Lockdown things to do with your piano (1): Burn it

Lockdown things to do with your piano (1): Burn it


norman lebrecht

November 24, 2020

Set in on fire. That’ll cheer up the neighbours.

Passers-by at the Cospudener See near Leipzig on Friday afternoon were treated to the sight of Julian Eilenberger and Andreas Güstel, who call themselves extreme pianists, giving the ultimate performance of a four-hand masterpiece.

Stockhausen maybe.

There’s video here.



  • Roman says:

    It is disgusting. A total lack of respect for the instrument.

    • Garry Humphreys says:

      Absolutely agree: not only a lack of respect for the instrument but also for those who made it and for the music that has been performed on it. Makes me feel physically sick, a reaction dating from my childhood when the local Rotary Club used to smash up pianos as ‘entertainment’ to raise money.

    • Karl says:

      Pianos lives matter.

  • DAVID says:

    But it’s just sound, as Cage might say — the sound of a burning piano, which can be appreciated on its own merits, as there is no need to expect anything more from sound than its being mere sound. On a more serious and less sarcastic note, this truly is a shameless display of attention-seeking narcissism masquerading as profundity, and a sign of the rather sad times we are living in. The only appropriate response here is a brilliant line from a comment thread I read a while ago and which I am here copying and pasting: “The world needs more plumbers, you useless c**ts.”

  • Simon Dearsley says:

    Reminds me of a concert at Dartington, late 70s. I was page turning. The pianist asked me if I would mind holding down the sustain pedal. The pianist got up, walked, and turned towards me, he undid his fly and urinated over the strings of the grand piano. I being very embarrassed, closed my eyes. The sound was rather beautiful. The audience suddenly realised what was happening and they screaming and booing created a stampede leaving the great hall. When he was finished, he told me to lift me foot. He turned to an empty hall, aside from John Amis, the Administrator of Dartington, who clapped very, very slowly.

  • Daz says:

    Are they playing the Magic Fire music or Music for the Royal Fireworks?

  • christopher storey says:

    A lot of years ago I was the accompanist in Frauenliebe und Leben at a private party. Next to the piano the hostess had placed an uplighter on the floor. I had sellotaped together the sheets of the longer pieces and kept moving the music across. I became aware about half way through of the audience becoming restive, and soon discovered why … the music had accumulated on the uplighter and was well alight ! Fortunately no lasting harm resulted….

  • Be-Flügelt says:

    You can find the true intention in the article below:
    “The film symbolically shows the decline of the cultural landscape as we know it,” says Andreas Güstel, describing the film’s concern. “The burning grand piano is representative, but is also a symbol for the phoenix rising from the ashes. The artists build something new from the remains of the old instrument. Courage changes everything! “

  • Eustache says:

    Èra di cafonaggine inaudita
    La nostra
    Che permea di sé
    L’ imbelle ipocrita ignorante
    Umanità Occidentale

    con poltiglie culturali
    che del pretesto narcisista
    si fa paladina….
    per gli sciocchi.

    Chiedo venia!
    Ma ho dovuto sfogarmi.