Thälmann Variations

(Matchless - MR10) Used LP $30.00

The side-long title track was written in 1974 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Ernst Thalmann, the Secretary General of the German Communist Party, and is based on a popular German Worker’s Movement song, incorporates music from Eisler, Charles Koechlin’s “Let’s Free Thälmann”, funeral dirges and, perhaps unintentionally, outside-the-room sounds, especially car horns. Six short pieces are on the flip: joyous march called “Bethanien Song,” which commemorates a change in plans regarding the conversion of an old hospital from an artist center to a children’s hospital; “The Red Flag,” based on the changes to “O Tanenbaum”; the lovely, quasi-minimalist piece “Soon,” based on a pamphlet of Mao’s from 1930 promising imminent revolution; and a trio of Irish songs, “Croppy Boy,” “Father Murphy” and “Four Principles on Ireland.”