Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2012/2013 Season Opening: Musikfest Berlin 2012

With this post my reviews for 2012/2013 season shall begin. From 31st of August 'til 18th of September 2012 the classical music institution in Berlin start the new season with a joint-season opening in a form of festival. This year, the Berlin Musikfest program is dedicated to celebrate the works of many modern american composers. From so many concerts during this festival, I only visited two with addition of a konzertant.

So here they are:

1. Schönberg: AARON & MOSES (02.09.2012, Philharmonie)

Seriously, I've never heard of this work before. From all three konzertant of this festival (others are Adams' NIXON IN CHINA and Gershwinn's PORGY & BESS) this konzertant is the least celebrated (by not being sold out) but at the same time it came with this whole programs of movies, art and discussion forum to support the material of this opera
As the title implies, the opera focuses on the conflict between Moses as the 'speaker of the Word of God' and Aaron who is more like the "translator" and the "bridge" who delivers Moses' words to the Israelite
Highlights from the opera itself is the orgy scene of the Isralite while waiting for Moses coming down from the Mount Sinai. The music creates an explicit scene and it's very graphic at the same time, that the music offers a "movie" kinda like point of view of the event, rather than opera's. 
Handling this very difficult work, the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg along with Europachorakademie presents a very grandiose interpretation and execution. Thanks to the powerful vocals of our men of the hour, Franz Grundheber as Moses and Andreas Conrad as Aaron, the hours spent watching this work didn't only turn into a musical magic, but rather gave a raw perspective & great insight to the real event that shaped the Jewish belief and culture, so as Christianity.

Rating: 9/10

-Dirigent: Mariss Jansons

Drum rolls for "THE BEST ORCHESTRA OF THE WORLD" (-Grammophone)!!!
I'm excited from top to toe for this. Who could be better than Mariss Jansons, the principal conductor himself, to lead this pack of wonderful musicians? The stars align so right. 
The works performed that night are:

Arnold Schönberg:

A Survivor from Warsaw op. 46 für Sprecher, Männerchor und Orchester

Igor Strawinsky:
Symphonie des Psaumes für Chor und Orchester

-With the help of Grammy-winning Rundfukchor Berlin, thr orchester has made quite an interpretation of the work. 

Samuel Barber:
Adagio für Streichorchester
-Simply beautiful. Nuff said.

Edgard Varèse:
Amériques für großes Orchester
-A very interesting choice of work that already got me excited even before hearing. The interpretation of this works sounded very huge and grand, at the same time didn't lose the energy 

Mariss Jansons © Marco Borggreve

Overall, I think it's a very interesting concert. I just don't really feel the musical connection between these pieces. It may distract the concert flow to me personally. At the same time, I'm sure, there are tons of other pieces, that are more suitable to  showcase the genius ability of this magnificent orchestra.

Basically, I spent the night with the right orchestra with quite a wrong repertoire. 

Rating: 7/10

3. Konzerthausorchester Berlin
Isabelle Faust
Emilio Pomarico

No more Feldman please. His "Violin and Orchestra", performed that night, made me dizzy and bored. I really can't find the substance of the piece. I hate the piece. Sorry, new music fans. The blame's on me.

Schubert's Seventh ended up being mediocre. Well, it seems the piece is injected to the repertoire so people would come anyway, even though they don't know who the hell is Feldman.

Quite a shame.

Rating: 5/10

It's not all glitter and gay, but I'm sure looking forward for next year's.

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