The DDR was created on October 11th 1949 with a Parliament in East Berlin and a Nationale Volksarmee whose music was provided by Berlin’s Zentrales Orchester and Stabsmusikkorps und Spielmannszug der Stadkommandantur Berlin down to 19 Musikkorps across 4 branches of East Germany’s military service.
Stabsmusikkorps Kommandantur Berlin was the designated army band for the Wachregiment ‘Friedrich Engels’, undertaking all military functions at Schönefeld Airport & in the city of Berlin, whilst 'non-military' ceremonies involving Western dignitaries were undertaken by the orchestra of the 'non-NVA' Ministry of State Security's crack unit tasked with defence of the Communist Party, the Wachregiment 'Feliks Dzierzynski'
The Army had a Stabsmusikkorps and 8 Musikkorps, the Air Force & Air Defence Arm a Stabsmusikkorps & a Musikkorps, the Navy had 1 Stabsmusikkorps & 2 Musikkorps and the Border Troops had 1 Stabsmusikkorps & 3 Musikkorps and, to fulfil the state’s political demands, the ‘Erich-Weinert Ensemble’ was established in 1950 as an ‘artistic institution of the NVA.’
Many former Wehrmacht ‘founding fathers’ of East German military music had served under the former war-time Air Force Head of Music, Prof. Husadel and that exciting ‘Luftwaffe feel’ could still be heard in the post-war performances of the elite Berlin Volkspolizei band, the Zentrales Orchester des MdI, (Ministerium des Innern), notable for its pre-‘45 feel of a strident janissary beat with distinctive high-pitched twirls & embellishments of the woodwind section’s clarinets & piccolos!
DDR Musikkorps details were a state secret and a band would often appear, record an album and disappear into the mists, leaving East German military music as something of an enigma during the days of the Cold War; but Tomahawk Films are pleased to release this exciting & definitive mix of new & old marches in the true German military tradition, including the unique sound of the Kamfpgruppen, (Communist Territorial Army), playing the Schalmei, distinctive multi-horn evoking memories of the Nazi & Communist street fighting days of the 1930s and this exciting CD offers 18 rare tracks including:
Fanfarenklänge - Im Paradeschritt, - Lied der Nationalen Volksarmee - Berlin Bleibt Rot - Fichte Marsch - Nationalhymne - Volksmarine Marsch - ‘Stasi’ Wachregiments Lied - Parademarsch Nr.1 and a secret and rather emotive live recording of the Wachregiment ‘Friedrich Engels’ changing the guard at Strausberg Barracks.