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A liver transplant patient turned up to her operation appointment at a German hospital with a bottle of vodka in her bag, a court has heard.

East shakes as Schneider runs: Cities such as Leipzig face the worst damage if the edifice collapses. Steve Crawshaw in Bonn assesses the ramifications

A LACONIC press release contained the bombshell. 'To our surprise and dismay Dr Jurgen Schneider has informed the board of Dr Jurgen Schneider AG that he has become ill over Easter and that, on the advice of doctors, he must immediately withdraw from active involvement in the business. We do not know his whereabouts.'

Appeals: The Dresden Trust

A detail from a 19th-century German print of the Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, in Dresden, Germany.

ARTS / Time changes: The 1989 revolution made Kurt Masur a star, and his life a struggle. Michael White goes to Leipzig to meet the conductor who helped redraw the map of Europe

IF LEIPZIG were a lovelier city, you could describe it as emerging from a Sleeping Beauty complex. One of the great names on the map of music history - a home to Bach, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Wagner - it lost most of its past to Allied bombers and much of the rest to 40 years of wilful neglect by the GDR. Wagner's birthplace is a plaque on a downmarket department store, the Mendelssohn house is a ruin and the famous University Church, built in 1229, was replaced in 1968 by a drab administration block.

MUSIC / Far from the drawing-room: Anthony Payne hears the Carmina Quartet and the Nash Ensemble play Mendelssohn at the Wigmore Hall

No 12 Goldschmidtstrasse, Leipzig, is the only house still standing to have been lived in by Mendelssohn. Time has not dealt kindly with it, and after long neglect it is in dire need of restoration. Although little money is currently available in eastern Germany for such a project, the International Mendelssohn Foundation has bought the house with a view to converting it into a cultural centre. It is a worthy enterprise, and the last concert in the Nash Concert Society's Leipzig Gewandhaus 250th Anniversary Series staged at Wigmore Hall on Tuesday, was given in support.

Police call

The Interior Minister of the eastern German state of Saxony, Heinz Eggert, said he wants Poles and Czechs attached to his police force to combat a flood of car thefts to Eastern Europe, Reuter reports from Bonn.

Hi-tech jigsaw raises Dresden church from ruins: Allied bombing left the Frauenkirche a mountain of rubble. Now, with the aid of computers, it is being pieced together bit by bit, writes Steve Crawshaw in Dresden

A STONE cherub's head lies in the corridor of a prefabricated building in the centre of Dresden. It looks like a neglected door-stopper. But the 18th-century cherub is not neglected; its days of glory are to come again. Excavated from rubble this month, it will form part of one of the most ambitious rebuilding projects ever undertaken.

CLASSICAL MUSIC / The master singers of Britain: The event of the opera season: Friday night's opening of the new 'Meistersinger'

WAGNER'S Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg is a great work in every sense: in stature, in length (four and a half hours of music, five and a quarter if you're Reggie Goodall), and in the discomfort it visits on critics. During Act I, I don't dare to take my pen out; and I only do it surreptitiously thereafter. Sixtus Beckmesser scratching his slate is a dreadful spectre for us all.

Leipzig marchers look back with anger and pride: Life as 'Germans' has been difficult for the citizens of the eastern city that led the march to change, writes Steve Crawshaw

'OF course I remember,' she said with a broad smile. 'Such times, you can never forget.' Until this week, the first and last time that I had spoken with Marret Feilhauer was for less than a minute at around 1.30am on the night of 9 October 1989, while East German secret policemen stood in the hotel foyer waiting to throw me out of the country. My offence: to have been present for a crucial demonstration, where a bloodbath was narrowly averted.

OPERA / Taking the fur out of mothballs: Siegfried Matthus is that rarity, a popular modern opera composer. Antony Peattie met him

A popular new opera? It seems, well, unlikely. Generally, new operas are commissioned out of duty ('or the repertory will die') and mounted economically, once, before being buried in obscurity. Yet here is an exception: Cornet Christoph Rilke's Song of Love and Death is an opera with an unfashionably long title by Siegfried Matthus (a composer who was big in East Germany but more or less unknown here), which is now receiving its 11th new production in the eight years since it was premiered in Dresden. Those new productions have taken it to audiences as far apart as Alessandria in Italy, Manhattan and Munich. And each occasion has garnered great reviews and even more effective word-of-mouth: audiences grow, once they hear that the performance provides that rare experience, an emotional, theatrical and intelligent evening at the opera.

MUSIC / New out of old: Tess Knighton on Schumann premieres revisited

Historically aware performances of Schumann and Mendelssohn are still comparatively rare, and the Hanover Band's Queen Elizabeth Hall programme offered an intriguing prospect - a reconstruction of the Leipzig Gewandhaus concert which took place under Mendelssohn's direction on 6 December 1841. It included new works by himself, Schumann - the Overture, Scherzo and Finale and the first version of the Fourth Symphony - and Liszt, as well as an aria from Mozart's Don Giovanni. The juxtaposition of new and old was a distinguishing feature of Mendelssohn's series at the Gewandhaus. That same year he gave a performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion there - making him the earliest early music revivalist.

Immigrant killed in Dresden hostel fire

A Mozambican immigrant died of severe burns yesterday following a fire in a home for foreigners in the eastern German city of Dresden, AFP reports from Dresden.

E German pay deal agreed

(First Edition)

German deal

Engineering industry negotiators in the east German state of Saxony-Anhalt agreed to a wage deal based on a compromise reached in neighbouring Saxony last week, Reuters reports from Magdeburg. The Saxony deal will bring wages up to 80 per cent of west German levels by the end of the year, but puts full parity with west German pay back by two years, until 1996.

German unions win pay battle: Move towards east-west parity confirmed

GERMAN unions yesterday declared themselves 'very happy' with a deal by which eastern German industrial workers will receive a 22 per cent wage rise by the end of this year, thus belatedly restoring a partial version of the wage deal agreed between employers and unions in 1991. Employers had wanted to tear up the old agreement entirely. A spokesman for the employers admitted yesterday that this had been a 'painful compromise'.
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