Monday, 18 May 2009
Off the shelf: Hoffnung 9
This tour de force ensemble is from the endpapers of ‘The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra’. You’ll need to click on it to see any detail, and even then you may have difficulty. The book is fairly small so much of the detail is fairly obscure anyway. Among those fairly obscure details are: a bird nesting in a bassoon; a double bass being played by two short people, one bowing, one fingering; three trombonists that have got their slides tangled up; and a very long flute being played by twins.
Hoffnung was born in Berlin and came to London as a refugee in 1939 at the age of fourteen. He was difficult to control as a schoolboy and his drawings caused concern because they were full of violence and destruction. But if you judged the state of the world from his cartoons you might think there was no such thing as violence and destruction. It turned out to be the fact that he was drawing that was important, not the content.