(#36) — Conchita WURST’s ‘Mariandl’, Belvedere Museum, Wien — December, 2018
I must admit, the first time I heard Conchita WURST’s cover of ‘Mariandl‘, the thought that flew into my mind was “Why?”.
Sure, it’s a pretty song, and it was filmed in a beautiful location at the Belvedere Museum in front of Gustav Klimt’s famous painting ‘The Kiss’.
The video is also nicely shot from a variety of angles, and interspersed with clips of Conchita admiring some of the world’s most famous paintings that just happen to hang in the museum.
But, out of all the songs she could have chosen for a live cover, why this one? A song most outside Austria would not be familiar with (I wasn’t), and a song quite old-fashioned in sound and feel.
Conchita’s ‘Mariandl‘ sung at the request of Waltraut Haas
I then did some research and discovered the Austrian actress and singer Waltraut Haas had apparently asked Conchita if she would sing the song.
Haas herself had played the role of Mariandl in the 1961 film of the same name, and so the song must mean a lot to her.
Conchita, being as lovely a person as she is, agreed to sing it. Then decided performing it in front of ‘The Kiss‘ would be a fitting location for the song.
But what is interesting about Conchita’s live performance of ‘Mariandl‘ is that, as much as I heard it once and thought “Not something I’d want to listen to again”, a few days later I had downloaded the audio file and was listening to it again and again as I speed-walked around Vienna.
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mariandl 🎹 thank you @goriupmusic for the arrangement and playing the piano so wonderfully, @jazztime.film for capturing & editing the images, and @edosmusik for picking up the sound. recorded live with the stunning backdrop of gustav klimt's KISS at @belvederemuseum with a grand piano courtesy by @klavierhausfoerstl. #theunstoppables #linkinbio
Because what Conchita’s lovely live performance of ‘Mariandl‘ illustrates is what a stunningly rich voice she owns, and just how versatile of a singer her creator Tom Neuwirth is.
After all, he can belt out Prince’s ‘Purple Rain‘ like the song was written for him.
He is as at home with Streisand’s massive ballad ‘The Way We Were‘ as he is with Alanis Morissette’s alt rock number ‘Uninvited‘, and his recently released electro pop songs under his new persona WURST are as vocally superb as any other electro pop artist that’s been creating them for years.
Neuwirth is also able to perform more traditional German-language songs like Hildegard Knef’s ‘Für mich soll’s rote Rosen regnen‘, or an older English language song like Udo Jürgens’ ‘Walk Away‘ (watch Conchita’s superb live performance here), and perfectly convey the deep emotions attached to these songs as if he was living them.
He does the same with ‘Mariandl‘.
And, yes, the song is beautiful, and so very very Austrian — which I love.
Which is why I am putting Conchita’s ‘Mariandl‘ at #36 on my Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances list.
Because it is a gorgeous live performance that did not get much attention when the video was uploaded to her YouTube channel. And it should have done.
Oh and, by the way, this is the first time the Belevedere Museum’s ‘The Kiss‘ has been used as the backdrop for a song. Gotta love all those ‘firsts’ this amazing artist keeps racking up.
Thanks for reading. Watch and listen to Conchita sing ‘Mariandl‘ in her video below, and I’ll be back with #35 on my Conchita WURST’s Top 40 Best Live Performances list on Tuesday.
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