© Bernd Brundert
© Bernd Brundert


THOMAS QUASTHOFF & Humanity in War


Remarque’s »All Quiet on the Western Front« speak of the brutality of trench warfare and the deadening effect of being surrounded by death. However, there are also more optimistic accounts, such as the Christmas truce when enemies laid down their weapons and sang carols together. With his legendary baritone voice, Thomas Quasthoff reads from First World War letters and diaries. In alternation, the award-winning young Amatis Piano Trio performs excerpts from the Romantic and modern chamber music repertoire, reflecting the mood of the individual texts.

Young soldiers of various nationalities are represented, as are relatives writing to the front from back home. The texts bear witness to the barbarism of war, and to youthful blue-eyed enthusiasm turning into disillusionment and horror in the face of the bloody reality. But they also reveal humanity and mutual respect – even between enemies. The stories speak of individual fates and give a face to the bare figures. They are accompanied by slow movements from piano trios by composers such as Schubert and Shostakovich, who composed his Piano Trio No. 2 while mourning the death of a friend in the Second World War. Works such as Korngold’s »Dogberry and Verges – March of the Watch«, which caricature the initial enthusiasm of young soldiers for war, lighten the mood.

Amatis Trio

Lea Hausmann violin
Samuel Shepherd violoncello
Mengjie Han piano

Thomas Quasthoff reading

»Humanity in War«
Reading from field post letters and diaries from the First World War
With works by Rebecca Clarke, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Fritz Kreisler, Dmitri Shostakovich, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and Anton Webern


19 March 2024 | BASEL
Landgasthof Riehen

23 May 2024 | COPENHAGEN
Mogens Dahl Konsertsal

25 May 2024 | HAMBURG

27 May 2024 | UTRECHT

31 May 2024 | DRESDEN
Palais im Großen Garten