Schiller is a German electronic music band that rose to fame in 1998 and is named after the German poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller. Originally, it was a duo consisting of Christopher von Deylen and Mirko von Schlieffen. Around 2001 or 2002, von Schlieffen left the band, leaving von Deylen the solo member, which will be the focus of this article.
But first, why live videos?
While I like a lot the songs, I find their live performances to be absolutely astonishing, so I’m going to link more videos from live concerts rather than from the albums.
Schiller is an idea that brings together two very important concepts in music: “greatness knows greatness”, and “the total is greater than the sum of the parts”. With this in mind, seeing that every live Schiller concert features great musicians, I’m left to only attend the greatness and the genius behind the Schiller idea.
Over the years, the band has brought on the stage well-known vocalists like Peter Heppner (of Wolfsheim), Isgaard, Sarah Brightman, Moya Brennan (of Clannad), Petra Marklund / September, Kate Havnevik, Anggun, Tricia McTeague, Nena, and tens of many others.
While Schiller collaborated with many singers, on the instrumental part, the components didn’t change as much, or as often, but the names are increbible, in terms of how varied their styles and backgrounds are, but how well they fit in the great scheme of things. Of these, only to name a few: bassists Manfred “Tissy” Thiers (played with Michael Cretu) and Doug Wimbish, guitarists Andreas Binder, Micky Meinert, Mike Rutheford (of Mike and The Mechanics), and drummers like Gary Wallis (Pink Floyd, Mike and The Mechanics), Cliff Hewitt (of Apollo 440), Ralf Gustke, and many many many others.
That’s why the Schiller live performances are always a treat, even if you’re not a fan of electronic music, because Christopher has a way of bringing together people with great talent, and with great chemistry. There’s definitely something that will tickle your ear the right way.
The Duo Years
While still together, the duo released two albums: “Zeitgeist” and “Weltreise”. These feature some of the best songs by Schiller, the first featuring “Das Glockenspiel” , “Ruhe”, while the second one contained “Dream of You” (with Peter Hepner and Isgaard) and the self-titled song “Schiller”
Going solo and live albums
After their separation, Christopher von Deylen continued to release music under the name Schiller, aiming for a more eclectic kind of electronic music, releasing the third album “Leben”. While featuring collaborations with renowned vocalists such as Sarah Brightman, Maya Saban and Kim Sanders, it brought into the spotlight Peter Heppner, the song “Leben… I Feel You” becoming an international number one.
This album was quickly followed by “Live Erleben”, the first live album, containing various versions of songs from “Leben”. Thanks to the wonders of
piracy internet, you can see the entire concert on Youtube
The following years brought more studio albums followed by live albums. And thanks to the wizardry of Youtube not deleting stuff, I also added some links to watch them.
Tag und Nacht (Day and Night)
These live albums are amazing to listen in a row, because they contain some songe like “Leben…I Feel You”, “Ruhe”, “Das Glockenspiel” reimagined in different styles with various instrumentists.
Ruhe - Atemlos Live (2010)
Ruhe - Sonne Live (2012)
Das Glockenspiel - Sonne Live (2012)
Das Glockenspiel - Zeitreise Live (2016)
These lives also contain brilliant songs like “Irrlicht”, “Salton Sea”, “Ein Schöner Tag”, “Sehnsucht”, which I totally recommend listening.
Back to the studio
In the following years, Schiller released another six studio albums and one live album:
- 2016 – Future
- 2016 – Zeitreise (Live Album)
- 2019 – Morgenstund
- 2020 – Colors (as Christopher von Deylen)
- 2021 – Summer in Berlin
- 2021 – Berlin Moskau: The Ultimate Experience
- 2021 – Epic
While all of these bring new great music, Morgenstund stands above all, featuring great collaborations with Tricia McTeague, Jan Blomqvist, Tangerine Dream, Nena and Giorgio Moroder.
One of my favourite songs is “Universe”, rendered in a sublime version, with Gary Wallis, Doug Wimbish, Scott McKeon, Tricia McTeague, and Sophie Hiller. And it’s recorded during a rehearsal, which shows the amazing chemistry between the people involved.
The “Summer in Berlin” collaboration with Alphaville brought new life into the 1984 song, its reinterpretation hitting the music TV and radio stations, as well as the internet.
SCHILLER Live 2019: „Universe"
SCHILLER x ALPHAVILLE: „Summer in Berlin”
Back in 2019, I had the chance to see Schiller live in Bucharest, although he didn’t come with a full band, just a more instrumental set (which was still awesome), bringing with himself guest musicians Cédric Monnier and Robin Tadic. However, I can’t wait for the 2023 tour in Germany, maybe I’ll go to a concert or two.