Took a quick trip to Lucerne, or Luzern, as we in the German part of Switzerland write it, to get Bait Jaffe’s latest CD at my favorite music store – Musik Hug.
Sad to say, they didn’t have it. The sales lady said I should go to Basel, since that’s where the group is from. She didn’t seem too interested. The store was arranged differently from the last time I visited in 2010 – there seemed to be less inventory. No wonder musical groups are selling their own CDs at their performances.
On a side note, I did pick up the CD of the musical group I went to see a couple of nights ago in Zofingen. It is an early music group and the CD was entitled “Handel with Care.” Witty, eh? It was pretty good music, given that I have no great love for Handel’s music. I went because I thought there was a chance for a kind of Switched-on Bach type of performance. There WAS some humor, but the music was played straight. But I’ve learned my lesson – get the CD when it is available!
Back to Luzern – it seems I don’t get lost there and can find all the places I’m looking for. There’s a ton of construction around the train station, so I had to get to the OldTown a different way. Imagine my surprise to find a small private museum on my way there.
The museum has Modernists, Cubists, etc. and features much Picasso, Klee, but also Mnet, Cezanne, Matisse, Braque, Chagall and others of that era. The Museum lets you go out for a bite to eat and come back at no extra charge. They are aware of how tiring it is to gaze at colors and lines and points, etc. for any period of time.
The museum was founded by Angela Rosengart, who worked with her father at his art galleries in Germany and Switzerland. The artists and the art dealers were great friends.
I was struck most by the work of Paul Klee, who was born in Berne CH, but did most of his art and teaching in Germany. Though I’m sure he wasn’t observant, and most of his biographies make no mention of this, I believe that at least one of his parents was Jewish. His early work had Jewish symbols – six-armed candle holders, six-pointed stars. In one late piece, his candle holder was a Chanukiah – the eight-branched holder plus extra for the helper candle.
He was called a Galician Jew in a Nazi propaganda piece and his art work was condemned by the Naziis, but of course that could have been due to his associations with the Modern Artists, many of whom were Jewish.
He lost his teaching job as a consequence of this, and fled to Switzerland in 1933. He applied for Swiss citizenship, but it wasn’t granted until six days after he died in 1940. His mother’s citizenship didn’t count in those days, only the father’s did.