New Theessink album shortly after Evans hit

Hans Theessink has released a new album – only a few months after presenting a record which was created in partnership with Terry Evans.

Theessink and Evans produced “Visions” a fantastic album packed with groovy blues tracks five years ago. Back then, Evans said about collaborating and performing with Theessink: “Austria only gave me the best. People are very receptive and hospitable here. It is always a good experience to come to Austria. Vienna is such a great city.”
hans th
Only recently, the duo’s “Delta Time” hit the shelves. Theessink and Evans recorded it in Los Angeles, California, where Theessink went “to escape the European winter”. The Vienna-based musician has praised Evans for his “unique” guitar style and his “amazing vocal range. (He) can sing in almost any key. (…)”, Theessink said. “Delta Time” features 13 songs, including a version of the Jewel Akens hit “The Birds and the Bees”.

Theessink’s new record is a solo album called “Wishing Well”. Among its 14 songs, fans will discover several excellent tunes penned by Theessink as well as a bunch of great cover versions like “The Ballad of Hollis Brown”. Theessink – who turned 65 earlier this month – said he admired Bob Dylan for being “a master at long narrative ballads”.

Theessink explained he considered himself a “travelling troubadour”. This is more than true, as his busy touring schedule confirms. In the coming weeks, the Dutchman will perform in Graz, Braunau and St. Pölten before hitting the stage in the German city of Munich.

Theessink looks back on over 7,000 concerts. His impressive discography consists of traditional blues records, albums featuring songs which are influenced by African vibes as well as a CD based on the play “Jedermann”.

>> http://www.theessink.com

Book look: John Leake

An American author’s new book confirms his status of being a true expert on the depths and twists of the Austrian soul.

Numerous sociologists, psychologists and self-proclaimed experts on the human mind have tried to sensibly analyse the thinking and way of life of Austrians in order to label the residents of the small country as a people with a tendency of being slightly deranged or just odd.

The case of Jack Unterweger, an infamous serial killer who preferably murdered young women in woodlands outside Vienna, has been used and abused as a sort of confirmation of some of the most controversial theories.

John Leake, a Dallas-born writer, opted for sticking to the facts. Nevertheless, he managed to turn his book about Unterweger called “Entering Hades – The Double Life of a Serial Killer” into a page-turner which easily outplays novels and crime series as far as important factors like thrill and the quality of writing are regarded.

Leake argued: “Life often delivers the best stories. Austrians seem to think something that happened here cannot be interesting. But that CSI crap on TV cannot compete with a story like Jack Unterweger’s.”

Now Leake has released a book about the mysterious disappearance of a professional hockey player from Canada. The young man went missing in the Tyrolean Alps – one of Europe’s most popular winter sport regions – in 1989.1

Unterweger, the vital character of Leake’s 2007 release, committed suicide in prison after being given a life sentence in 1994. In an interview, Leake lashed out at media in the murderer’s home country by branding them as “shitty” and “not well informed”. He said: “They did not know anything about that guy. Some reporters created myths around the person of Jack Unterweger and the rest reproduced them.”

The verdict on reporters’ achievements concerning the topic of his new book might hardly be more flattering since few substantial articles have been released about the case of Duncan McPherson in the country where he might have become the victim of a crime – before Leake began his research.

The result – a 230-page book called “Cold A Long Time” (its German version, “Eiskalter Tod – Unfall oder Verbrechen?” is out now too) – heaves Leake into the league of the best non-fiction authors in the world today. In 42 chapters, he writes about the negative experiences of the missing person’s parents in dealing with local authorities and the police after flying to Austria to find out what happened to their son. Leake is a brilliant investigator, and his new book nothing less but a superb achievement.

Cold A Long Time
By John Leake (www.coldalongtime.com)
German version published by Residenz Verlag (www.residenzverlag.at)

Marathon runners get ready for museum rally

Tens of thousands of runners will come to Austria in less than two weeks. Many of them will bring their families and friends to ensure support during this year’s Vienna City Marathon (VCM, http://www.vienna-marathon.com), an event which has developed into one of Europe’s most important long-distance competitions.

The upcoming edition of the VCM – which will feature world class athletes like Henry Sugut, Jafred Chirchir Kipchumba and Gilbert Yegon – is a truly special one since it marks the event’s 30th anniversary. Participants cannot be held back by the current cold snap from looking forward to the occasion thanks to the exhilarating atmosphere. Another asset of the VCM is that the track leads runs past a large number of sights like Schönbrunn Palace and several museums. Viennese museums’ programmes are further arguments in favour of a visit.1

The Albertina (www.albertina.at), one of the city’s most popular galleries, offers a monumental Max Ernst exhibit as well as an exhibition focusing on Dutch masters like Hieronymus Bosch and Peter Paul Rubens. Portraits, landscape drawings and a rich variety of sketches are on display. All of the pieces of art belong to the museum’s own collection – an extraordinary aspect.

The Wien Museum’s (www.wienmuseum.at) “Unter 10” exhibition has a totally different focus. It includes objects of all kind smaller than 10 centimetres. Opera tickets, miniature portraits, toys and postcards are on display at the tradition-rich museum which is located at Karlsplatz Square in the heart of the city.

The Viennese Belvedere Palace (www.belvedere.at) currently offers baroque paintings and sculptures as well as pieces of art created by late Austrian painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser while the Leopold Museum (www.leopoldmuseum.org) hosts a special exhibit with a focus on clouds as topic in the old days and contemporary art.

Cloudy conditions

One of Austria’s biggest galleries has taken considerable risks by organising an exhibit dealing with clouds.

Vienna’s Leopold Museum is succeeding rather because than despite its unusual decision. “Wolken – Welt des Flüchtigen” (Clouds – Fleeting Worlds) reveals the immense spectrum affected by this topic. Paintings by some of the biggest names in art such as William Turner and Paul Cezanne might have been expected by experienced visitors. However, an installation by Andy Warhol called “Silver Clouds” and screens displaying the global weather situation of the last 48 hours might take some connoisseurs by surprise.

A rather unexpected highlight has been achieved by considering the layout of vinyl record covers. Albums by Pink Floyd and John Lennon as well as a large number of classic orchestra performance recordings are displayed throughout all rooms of the exhibit. Another interesting part of “Wolken” are industrial clouds created by factories and steaming trains.
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Turner and Cezanne just two of the long list of masters which contributed pieces of art linked with the subject of clouds in certain ways. Others are Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Rene Magritte and Egon Schiele – just to name the most renowned ones.

After observing an excellent selection of painting from the era of romanticism, visitors of “Wolken” get confronted with photographs of mushroom clouds created by nuclear assaults and tests as well as by images of volcanic eruptions. The last room of the exhibition is dedicated to young contemporary artists and a large painting by Gerhard Richter.

>> http://www.leopoldmuseum.org

Book look: 1,000 questions, soccer stories and grammar guidance

Duden is best known for its dictionaries. However, 1the publishing house also releases excellent quiz books. “Testen Sie Ihr Wissen!” offers perfect opportunities to check one’s general knowledge. A great aspect of the release is that it works as a tool to spend time usefully on one’s own as well as a both reasonable and entertaining feature of a get-together of friends and family. “Testen Sie Ihr Wissen!” consists of around 1,000 questions. Sports, history, religion, art, chemistry and philosophy are just some of the topical groups featured in the book.

Testen Sie Ihr Wissen!
By Heike Pfersdorff and Jürgen Hess
Published by Duden (www.duden.de)

Gerhard Fischer has benefited from the years as correspondent for northern Europe for the
Süddeutsche Zeitung, a Munich-based broadsheet, in compiling the episodes featured in his new book. “Die unhaltbare Pudelmütze” is a great mixture of mostly entertaining football stories from the cold region. It contains chapters about Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and many players who are not as famous as these soccer legends. While Ibrahimovic has the reputation of a diva, Solskjaer is not only loved for his football skills but also for his modesty and gentleness. The former Norwegian national team striker is best known for launching the notorious knockout strike against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final of 1999. Fischer’s book also holds remarkable information about the experiences of German coaches and players in the north, soccer in Greenland, a match of hippies against police officers – and an event called Mud Football World Cup.

Die unhaltbare Pudelmütze. Fußball-Geschichten aus dem Norden Europas.
By Gerhard Fischer
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

“Zertifikat Deutsch” is a summary of exercises aiming at the B1 language level. Tests regarding German grammar, reading skills and learners’ listening competence are featured in this Langenscheidt release. The book by Cornelia Gick and Reiner Schmidt can be recommended to students with a good base of knowledge. Beginners should choose other publications since a considerable number of exercises featured in “Zertifikat Deutsch” might turn out to be too difficult for them.

Zertifikat Deutsch. Der schnelle Weg.
By Cornelia Gick and Reiner Schmidt
Published by Langenscheidt (www.langenscheidt.de)