Simon Rattle: I cooked dinner for Angela Merkel

Simon Rattle: I cooked dinner for Angela Merkel


norman lebrecht

August 15, 2016

The outgoing Berlin Philharmonic conductor has been sharing some of his German experiences with journalists of the Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin (not online).

Sir Simon says he quickly got to like the Chancellor, who loves coming to concerts.  But he was even more impressed by her husband, Professor Joachim Sauer, who can speak with authority on serialism and modern music and was clearly th one who bought tickets to the more adventurous concerts.

The Chancellor came to dinner at his place in Berlin. The conductor cooked lamb with aubergine.

Wonder what’s on his menu for Theresa May.

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) und ihr Ehemann Joachim Sauer, aufgenommen am 25.07.2015 bei der Eröffnung der 104. Bayreuther Festspiele in Bayreuth (Bayern) in der Pause. Die Richard-Wagner-Festspiele dauern bis zum 28. August. Foto: Tobias Hase/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++


  • Frederick West says:

    Humble pie?

  • andrea says:

    why would a musical and free spirited British personality like simon rattle invite such a horrible gloomy guest and cook for her ? she is a wagner-fanatic, just like other german autocrats before her. humble pie – that was a good comment. – should simon really be such a weak man ? well, thanks god he is soon coming back to london, where he will be in the safe hands of democracy.

    • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

      Andrea, I agree with Simon. Having read your comment I wonder what angry and bitter source it comes from? I fear that you aren’t even aware of the terrible caricature you make of yourself in your comment. I hope (fervently) that at least your cooking is good, and that your table welcomes many guests, even those to whom you do not take a liking.

      • Una says:

        Angela lovely, and far more educationally musical than any of our lot here in Britain. The only three I can see, excluding Michael Portillo, is Nick Clegg Nigel Forage, and Prince Charles! Corbyn, Smith, the other Angela, Blair, Prescott, Vince, Maggie in her day, and David Cameron, the Queen, even Prince Philip? No chance!! Theresa May? An invite from Angela Merkel to.her and her Philip to Bayreuth? Like anyone related to the clergy people, they’d be there like a shot!!! The number of ‘dog collars’ I noticed at Opera North’s and Giergev’s ROH Ring in 2009 was quite a revelation – and no doubt those without! So I’m for one pleased that Angela Merkel.showed enough interest to make time for Simon. I bet like Cameron she’s much better company than we see of them on the telly!

    • Theodor Gurken says:

      Yeah, those gloomy German postwar autocrats like Willy Brandt, Richard von Weizsaecker,Helmut Schmidt and the current president who don’t compare with stalwarts of democracy like Tony Blair, who made Britain participate in an illegal war but – in his favour I guess – doesn’t know a thing about Wagner.

    • Peter says:

      “live from speaker’s corner in Hyde Park you heard a contestant for the most ridiculous moronic brain fart of the day.”

    • Una says:

      Andrea, it pays to be just a little bit more generous in life – like Simon always has been. What you throw out in life is always what you can expect to get back … and that doesn’t mean being naive to be taken in by all sorts of people. I am sure they all had a lovely evening together on Simon’s cooking …

    • David Osborne says:

      Andrea, an extraordinary achievement. You have inspired an unheard of unanimity on Slipped Disc. Afraid I too must add my voice to the mob. Sorry about that.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Have to agree with this!!! Merkel is a child of East German communism. It came with her mother’s milk.

  • Simon Evnine says:

    Andrea – you’re lucky the webmaster is so forgiving. Many sites would banish you on a kill list for these dumb comments.

    • Doug says:

      Don’t like opposing opinions? That’s right, let’s swap freedom of speech with a rhetorical jackboot on your face. Typical leftist. You are the fascists now.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        You got that totally confused, Doug. Andrea expressed an opinion. A number of other readers expressed their opposing opinions. You have a problem with these opposing opinions and call the people who expressed them “fascists”? Hmm…I think that makes *you* the “fascist” who doesn’t respect freedom of speech here! 😉

        • Holly Golightly says:

          A predictable and self-serving projection, er ‘response’, and it won’t work. The clues reside in the words “banish” and “kill”. Got it now?

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Oh yes, it’s what the Left does so well – shuts people down and silences them. Dear me, where have I heard about that before?

  • Paul van Nieuwkerk says:

    Andrea, what went wrong in your youth ? I pity you, see a doctor!

  • Michael Schaffer says:

    Allow me to join the others in congratulating you for managing to package an enormous amount of prejudice and stereotypes into one short post, “Andrea”.

    But let me also remind you that prejudices and stereotypes tell us very little about the people they are supposedly about, but a lot about the people who hold them – like you in this case.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Well, who’s been imbibing the cultural relativist, Pollyanna Cool Aid?

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        I don’t know what you have imbibed, but your posts are bathed in stereotypes and clichés, too. But then it doesn’t matter as troll posts from anonymous or fantasy name posters who won’t even put their name to what they have to “say” are generally worthless anyway.

        • ketzel says:

          I use a pseudonym on the internet, because people who say unapproved things risk losing their job. How can you not know this? Are your opinions always the right opinions?

  • David Boxwell says:

    Great British food (“none of that foreign muck”): Lancashire Hot Pot, and Apple Crumble for “pudding.”

    Background music: British “Light Music”, especially Eric Coates (“none of that foreign muck”).

  • PaulD says:

    I can’t imagine the Obamas going over to Eschenbach’s for dinner. They probably wouldn’t know who invited them anyway.

  • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

    PAULD engaging is some casual, but still appalling, racism there. The Obamas are way too classy for Eschenbach.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Same tired, clapped out old canard – any time a person mentions the 0-bamas they’re ‘racist’. This family is one and the same who love to appear on “Oprah” and entertain rappers, so the original comment was entirely valid. Being a President doesn’t mean you automatically develop a taste for the finer things in life. Maybe a President’s wife can, though (Kennedy). Not in this case, alas. (Sorry we didn’t see Laura Bush doing the chicken dance on “Ellen”, though.)

      • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

        No, implying that only the Obamas wouldn’t know the name of the director of the NSO is not a responsible statement. Comparison: of all the mayors I’ve experienced in Philadelphia, the last one you’d expect to see at a Philadelphia orchestra concert would be Michael Nutter, who is known for his rap performances, but I’ve seen Nutter at more classical music concerts that all other area politicians at all levels combined, and not just at gala events. President Obama is an intelligent, serious person.

  • Robin Mitchell-Boyask says:

    of course, I meant “IN some casual…” Sorry, PAULD, you should have chosen the previous president for such comparisons. If only we had a real opera-lover in the White House, like Rudy Giuliani. NOT!!!!!

  • AlanK says:

    PaulD is absolutely correct. The Obama Whitehouse is a cultural desert. Not only has serious western art music been absent from this WH for all 7.5 years but the his choice for National Endowment of Arts is decidedly middlebrow. At least the previous President put a real scholar in that position I would like to see anyone give an example of Obama’s advocacy of high western culture. To be honest, the last two presidents who really brought culture to the WH were Reagan and Carter, So both bad and good taste transcends party lines. Obama is a philistine regardless of his “so called intelligence”.

  • PaulD says:

    Racism? The topic of the lack of support for classical music by this president and his recent predecessors has been discussed often on this board. Frankly, those who hurl the charge of “racism” in order to defend the current president from criticism have a lot in common with those who believe certain religious leaders to be infallible.

  • Alan Karnovitz says:

    PaulD is exactly right. That Obama’s have not shown the slightest interest in western art music nor in the visual arts. The concerts from the WH have been devoid of “classical artists”. The head of NEA a Broadway producer. To be honest the last presidents who brought high culture to the WH were Regean and Carter Obama is no man of high culture despite his vaunted “great intellect”

  • John Borstlap says:

    “……. Professor Joachim Sauer, who can speak with authority on serialism and modern music and was clearly the one who bought tickets to the more adventurous concerts.” It seems to me that ‘adventurous’ could as easily refer to potentially dangerous exposure of auditory reception channels to painful intrusions as to entering historic territory of postwar German Nachkriegsschuldbewältigungsmusik (‘adventurism’: 1945-1975).