This particular recording (a reissue of a rare 1977 pressing) was made shortly after Beate Nitsch’s death in 1977, and the quality of a requiem or farewell is certainly present. At its most basic, the piece is composed of a steady bed of shrieking wind instruments, on top of which various brass players intervene in short, often single-note bursts. The music is propelled by a drumming whose style is both drunken and militant. There are no “movements” to the piece, per se, but there is the sense of rising and falling intensity. Somewhere between Coltrane’s Ascension and the aggressive noise of Merzbow, Requiem für Meine Frau Beate is a record both terrifying and transcendent, a dense monolith of sound as impenetrable as a man’s sorrow.
Beginning in 1977, Beate Nitsch was travelling in Schwarzwald. She has been inaugurating a nursery-school and wanted to meet some relatives in Stuttgart when, near Ulm, she had a terrible car accident. Beate had supported her husband's art not only sharing the sentimental part of their life but also actively collaborating to the organization of his work. She organized the purchase of a castle in Prinzendorf, the central place where Nitsch would develop his Orgien Mysterien Theater. For Hermann Nitsch, this loss was a complete collapse. He suddenly felt to be on the opposite side of life, alone and full of despair. In those days, he reached the deepest point of black unhappiness.
First time 2CD edition, in tri-folded digipack, reproducing the impossible-to-find 3LP art gallery edition issued in Naples in 1977 for the Radiotaxi series. Including a 12-page folded insert with drawings and directions from the LP boxset original graphics. This edition also includes a 32-page shocking full color photo documentation of the aktion, for the first time available now. (Alga Marghen, via Squidco)
Only for adventurous listeners!
Hermann Nitsch - Requiem für Meine Frau Beate (1977; Alga Marghen, 2006)