Duke Ellington / Maurice Béjart: Such Sweet Thunder (1960)
Benne Vischer, an old friend of Otto Flückiger, was so nice as to digitize dozens of VHS cassettes from the Otto Flückiger collection and send me a harddisk full of material – on which I found a rare and beautiful document today:
In 1960 Joachim-Ernst Berendt had heard Duke Ellington’s LP “Such Sweet Thunder”, a musical interpretation of William Shakespeare’s works – and tried – succesfully – to convince famous choreographer Maurice Béjart that the music would be ideal for being staged as a ballet.
From 1955 to 1974 Berendt several times a year presented jazz and related music in his series of “Jazz gehört und gesehen” (Jazz heard and seen) TV broadcasts for station Südwestfunk (go here for a complete list of broadcasts, I wish Südwestfunk would start to produce DVDs!). And Béjart’s interpretation was staged in the studios of Südwestfunk in Baden-Baden to be broadcasted in this series. It was brought to the public on September 12, 1960 and it was rebroadcasted at some time in the nineties, when Otto probably recorded it on VHS.