The most poignant of concerts has taken place in Germany, just east of Berlin, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. In 1945, the terrible battle of Seelow Heights cost the lives of tens of thousands of Russians, Poles and Germans, before triggering the final fall of Berlin. The performance of the Brandenburg State Orchestra, at the Seelow Heights memorial, was given under strict pandemic safety conditions.
The chosen programme was Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony, written some three years before the battle for Seelow Heights. Jörg Peter Weigle, conductor of the State Orchestra, describes how Shostakovich managed to capture the terrible experiences of war in music. “The point is that Shostakovich wants to make clear to us to ‘fight back against the beginnings’,” says Weigle. The orchestra performed amongst the old tanks and other military equipment that form the permanent display at the memorial.
Audio production for the show was handled by artecom.plus. “This event was already planned before coronavirus became an issue,” explains Jens Richter from artecom.plus. “A thelthough audience area did not change, the amount of seating had to be reduced in accordance with safety requirements. We were able to go ahead with the original sound reinforcement design.”
For main PA, Richter used a GEO M12 system, with a L/R configuration of line arrays each with 8x GEO M1210 and a single M1220 module. 8x MSUB18s provided the subbass reinforcement. The system was powered by 6x NXAMP4x4 controller-amplifiers, remotely controlled by NEXO’s NeMo software. A delay system was in place, with 12 pieces of GEO M620 compact line array modules.
More GEO M6 cabinets were used for the nearfill and monitoring system, augmented by 4x ID24s. FOH and monitor control were handled from a Yamaha CL5 digital console, with a RIO 3224-D and 2x TIO 1608-D units to run the Dante network.
The concert had a special resonance for NEXO’s sales manager in Germany, Reinhard Steger, who vividly remembers, “The battle on the Seelower Heights at the end of World War II was the largest battle on German soil. This sad record has shaped me since I was a child and it is right and important not to forget the horrors of war. In the 2nd or 3rd generation we do not directly understand the suffering experienced there directly, we have to learn from history books or contemporary witnesses. The victims are still not identified and their descendants are looking for the deceased. We must not forget what happened in this place, what happened in the whole war.”
Credit: production by artecom Veranstaltungs GmbH & Co. KG. Photography by Thorsten Elger.