January 22, 2007
Peer Raben, 1940 - 2007.For years, Peer Raben worked closely with the legendary director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. He not only wrote the music for many of his films (Lili Marleen, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Lola, Veronika Voss, among others) but also worked as a producer. The composer's workshop he founded in Munich has announced that he died on Sunday evening at the age of 66. Raben has been active recently as well: He composed the music, for example, for Wong Kar-wai's 2046. The DPA. Updated through 1/23. Raben's musical choices perfectly complement Fassbinder's narratives, with his parodic twists to light entertainment (in places, an outright indulgence in conscious schmaltz), or else mock-dramatic music. Roger Hillman, "Fassbinder, and Fassbinder/Peer Raben," Screening the Past, March 2001. See also: the site and this terrific photo (1968). Update: "How to describe Raben's music?" asks C Jerry Kutner at Bright Lights After Dark. "It was as bittersweet as a hurdy-gurdy played on a streetcorner in Lang's Berlin, or as melancholy as a tango in a Parisian brothel. He was modern, but only in the sense that early 20th Century composers like Stravinsky, Bartok, and Kurt Weill are considered modern. Just as Fassbinder's films got better and better, so did Raben's music, and his last Fassbinder scores, the ones written in the early 1980s, are his most memorable: Querrelle, Berlin Alexanderplatz (a 15-hour miniseries), and Lola." Update, 1/23: The German papers: Peter Uehling in the Berliner Zeitung, Christian Schröder in Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt.
Posted by dwhudson at January 22, 2007 9:30 AM