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Disc-Cover!

sat 18 jul 2020 00:00 
Composer: Mordechai Gebirtig

Interesting albums from the history of folk music and roots music chosen by Marius Roeting.

In this episode of DiscCover, we present the debut album of the German singer, guitar player and composer Bettine Wegner. It is certainly not Wegner’s best album, in musical and production respect. But in the series DiscCover we –in general- don’t choose perfect records, we choose special ones: illustrious and significant albums. And that certainly applies to Wegner’s debut disc. In more than one respect “Sind So Kleine Hände” is a remarkable album. Although she was a citizen of the GDR, it was a Western label which released her record.

Wegner was born in Lichterfelde near Berlin. At a young age, she moves to the newly established GDR with her parents, who are confirmed communists. She receives training there, actively takes part in theater companies, but also is a critical citizen. That is not taken well: she gets a prison sentence when she stands up for the people of Prague after the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. A ‘berufsverbot’ follows and Wegner dives into music, texts and writing articles and, in spite of all, performs on stage anyway (covertly announced). In the West, she can perform as a musician overtly, while in her own country, she has practically been silenced. The fact is, it yields currency for the GDR. And in the West it is, that her debut album is recorded in 1978. A year later, the album is released on the CBS label. Several albums, recorded in the West, are to follow. Currency pours in, but anyway, the GDR rather has her leave the country than return. She is declared persona non grata in the GDR, just like her contemporary and fellow musician Wolf Bierman; her citizenship is taken away from her. After a few years, she starts making music again. She openly criticizes the East as well as the West. Wegner feels she is without a homeland, lost: welcome in neither East nor West Germany. That becomes the central theme in her work. The song “Im Niemandshaus”, and the albums with titles like “Heimweh Nach Heimat” or “Von Deutschland Nach Deutschland” say it all. In 2007, she announces her goodbye. She is battle-weary and tired of performing. During her goodbye tour, recordings are made, which were released on the record “Die Abschiedstournee”. That is how the career of Bettina Wegner ended, like it started thirty years earlier with “Sind so Kleine Hände”: with a live album.

 

Bettina Wegner – Sind so kleine hände – CBS 83507 

1a. Ach, wenn Ich doch als Mann auf diese Welt gekommen wär

1b. Klein Zaches

1c. Ene Mene Mopel

1d. Ikarus

2a. Kinder

2b. Schlaflied

2c. Fleissig Reichlich Glücklich

3a. Der Feuerwehrmann (Wegner, Novella Malwejewa/Sarah Kärsch)

3b. Hör zu, Soldat (Wegner, Rivera Settimali Payo Grondona)

3c. Immer wieder eine Lanze werfen

3d. Magdalena

4a. War

4b. Aus meinem Leben (Wegner, Jiri Suchy)

4c. Für meine weggegangenen Freunde

4d. Es wird so sein, wie im November

Bettina Wegner – Wenn meine Lieder nicht mehr stimmen – CBS 84523

  1. Wenn meine Lieder nicht mehr stimmen 2:46
  2. Für Vera Kamenko 4:48

 

Bettine Wegner – Weine nicht aber schrei –

  1. Ich hab die Nacht geträumet (trad) 2:55

Bettine Wegner – Mein Bruder… Jüdische Lieder – BuschFunk ‎01142

  1. ‘S Brent, Briderlekh (Mordechai Gebirtig) 2:18

Bettine Wegner – Die Abschiedstournee  – Conträr 56

  1. Soldaten (Buffy Sainte-Marie) 2:49

Bettine Wegner – Die Abschiedstournee  – Conträr 56

  1. Im Niemandshaus 2:00
  2. Was ich zu sagen hatte 2:42
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