Leonard Cohen’s Gripping Performance Of Avalanche & Suzanne – Hanover 2010

Recording Technique And Stage Presentation Coalesce In 2010 Video Of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne And Avalanche

As the headline indicates, this post showcases one video, Leonard Cohen performing “Suzanne” followed by “Avalanche” at the September 27, 2010 Hanover Concert.

Those two songs alone would make this video significant. “Suzanne” is arguably the most characteristic work in Leonard Cohen’s repertoire, dating back to the beginning of his career as a singer-songwriter, and “Avalanche” is a favorite of many fans, especially those who have admired Cohen over the years, but had been rarely played during the current tour until recently.

The stark clarity of the black and white recording fits seamlessly with the tone, lyrical content, lighting,1 and the staging, which revolves around Cohen accompanying himself on guitar.

From my perspective, the black and white videography significantly enhances the focus of and emotional impact on the viewer.

Leonard Cohen – Suzanne and Avalanche
Hannover: Sept 27, 2010
Video from anniesnake


The same technique, equally well executed, is, however, less successful on a number like “I’m Your Man” in which the other musicians play an important role and mood shifts from somber to satyric. The difference in the two videos is less that “I’m Your Man” is somehow flawed than that it lacks the profound resonance of “Suzanne” and “Avalanche.”

Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
Hannover: Sept 27, 2010
Video from anniesnake


Finally, I include for the contrast and the enjoyment it offers, a nicely done video, shot in color, of “Chelsea Hotel #2.”

Leonard Cohen – Chelsea Hotel #2
Hannover: Sept 27, 2010
Video from anniesnake

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Oct 2, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.

  1. The lighting for the Cohen Concerts is an often overlooked aspect of the presentation. In this context, it is particularly notable because the same dramatic effects that are most compelling for the live audience can prove insurmountable obstacles to still photographers and videographers. []

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