Exposé Online banner

Guildenstern — Guildenstern
(Garden of Delights CD 164, 1979/2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-12

Guildenstern Cover art

The story of this band begins in May 1976 when bassist and guitarist Michael Lippert and drummer Claus Lange, together with keyboard player Gerd Schmelzer and guitarist Reinhard Olschanski, all veterans of various bands in the Rüsselscheim area, would form a new group specifically to work on a rock opera based on Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the band taking the name Guildenstern and the rock opera was named Life’s a Stage, sort of a spoof on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The band performed the piece at many shows and got plenty of favorable press, but their dream of releasing an LP of the material never came to be. Over time, keyboardist Bernd Scholl would replace Schmelzer, second guitarist Michael Kuplien would join, and dedicated lead singer Gerd Holfelder would join and later leave, and in the early months of 1980 Guildenstern finally called it a day. Of the recordings at hand, the first eight cuts were recorded in the band’s rehearsal room over a two year period (1978-79) featuring different line-ups, and the final three cuts were taken from one of the band’s most successful concerts in September 1979. The listener needs to keep in mind that these are rehearsal and live recordings that were never made with the intention of being released; Garden of Delights has done a superb job making them as listenable as possible, so Guildenstern can finally be heard by all. So what did they sound like? This is keyboard-oriented progressive rock with some folk-rock and jazz elements thrown into the mix; one can draw some parallels with the Eloy of the Silent Cries and Mighty Echoes era, early Genesis, and perhaps Neuschwanstein or Camel. One can only imagine how great this band would have sounded if their material had been properly produced and released in its day. But it is what it is, and we’re fortunate to even have this archival document. Keyboard player Bernd Scholl would go on to release a dozen albums of electronic and ambient music beginning in 1982 until the present day. Most of the other members have remained musically active through the years as well.


Filed under: New releases, 2011 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Guildenstern

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gods of Electricity - Sundiving – Introducing a world where standard sci-fi is just too darn human to be plausible. If there are any advanced life forms out there taking joy rides through post-supernoval remnants or losing the space...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues