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Tabea Zimmermann

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kenneth Woods- A View From the Podium

July 12

The All-Time Official Greatest Unknown Violin Concertos. These 10 Fantastic Pieces are Going To Completely BLOW YOUR MIND

Kenneth Woods- A View From the PodiumEver wonder what sort of concertos exist for the violin beyond the marvelous mainstays from Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Brahms and Sibelius? Well- there’s a lot out there. There are a number of tremendous 20th. C concerti that are now pretty well established in the repertoire, such as those by Shostakovich (particularly his First), Barber, Berg, Bartók (particularly his Second) and Prokofiev. Then there are those works which are still relatively rarely sighted in the concert hall, but have been recorded and discussed quite broadly- Korngold’s, Shostakovich’s Second (even greater than the First), the Khachaturian (not a fan!). More recently, there are modern classics by Lutoslawski, John Adams, John Corigliano and Alfred Schnittke. All major works, none heard as often as I’d like live, but all well known among musicians and readily available on disc. Today we’re looking farther out, towards the uncharted frontier of the repertoire. Of course, there’s no point in directing you towards completely obscure works- if you can’t listen to them, there’s really no point. Here then are 10 pieces you should listen to today. If you can buy the CD, you should- downloading a stream does nothing to support future recordings of unknown music. Vote with your pocketbook for a recording industry that continues to make great music widely available. There’s a lot more out there. This list, while “official” and “all time” is by no means exclusive or complete. Which works do you think are the unknown gems of the violin repertoire? Share your thoughts in the comments. The numbering/ordering of the 10 works on this list is completely arbitrary. Schumann Violin Concerto Schumann wrote his final orchestral work for his very close friend, the violinist Joseph Joachim. Joachim expressed great early enthusiasm for the piece, but made a fool of himself during a run through of it with orchestra and then suppressed the work, stipulating it could only be published 100 years after his death. The story of how the work came to light is one of the strangest and funniest in music history. The Violin Concerto has none of the quicksilver wit or boundless fluency of rhetoric that so animates Schumann’s early piano music. Instead, it is austere, strange and often incredibly beautiful music. The slow movement may well be the most haunting few minutes of music written in the 19th C- I can scarcely think of anything so sad and fragile. McCabe- Violin Concerto no. 2 John McCabe’s death in 2015 was a devastating blow to British musical life. While by no means an unknown composer, the sheer magnitude of his accomplishment remains somewhat under recognized simply because so many of his major pieces await commercial recordings and regular performances. One such work is his Second Violin Concerto, a large-scale, bold, magnificent work which combines a sort of Bartókian intensity and strength of character with a potent lyrical impulse. It was one of the pieces that those of us who admired and loved John were scrambling to record before he died. I’m still scrambling. Gál- Violin Concerto Yes- I am biased. This was the first piece we recorded for my first commercial CD as a conductor (for Avie). It was premiered in 1933 in the days just before Hitler’s ascension to power, when Gál was still one of the leading composers of the German-speaking world. On that occasion, it was performed by the leading German violinist of the day, Georg kulenkampff with the legendary conductor Fritz Busch conducting the Dresden Staatskapelle. The work had to wait 71 years for a second performance. The infinitely seductive, magical opening melody sets the tone for a work of sublime lyricism. It’s been compared often to the now well-established Korngold Concerto, a work I’ve also always loved. The Gál is a deeper, greater, more important work. More about the piece and the recording here Gál- Concertino for Violin and Strings Okay, I know the sceptics among you are starting to raise eyebrows. Two Gál concertos in a row on this list? Surely the author is just trying to sell CDs. Say what you will-Gál’s Concertino for Violin and Strings is that good of a piece. I dare say, it’s an even greater work than his magnificent Violin Concerto. And what’s wrong with selling CD’s anyway? The six years since the completion of the Violin Concerto had seen Gál’s life turned upside down. Written just after his family had fled to the UK, it is a work of serene beauty. Gál’s daughter writes of the work that “Gál did not believe in music as a sounding board for the chaos outside, but rather as a place of refuge from the chaos and an affirmation of transcendent values…” Be sure to listen to the astonishing fugue- it’s amazing music, and I was quite pleased with how it turned out in the recording. Critical summary here Schwertsik- Violin Concerto One of the highlights of my 2015-6 season (and there were actually quite a few) was getting my first chance to conduct the music of Kurt Schwertsik. I heard his Nachtmusiken at the Mahler in Manchester festival in 2010 and thought it would be the perfect work with which to launch my tenure at the Colorado MahlerFest. Getting to know more of Kurt’s wise, sophisticated and ridiculously beautiful music has been a joyful by-product of that decision, and one of the most thrilling of his pieces is his Violin Concerto no. 2, “Alayzin and Sacromonte” dedicated to his wife Christa (“my personal advisor”). Schwertsik’s wonderfully enigmatic introduction to the work takes the form of a poem: Under southern skies: Birdcalls at the break of dawn Olive trees in the fragrant heat The wild colors of the dusk The immensity of space in the night Through the curtain of stars …. I almost forgot the palms Weinberg- Violin Concerto It’s easy to see parallels in the lives of Hans Gál and Mieczyslaw Weinberg- both victims of Nazi oppression who had to rebuild their lives in foreign lands. While Gál escaped to the UK, Weinberg went east, settling in the Soviet Union where he became a friend and duo partner of Shostakovich and went on to compose an enormous amount of music. Like Gál, people are finally starting to rediscover and re-evaluate his vast output, and the Violin Concerto is one of his more wonderful offerings. However, where Gál’s music often comes across as a refuge from the horrors of the world, Weinberg’s Violin Concerto plunges us right into the deep end, a sound world of raw emotion and brutal contrast. It’s high stakes, high powered, very moving stuff. Hartmann- Concerto funebre Hartmann’s Concerto may not really belong on this list. It’s been recorded several times and is something of a modern classic among connoisseurs. On the other hand, Harmann’s music seems all but un-programmable outside of the German-speaking world. I first encountered Hartmann via his magnificent First String Quartet. I heard the piece on the radio- my first reaction was that it seemed there was a Bartók String Quartet I didn’t know, but I quickly detected a distinct musical personality in the music and sat in the car till the end of the work to find out what I was hearing. Within a few days I’d tracked down both quartets, the symphonies and much of the rest of his output and have been trying to perform it, without success, ever since. Written at almost exactly the same time as Gál’s Concertino, Hartmann explores darker places. Maybe some advocacy for this, probably his best-known piece, can help open the doors to more regular performances of his music in the rest of the world. Busoni- Violin Concerto 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Busoni, one of the most influential musical thinkers of the early 20th C. There’s been a certain amount of criticism voiced over the fact that his music will go un-played at this year’s Proms, but it’s not generally easy music to programme. His best known work is his monumental Piano Concerto, a nearly 2 hour long musical behemoth for piano, huge orchestra and male voice choir. The Proms are one of the few organizations that could do it justice, but it would have been a massive commitment of resources. Busoni’s relatively early Violin Concerto is a more user-friendly, if less ambitious, work. I conducted it recently and found it to be rewarding for both the audience and the orchestra. The influence of Brahms and Bruch is easy to spot, and there are some charmingly blatant quotes from the Brahms Violin Concerto and his Third Symphony. Busoni lacks the kind of melodic genius that Bruch and Brahms had in spades, but this concerto is a superbly effective virtuoso vehicle nonetheless, and it has a certain quirky humor to it that I find irresistible. Played by someone like the ever-astonishing Frank Peter Zimmermann, it’s a true tour de force. Einojuhani Rautavaara- Violin Concerto (1976-7) I first encountered Rautavaara’s music at Aspen in the 1990’s. We played Angels and Visitations with a ridiculously young conductor on the podium who had a gift for irritating the players like nobody I’ve ever seen. In spite of everyone’s foul mood, the Rautavaara made a huge impression on many of us, and I’ve been struck again and again by the beauty and power of his music. When I raced out to buy Angels and Visitations, I discovered the Violin Concerto in a fantastic performance by Elmar Olivera. Find it. Buy it. Deborah Pritcard- Violin Concerto “Wall of Water”, In Response to the Paintings of Maggi Hambling The first work we commissioned in my time at the ESO turned out to be a gem. Written for the violinist Harriet Mackenzie, Pritchard as written synaesthetically in response to the remarkable series of paintings by Maggi Habling, “Walls of Water.” Pritchard’s one movement concerto is a dark and intense work, but also a very beautiful one. I don’t think it will stay on an list of “unknown works” for very long. In fact, I think it’s not unreasonable to believe that all ten of these pieces will soon be off this list. Gramophone review here ESO micro-site about the project here Hans Gál- Violin Concerto, Concertino for Violin and Strings, Triptych for Orchestra £12.00 Add to cart Deborah Pritchard- Wall of Water £7.00 Add to cart

Meeting in Music

July 9

Hindemith, Honegger, and Friends

"The Art of the Viola" Hindemith: Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 11, No. 4 Beethoven: Duo for Viola and Cello in E flat major 'with Two Eyeglasses', WoO 32 Schumann: Märchenerzählungen for Clarinet, Viola and Piano Op. 132 Händel: Passacaglia for Violin and Viola Britten: Lachrymae Op. 48 - Reflections on a song by Dowland for Viola and Piano Heinrich Koll, Viola - Madoka Inui, Piano - Peter Schmidl, Clarinet - Alexandra Koll, Violin - Milan Karanovic, Cello Recorded 2004 [65:01] Arthur HONEGGER: Complete Violin Sonatas Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor, H. 3 (1912) Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, H. 17 (1916-18) Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, H. 24 (1919) Sonata for Solo Violin in D minor, H. 143 (1940) Laurence Kayaleh, Violin - Paul Stewart, Piano Recorded 2008 [73:02] Paul HINDEMITH: Kammermusik 1-7, Der Schwanendreher Kammermusik No.1 Op.24 No.1 Kammermusik No.2 Op.36 No.1 Kammermusik No.3 Op.36 No.2 Kammermusik No.4 Op.36 No.3 Kammermusik No.5 Op.36 No.4 Kammermusik No.6 Op.46 No.1 Kammermusik No.7 Op.46 No.2 Der Schwanendreher Recorded 1989, 1996, 1999 Lars Vogt, piano - Georg Faust, cello - Kolja Blacher, violin Wolfram Christ, viola, viola d'amore - Tabea Zimmermann, viola - Wayne Marshall, organ Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, David Shallon 2 CDs [71:12] + [77:50] THE ART OF THE VIOLA Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963): [1] Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 11, No. 4 16:03 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1779-1827): Duo for Viola and Cello in E flat major 'with Two Eyeglasses', WoO 32 13:14 [2] Allegro 9:08 [3] Minuetto: Allegretto 4:06 Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856): Märchenerzählungen for Clarinet, Viola and Piano Op. 132 13:59 [4] Lebhaft, nicht zu schnell 2:46 [5] Lebhaft und sehr markiert 3:07 [6] Ruhiges Tempo, mit zartem Ausdruck 3:31 [7] Lebhaft, sehr markiert - etwas ruhiges Tempo 4:36 George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) / Johan HALVORSEN (1864-1935): [8] Passacaglia for Violin and Viola 7:39 Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976): [9] Lachrymae Op. 48 - Reflections on a song by Dowland for Viola and Piano 13:41 Playing Time: 65:01 Heinrich Koll, Viola Madoka Inui, Piano Peter Schmidl, Clarinet Alexandra Koll, Violin Milan Karanovic, Cello Recorded at ORF Funkhaus Vienna, Studio 2, 19th-22nd May, 2004 Producer: Alfred Treiber - Recording Supervisor: Erich Hofmann Sound engineer: Josef Schütz - Editor: Elmar Peinelt Cover Photo: Koll and Inui, by Martin Vukovits (P) & (C) 2004 Naxos Rights International Ltd Naxos Philharmonic Series naxos 8.557606 Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955) Complete Violin Sonatas Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor, H. 3 (1912) 24:35 [01] Largo - Agitato - Largo assai 10:36 [02] Molto adagio 5:28 [03] Sostenuto - Allegro - Maestoso 8:31 Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, H. 17 (1916-18) 21:31 (dedicated to Andrée Vaurabourg) [04] Andante sostenuto 8:11 [05] Presto 5:02 [06] Adagio - Quasi allegro - Allegro assai - Adagio 8:18 Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano, H. 24 (1919) 11:56 (dedicated to Fernande Capelle) [07] Allegro cantabile 4:48 [08] Larghetto 4:22 [09] Vivace assai - Presto 2:46 Sonata for Solo Violin in D minor, H. 143 (1940) 14:59 [10] Allegro 6:13 [11] Largo 2:55 [12] Allegretto grazioso 1:51 [13] Presto 4:00 Playing Time: 73:02 Laurence Kayaleh, Violin Paul Stewart, Piano Recorded in Pollack Hall, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, from 19th to 21st December, 2008 Producer, Engineer and Editor: Jason O'Connell Editing Engineer: Jeremy Tusz Cover Picture: Spiral staircase in the Arc de Triomphe, Paris DDD (P) 2009 (C) 2010 Naxos Rights International Ltd. naxos 8.572192 Paul Hindemith 1895-1962 Compact Disc 1 71.12 Kammermusik No.1 Op.24 No.1 1 I. Sehr schnell und wild 1.07 2 II. Mäßig schnelle Halbe. Sehr streng im Rhythmus 3.03 3 III. Quartett. Sehr langsam und mit Ausdruck 3.56 4 IV. Finale: 1921. Lebhaft 6.04 Kammermusik No.2 Op.36 No.1 5 I. Sehr lebhafte Achtel 3.10 6 II. Sehr langsame Achtel - Etwa doppelt so schnell - Im ersten Zeitmaß (doppelt so langsam) 8.36 7 III. Kleines Potpourri: Sehr lebhafte Viertel 1.37 8 IV. Finale: Schnelle Viertel - Fugato. Ein wenig ruhiger - Im Hauptzeitmaß 5.39 Lars Vogt piano Kammermusik No.3 Op.36 No.2 9 I. Majestätisch und stark. Mäßig schnelle Achtel 2.19 10 II. Lebhaft und lustig 4.14 11 III. Sehr ruhige und gemessen schreitende Viertel - Im gleichen reihigen Zeitmaß - Sehr ruhig 7.16 12 IV. Mäßig bewegte Halbe. Munter, aber immer gemächlich 2.49 Georg Faust cello Kammermusik No.4 Op.36 No.3 13 I. Signal. Breite, majestätische Halbe 2.07 14 II. Sehr lebhaft 5.41 15 III. Nachtstuck. Mäßig schnelle Achtel 7.54 16 IV. Lebhafte Viertel - 3.25 17 V. So schnell wie möglich 2.04 Kolja Blacher violin Compact Disc 2 77.50 Kammermusik No.5 Op.36 No.4 1 I. Schnelle Halbe 4.02 2 II. Langsam 8.47 3 III. Mäßig schnell 3.17 4 IV. Variante eines Militärmarsches 2.57 Wolfram Christ viola Kammermusik No.6 Op.46 No.1 5 I. Mäßig schnell, majestätisch - Doppelt so schnell 3.29 6 II. Langsam - Sehr zart und ruhig - Im Hauptzeitmaß - Sehr langsam 6.43 7 III. Variationen: Mäßig schnell bewegt - Gleiches Zeitmaß - Ein wenig ruhiger - Langsam bewegt - Sehr langsam, frei im Zeitmaß 4.24 8 IV. Lebhaft, wie früher 1.28 Wolfram Christ viola d'amore Kammermusik No.7 Op.46 No.2 9 I. Nicht zu schnell 3.11 10 II. Sehr langsam und ganz ruhig 6.58 11 III. quaver = 184 6.16 Wayne Marshall organ Berliner Philharmoniker Claudio Abbado Der Schwanendreher 12 I. 'Zwischen Berg und tiefem Tal' 8.11 13 II. 'Nun Laube, Linden, Laube' - Fugato: 'Der Gutzgauch auf dem Zaune saß' 9.08 14 III. Variationen über 'Seid ihr nicht der Schwanendreher?' 8.50 Tabea Zimmermann viola Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks David Shallon Recorded: 23-26 and 28.II.1996 (CD 1, 1-4, 13-17 | CD 2, 1-4) resp. 18, 19, 25, 26.II.1999 (CD 2, 5-12 | CD 2, 5-11), Philharmonie Berlin Producer: David Groves - Balance engineer: Simon Rhodes Recorded: 30.X.-3.XI.1989 (CD 2. 12-14), Herkulessaal München Producer: Gerd Berg - Balance engineer: Wolfgang Karreth DDD This compilation ® 2007 by EMI Records Ltd. © 2007 EMI Records Ltd. EMI classics 0946 3 97711 2 7

Iron Tongue of Midnight

May 13

Additional Thoughts on the Met, James Levine, and YN-S

Last month, when James Levine's retirement was finally announced by the Met, Anthony Tommasini and Alex Ross had a mind-meld on one matter. Alex Ross in The New Yorker: The chief failing of the Levine era at the Met was the company’s sparse, spotty record with contemporary opera. Not until 1991 did Levine get around to presenting a world première, in the form of John Corigliano’s “The Ghosts of Versailles.” That piece has found a footing in the American repertory, but its successors at the Met—Philip Glass’s “The Voyage,” John Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby,” Tobias Picker’s “An American Tragedy,” and Tan Dun’s “The First Emperor”—are a rather miscellaneous group. Levine’s apparent lack of enthusiasm for such major opera composers as John Adams, Thomas Adès, and Kaija Saariaho seemed to delay their progress toward the Met. Latter-day masterpieces like Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s “Die Soldaten,” Ligeti’s “Le Grand Macabre,” and Messiaen’s “Saint François d’Assise” have gone unheard there.Anthony Tommasini in the Times: Still, over the years Mr. Levine conceded that he had not done enough to make the Met a vibrant space for new opera. He described the company as a big, hard-to-push institution, which in many ways it is. Yet in 2013, I was dismayed to hear him address this topic on “Charlie Rose.” Some people, Mr. Levine said, have argued that the Met should present a new opera every year. To that he answered, “I wish I really thought there was a new opera good enough for the Met every year.”That last is very sad that what comes to mind as a response is "Jimmy, you needed to get out more." There is no paucity of new operas good enough for the Met. The Met should have been commissioning the great composers of our day and building a repertory of great works. This brings us to Zachary Woolfe's article in the Times about his interview with Yannick Nézhet-Séguin, music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and widely rumored to be the prime candidate to succeed Levine. First, there's the dismaying line about Philly being among the most conservative American orchestras: one longs for the days of Leopold Stokowski and his unending thirst for the new. Just look up the number of important early 20th c. works that got their first US performances under him. Then there's this: When I asked him, though, which underappreciated composers, works or corners of the repertory he might seek to champion — the Nézet-Séguin equivalents of Mr. Levine’s advocacy for Berg, marginalized Mozart or “Moses und Aron” — he seemed slightly at a loss.“It’s still a bit at the beginning,” he said of his career. “I’m still at the stage when I enjoy so much broadening my repertory and the orchestra’s. If someone was someday to say, ‘Yannick has helped bring back this composer,’ I’m not sure who it would be.”I love their operas, but it's sad that Woolfe has to reach for Berg, Mozart, and Schoenberg to find Levine's advocacy for the new and unusual, considering how long Berg and Schoenberg have been gone. And unfortunately, if it is to be YN-S at the Met, don't expect heaps of commissions or the sudden prominence of, say, Schreker. For that, the Met ought to hire my favorite candidate, James Conlon.

parterre box

May 9

Forever young

Perhaps the most admirable project of Dominique Meyer’s Intendanz at Wiener Staatsoper is the traversal of the operas of Leos Janancek, many of which are company premieres and are being sung in Czech for the first time. The latest installment is the composer’s penultimate masterpiece, Vec Makropulos, starring Laura Aiken. Aiken, a American whose prolific 25 year career has been centered in Europe, has been best known for high-flying coloratura roles such as the Queen of the Night and Zerbinetta, and was a spectacular Lulu. A champion of 20th century and contemporary opera, her performance as Marie in Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at the 2012 Salzburger Festspiele (available on DVD) ranks as one of the most astounding performances by a singing actress I have ever witnessed. As Emily Marty/Elina Makropulos/Eugenia Montez/Ekaterina Myshkin/Ellian McGregor among others, Aiken is supported by Slovakian tenor ?udovít Ludha and ensemble members of Wiener Staatsoper including veterans Wolfgang Bankl and Heinz Zednik, now 76, who rose to international prominence with his portrayal as Mime in the Pierre Boulez/Patrice Chéreau Ring at Bayreuth. Leoš Janá?ek: Vec Makropulos Wiener Staatsoper Jakub Hr?ša, conductor 13 December 2015 Emilia Marty – Laura Aiken Albert Gregor – ?udovít Ludha Dr. Kolenatý – Wolfgang Bankl Vitek – Thomas Ebenstein Krista – Margarita Gritskova Jaroslav Prus – Markus Marquardt Janek Prus – Carlos Osuna Hauk-Šendorf – Heinz Zednik A stage technician – Marcus Pelz A cleaning woman – Aura Twarowska A chambermaid – Ilseyar Khayrullova

Tribuna musical

April 22

Modern Philharmonic versus good old Vienna

The second concert of the subscription series of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at the Colón gave us three contrasting views of the ways of organized sound before and after World War II. The following day was the inauguration of Nuova Harmonia´s season at the refurbished Coliseo in a programme of Viennese music . It was a pleasure to witness the debut of Chinese conductor Zhang Guoyong. A disciple of Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, he is at 51 the Artistic Director of the Shanghai Opera (he was born in that splendid city). The concert was short (just an hour) but it included two premières and a very tough symphony rarely done: a lot of music to study for the Phil´s players. You may remember that last year the Phil included some Chinese music and that I wasn´t enthusiastic: China is enormously separated by their millenary culture from us Occidentals, and their own traditional orchestra has very little to do with our symphony orchestra. The adaptation of their pentatonic tunes to our culture felt artificial and the brilliant orchestration had little distinctive touches. Yuankai Bao was born in 1946 and his succinct Chinese Suite (just 12 minutes) is certainly pleasant; the titles of the pieces are quite representative of the Chinese trend of extolling Nature: Happy sunrise; Going to West Gate; Song of Riddles; and Dialogue of Flowers. To my ears it sounded tonal, rather than pentatonal; the music veered between showy and sentimental. It was clear from the start that Zhang Guoyong dominates his profession thoroughly, and the Phil responded well. Bernd Alois Zimmermann had a short life; born in 1918, he committed suicide in 1970. He is famous in Europe for his enormously complex opera "Die Soldaten" ("The Soldiers") and this year we will have it on the Colón stage for the first time; quite a challenge, perhaps the première of the year. The brief Concerto (rather a Concertino, 15 minutes) for oboe and small orchestra is dated 1952. Although based on the twelve-tone technique, the first movement pays homage to Stravinsky and later there´s some Bartokian touches. Tough music but well wrought. The solo part has virtuosic hurdles , negotiated with firmness by Néstor Garrote, the Phil´s first desk. The orchestral contribution sounded accurate under the clear gestures of the conductor. Last year the revival of Prokofiev´s opera "The Angel of Fire" produced a deep impact in at least a section of the audience for its powerful depiction of hysteria and massive possession. Now we heard its perfect foil: his Third Symphony (1928) is based on material from the opera and has obsessive tension during most of it, though the second movement also offers some minutes of persuasive lyricism. Machinistic, dissonant, orchestrated with memorable punch, it may lack cohesion but it is music of strong personal seal. Zhang Guoyong demonstrated here that he has the control and intelligence to make sense out of this seething musical tornado, and the Phil responded well, especially the first trumpet. The Cappella Istropolitana is the Chamber Orchestra of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, just an hour away from Vienna. Istropolitana means "city on the banks of the river" (the Danube). Born in 1983, the Cappella is an efficient organism; it has recorded 120 CDs and visited us once. Its concertino-conductor is Robert Marecek, a longtime member. Mezzosoprano Angelika Kirchschlager, a native of Salzburg, graduated at the Vienna Academy in 1984; she also visited us some years ago. First Part, Franz Schubert: his youthful Third Symphony and four Lieder in string ensemble arrangements. The composer´s first six symphonies are fresh, personal and accomplished. The performance we witnessed was charming and accurate, 29 players responding easily to Marecek´s intermittent gestures (he also played). The Lieder were a wrong decision from both conductor and singer. They sound wonderful in their original form with piano; the arrangements were mediocre and uncredited. Two of the songs are for men: "Der Lindenbaum" ("The linden tree") from " Winterreise"; and the dramatic "Erlkönig" ("King of the alders"). "Im Frühling" ("In Spring") and of course the Ave Maria, were well chosen (by the way, the Ave Maria is Ellen´s third song from Scott´s "The Lady of the Lake" translated into German, not a sacred song!). This singer has serious limitations: although her high range is good, she loses color and volume as the voice goes to lower regions; and as an interpreter she is in this repertoire rather nondescript. The Second Part showed her in much more congenial circumstances: not only she understands operetta but her voice was well suited to the pieces and she also has a humorous acting gift, as demonstrated in the "Schwips-Lied" ("Drunken Song") from Johann Strauss II´s "A night in Venice". She was also good in two Robert Stolz songs, one from his operetta "Der Favorit", and the other typically Viennese, "On the Prater the trees are flourishing again", and in Heuberger´s delicious "Ins Chambre séparée" (from "The Opera Ball"). The Orlofsky aria from Johann Strauss II´s "The Bat" was no more than correct, but Sieczynski´s plangent song "Vienna, Vienna, only you" was mellifluous. The encore was an acceptable "Vilja Song" from Lehár´s "The Merry Widow". Apart from accompanying her very well, the Cappella gave us fine interpretations of two Johann Strauss II´s standards: the Overture to "The Bat" and the lovely waltz "Viennese blood"; the players really have the ideal give-and-take. For Buenos Aires Herald

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