- the following article first appeared in Film Score Monthly No. #51, November 1994 -


by ALAN ANDRES Film music and the New German cinema brings to mind the composers and musicians linked with the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Peer Raben) Werner Herzog (Popul Vuh) and Wim Wenders (Jurgen Knieper). In the late 1970s it seemed that every other foreign film that opened in the United States was by one of these three directors. However by 1984 the shining light of the New German cinema had dimmed: Fassbinder was dead of an overdose, Wenders was recovering from his disastrous Hollywood sojourn and Herzog had disappeared into the wilderness not to reappear with a ma jor film. The most memorable premiere of that year came from one of the lesser known names of the New German cinema, who rose to prominence with an audacious 16 hour epic: HEIMAT, the chronicle of 60 years in the life of a small rural German village. ("Heimat" is roughly translated as "homeland"; however, it is one of those words imbued with an emotional resonance that escapes word-for-word translation.) The director and co-writer was Edgar Reitz one of the original cinema revolutionaries who signed the Oberhausen Manifesto in 1962 which sparked Germany's filmmaking renaissance. The film's composer was Nikos Mamangakis, a musician much better known for his avant-garde concert work than his work in the cinema

In late 1992 Reitz and Mamangakis premiered their newest work, DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT: Chronicle of a Generation in which one character from the earlier film, Herman Simon, leaves his small German village to become a composer in 1960s Munich. In the course of the film Herman befriends other composers, poets, filmmakers, performers, publishers and political radicals. No less epic than the first film, DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT runs just short of 26 hours. making the two pictures the longest dramatic theatrical films ever produced. DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT may also be the first film in which musical talent and acting ability were equally important when choosing the cast; all of the actors perform the music heard in the film and many play their own compositions during the concert hall scenes.

Due to the film's length and esoteric subject, screenings of DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT are hard to locate in America; however, as someone who sat through the entire film last February (and having seen the original Heimat twice) I believe both greatly reward the time spent watching them. Made for theatrical viewing, the original HEIMAT was broadcast on both Bravo and PBS in the mid-'80s. No plans exist for airing the second film in the United States. (In Britain BBC 2 broadcast DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT last year.)

Nikos Mamangakis is a name unfamiliar to film music collectors as most of his scores have been confined to films directed by Reitz: DAS GOLDENE DING (THE GOLDEN THING, 1971); STUNDE NULL (ZERO HOUR, 1976) DER SCHNEIDER VON ULM (THE TAILOR FROM ULM, 1978) and the two HEIMAT films. He also scored a six hour film adaptation of Thomas Mann's FELIX KRULL directed by B. Sinkel. He was born in Rethymnon, Crete and after schooling in Athens came to Munich to study composition with Carl Orff and Harald Genzmer. Like the competitive group of composers depicted in DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT, Mamangakis was part of the young musical avant-garde of the 1960s, writing pieces utilizing quasi-mathematical formulae, aleatoric devices or scored for early electronic instruments or tape. During the early 1980s he wrote two full-scale operas: "Odysee" based on a text by Nikos Kazantzakis and "Erotokritos," a drama of medieval Crete.

Should this make you suspect his film scores are cold, austere and bloodless you would be wrong. A new 4CD set from the small German Bella Musica label (BM003018) presents much of the best music from the two HEIMAT films: three CDs are devoted to DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT (running times 64:15, 56:12, 68:08) and the last CD is solely given to music from the original HEIMAT (49:47). In addition, a single CD of new arrangements and performances inspired by DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT has just been released on the Milan label (887881, running time 72:51).

The haunting wordless vocal title music for HEIMAT, which in two minutes captures the melancholy and sorrow of remembered personal history, is an unforgettable signature piece. Mamangakis uses this same composition in varied orchestrations throughout the chapter openings and closings of DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT, and three different versions are included in the new Bella Musica recording along with the original 1984 composition.

The CD devoted to the original 1984 HEIMAT consists Of 12 musical portraits; leitmotifs associated with the major characters who live in the fictional town of Schabbach. Deceptively subtle, many exhibit gentle folk-like phrasings, yet their economy in no way diminishes their emotional power. Woodwinds and strings or a solo guitar are the favored instrumentation, the latter associated with the character of Herman Simon in both films. Herman's triumphal choral composition which is performed in a huge underground cavern closes both the 16 hour film and the HEIMAT CD.

The three Bella Musica discs devoted to DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT are an odd mix: original film music by Mamangakis; concert compositions by Mamangakis and others performed in the film; performances of works by Beethoven. Ravel, Schoenberg. Flotow. Chopin, Gershwin, etc. heard in the film; and snippets of dialogue (in German, naturally). The result is a bit fragmentary and many of the cuts are very short. The pieces are presented in the chronological order of the film, making for very uneven listening. Still there are some wonderful pieces by Mamangakis: Herman's Poulenc-like high school graduation cantata; the plaintive strings and alto cry as Clarissa is rushed to the hospital; the lied set to a text by Nietzsche text (" Die Krahen Schrein") that introduces the character of Alex, the perpetual philosophy graduate student; the filmmakers' imperial waltz; an organ toccata first heard in HEIMAT; a grotesque percussive interlude, among many others. Oddly missing are some of the highlights of the film: cello concerto written by Herman for Clarissa; the lovely bercuse for cello and piano that accompanied Reinhard's trip to Venice; the Foxhole requiem; and the improvisational percussion jam session in the university cafeteria.

Instead we are given many odds and ends including a number of works by or featuring the leading actors. Some of these are quite pleasant, particularly a lullaby by Salome Kammer (who plays Clarissa the cellist), a percussion prelude by Daniel Smith (who plays the multi-talented Chilean Juan); and Peter Fischer's setting of Kurt Tucholsky's "Zwei Fremde Augen" sung by Salome Kammer. However. l would have sacrificed some of the minor performances, incidental songs and dialogue for the startling omissions.

Three hours of CD playing time only accounts for less than a sixth of the 20 hours of music heard in the film and of necessity much had to be sacrificed. It seems this project was done more as a commemorative memento rather than as a record of the film's score. Credit for the conception of the entire 4CD set is given to actress Salome Kammer, which may explain the unusually large number of pieces by the leading actors. Yet, after waiting nearly ten years for HEIMAT to be released on CD, the appearance of three CDs from DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT seems a blessing regardless of the omissions.

An even more unexpected surprise is the recent Milan CD containing rearranged, corrected and re-executed music from DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT, conducted by the composer. Here are variations on much of the music heard the Bella Musica CDs, but this time arranged for synthesizer and reduced instrumental and vocal soloists. As with the Bella Musica discs most of the selections are brief, however, a number of pieces on the Milan album are heard here for the first time. As this CD contains only compositions by Mamangakis it serves as a fine introduction to his work; yet, unfortunately, the performances seem to lack the immediacy of the original recording

HEIMAT and DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT are available from: Bella Musica Tontrager GmbH. Rheinstrasse 26. D - 77815 Buhl. Baden. Price is DM 55.00 plus shipping. In the United States this set is distributed by Sound Solutions, 39 Veronica Ave. PO Box 6150. Sommerset NJ 08875-6150.

HEIMAT Bella Musica BM-CD 31.6011

1. Prologue 2:01
2. Katharina, the Grandmother 1:51
3. Eduard, the gold-panner 1:36
4. Paul, the immigrant (Variation 1) 1:31
5. Pauline, the watchmaker's wife 1:54
6. Maria (Variation 1) 1:11
7. Ernst, the aviator (Variation 1) 1:39
8. Anton, the pedestrian 1:33
9. Hanschen, the one-eyed sharp-shooter :59
10. Lucie, the big-city girl 2:24
11. Maria, the courageous mother (Variation 2) 2:15
12. Otto, who is in Maria (Variation 1) 1:40
13. Hermann (Variation 1) 3:22
14. Otto (Variation 2) :59
15. Klarchen, Hermann's first love 1:37
16. Hermann, the gentle dreamer (Variation 2) 3:29
17. Paul (Variation 2) 1:07
18. Ernst (Variation 2) 2:03
19. Hermann (Variation 2) 1:49
20. Otto (Variation 3) 2:36
21. Klarchen Song and Dialogue 3:19
22. Geheischnis 5:05
23. Epilogue 2:01

Total: 49:47

DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT 1 Bella Musica BM-CD 31.6012

All selections composed by Nikos Mamangakis unless otherwise noted

1.Titlemusik 2:37
2. Hermann's Gebet 2:25
3. Orgel Toccata 1:35
4. Canto Triumphale 2:25
5. Klarchenlied 2:23
6. Munichenthema 5:21
7. Zigeunerliebe (Franz Lehar) 2:42
8. Preludio (Daniel Smith) 2:33
9. Polonaise Brillante (Chopin) 7:33
10. Gestus 2 2:22
11. Kohlenjoseph 2:14
12. Wacht Auf! 4:11
13. Zwei Fremde Augen (Peter Fischer) 2:36
14. Lautgedicht (Josef Anton Riedl) :47
15. Erster Kuss 1 3:13
16. Hermann & Clarissa 4:45
17. Wortkatze 1:36
18. Evelyne & Ansgar 3:36
19. Regenlied 2:12
20. Erster Kuss 2 2:04
21. Adagio der Liebe 2:46

Total: 64:15

DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT 2 Bella Musica BM-CD 31.6013

All selections composed by Nikos Mamangakis unless otherwise noted

1. Titelmusik 2:27
2. Valse D'Amour 3:55
3. Aenigma 3:30
4. Martha, Martha (Freidrich v. Flotow) 1:21
5. Valse Grotesque 2:11
6. Polizei Toccata 2:01
7. Dulmenreise 2:27
8. Sonata Opus 31/2, 1. Satz (Beethoven) 6:51
9. Dulmen Atmosphare 2:28
10. Sylt :53
11. Die Krahen Schrein 3:55
12. Film Im Film (Salome Kammer) 3:52
13. Krahenvariation 2:54
14. Clarissas Traum 2:40
15. Requiem Mit Stimme 2:38
16. Lied Fur Ansgar 2:35
17. Weihnachtsoratorium, Arie Nr. 4 (Bach) 1:56
18. Wolfelied 2:45
19. Ondine (Ravel) 2:54

Total: 56:12

DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT 3 Bella Musica BM-CD 31.6014

All selections composed by Nikos Mamangakis unless otherwise noted

1. Titelmusik 2:31
2. Munchenthema 2 3:01
3. Clarissas Flucht 2:18
4. Wolfelied-Lamento 4:13
5. Sonata A-Dur, 2. Satz (Franck) 9:14
6. Marinella (Vincent Scotto) 2:32
7. Tango D'Amor (Leo Leandros) 3:37
8. Fraulein Cerphal 2:25
9. Pizz a Gogo (Armin Fuchs) 3:49
10. Walz Imperial 3:07
11. Schlaflied Fur Arnoldchen (Salome Kammer) 3:14
12. Walz Imperial 2 1:34
13. Pierrot Lunaire Nr. 8 (Schoenberg) 2:05
14. Slap That Bass (Gershwin) 2:01
15. Horn Drama 2:27
16. Sostenuto 2:39
17. Hexenpassion 15:51

Total: 68:08

NIKOS MAMANGAKIS: DIE ZWEITE HEIMAT New arrangements and performances inspired by the film Milan 887 881

1. Prologue 2:32
2. Requiem for female voice and strings 3:49
3. Adagio piano (for piano solo) 3:04
4. Abstract piano (for piano solo) 3:08
5. Romance for piano and strings 3:13
6. Jeu de clarinette 2:07
7. Piano and organ 2:26
8. Suite for solo cello (I-III) 2:35
9. Elegie no 1 for strings 3:01
10. Arpegio variation for piano 1:51
11. Munich theme; variation concertante 3:04
12. Sax in the night 2:42
13. Else Lasker - Schuller's fragments (I-IV) (for voice, guitar & clarinet) 8:18
14. Anskar's lament 2:50
15. Rain song 1:45
16. Guitar miniatures (I-IV) 7:40
17. Nietzche's song 3:57
18. Hommage a Villa-Lobos (for solo mandolin) 3:46
19. Sylt (piano solo) 3:33
20. Toccata (piano solo) 3:51
21. Waltz variation 2:41

Total: 72:51

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