Rooftop alphorns power virus-safe concert in Germany

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DRESDEN, Germany (AP) — Musicians have taken to the roofs of apartment blocs with alphorns in the German city of Dresden to perform a concert featuring distant harmonies at a time when cultural events have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dresdner Sinfoniker orchestra’s performance on Saturday, titled “The Sky above Prohlis,” saw 16 alphorns, nine trumpets and four tubas set up nearly 50 meters (164 feet) above the ground on the roofs of tower blocks in the city’s Prohlis district. Drums and other percussion instruments were set at a nearby car park on top of a shopping center.

Organizers say the roughly one-hour performance, which comes as social distancing rules remain in place in Germany as well as some restrictions on cultural events, was made up of compositions which “all embrace the idea that several groups of musicians communicate over great distances.”

They said the event “is also an answer to the pandemic crisis,” with musicians hundreds of meters apart.

Local people took in the show from balconies and in the district’s streets.

Saturday’s program included “Fanfare,” composed for the 1984 Olympic Games by John Williams, a work from 400 years earlier by Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli and a newly commissioned piece by Markus Lehmann-Horn.

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