The Ballhaus Riviera was built in 1895 and by the 1920’s was a hotspot during the cultural boom of the Weimar Republic. For musicians of the time, this was one of ‘the places to play’. After The Second World War the Ballhaus remained open, although it’s heyday had definitely past. After the reunification of Germany the building fell into disuse and decay .
Augustin Barrios was a Paraguayan composer who lived from 1885 to 1944. He is one of the finest guitar composers.
The Dictator’s Waltz – a concept waltz by Douglas MacGregor
This recording was made at the abandoned Krampnitz military base near Potsdam in Germany. Krampnitz is a huge abandoned military complex. It was originally used by the Nazis to train cavalry officers and after the war was taken over and used as a military base by the Soviets. The camp was abandoned in 1992 after the collapse of the USSR
This recording was made in what appears to be the ballroom of the officers ‘club’. The room is in remarkably good condition and sounds amazing.
The Dictator’s Waltz is a piece of music directed at dictators and other such people, hence the ballroom of a Nazi military camp seemed like the perfect location for a field recording. You can even see two crumbling stone eagles in the background.
For more info/photos about/of Krampnitz and other interesting places around Berlin here is a great wee blog: Abandoned Berlin