the crater of the volcano. In reality Empedocles was a real fighter for real democracy. On this clip You see the choir in the performance conducted by the deaf actor Werner Mössler.