BAMBERG DIARY #2: China
"BAMBERG DIARY #2: China"
Published by Holger Noltze
The Bamberg Symphony is one of Germany's most-travelled orchestras. In its 75 year history, the orchestra has played more than 7,500 concerts in 535 venues across 63 countries. For many years, renowned photographer Andreas Herzau has accompanied the orchestra on its journeys around the world. Herzau and the orchestra have grown ever closer over the years, building a trusted relationship that means their concert photography is far beyond the expected or traditional.
In 2019, Herzau accompanied the orchestra on its tour across China and taken photos that have become the core of this photographic documentary series. Andreas Herzau has captured the essence of places, concert halls and people, whilst always putting the orchestra at the centre of his work and the series he is creating. In doing so, he has taken on a paradoxical task: Photographing music. The performance, the passion, and the emotion not just of the orchestra, but of the audience, allows us to witness the reception of music in different cultures.
The Bamberg Diary #2 takes a closer look at present-day China, which is so close and yet so far from the European homestead of the orchestra. The result is a book that shows very different views of the country, as well as the orchestra: from magical, intimate moments to the grand gestures of a musical cultural exchange, a story is told from a new perspective.
Musicians, audiences and places are all presented together, accompanied by essays from Xuewu Gu, Jiatong Wu and Holger Noltze to complement the music and the photography. This photographic diary is a completely unique and unusual approach to capture the moments when art becomes alive in a myriad of different ways, all at once.
"There is a big difference between a tour of Europe with the Bamberg Symphony and a trip to the most diverse corners of China: the mutual foreignness of both cultures makes it possible to experience how unifying music can be. For me as a photographer and chronicler of the orchestra, it was a unique pleasure to observe European musical culture clash with the culture of China, and to weave it together photographically." Andreas Herzau
Andreas Herzau is one of the most important contemporary documentary photographers. His visual language and artistic understanding of composition and arrangement set him apart as one of the best orchestral photographers of today.
Herzaus‘ artistic approach of displaying the fragile and fleeting against the bigger picture is where he captures the spirit of music and how it truly transforms those who are listening to it. When looking at his photos, they come along with these transformative musical experiences; they are the essence of music.
Herzau and the Bamberg Symphony have discovered a way to communicate that takes the showcases the beautiful from the individual to the collective. Herzau makes it possible to explore one of the main differences between European and Chinese art experience: The secret thread of this book is Beethoven. The book slowly approaches the question of whether he is revered in China solely as a hero who faced a personal drama or possibly also as a composer of freedom-loving and possibly revolutionary works.
This unique collection of images and texts is the second part of a book series that will take readers around the world together with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Volume #1 Europe - My Home was published in 2020.