Funeral fun with Franui at the Holland Festival

Florian Boesch/Franui: Mahler/Schubert/Schumann et al.

Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, 21st June 2017

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Innervillgraten, East Tyrol, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A concert hall is the wrong venue for Franui. The “musicbanda” from East Tyrol belongs on a bandstand in a park or on a breezy pier. Their audience should be eating ice-cream and drinking beer instead of sitting quietly in the dark. Franui’s bittersweet folk arrangements of German art songs, with elements of jazz and klezmer, call up village fêtes, weddings and, especially, funerals.

Full review on Bachtrack.

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Over-the-top Elgar and hushed Mahler from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Elgar/Mahler: RCO/Gardiner

Concertgebouw, 2nd March 2017

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Mahler and Elgar are not two composers one would automatically associate with each other. For the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra the former is an intrinsic part of their tradition, the latter only sporadically on their music stands. So much so that on Thursday evening it was the first time ever that they performed his Cockaigne Overture.

Full review on Bachtrack.

Daniele Gatti and the RCO make it official during showcase concert

Beethoven/Schubert/Mahler/Mozart/Respighi/Verdi: RCO/Gatti

Concertgebouw, 9th September 2016

“Love at first sight” is how Dutch culture minister Jet Bussemaker described the first encounter between Milanese conductor Daniele Gatti and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As if officiating at a wedding, she sealed the union between the orchestra and its seventh chief conductor by presenting the maestro with a golden baton, previously owned by his predecessor Eduard van Beinum.

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Decapitation of Lamoral, Count of Egmont in 1568

Full review on Bachtrack.

Sovereign Mahler from Matthias Goerne and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Beethoven/Mahler: RCO/Honeck

Concertgebouw, 12th February 2016

Expectations for this concert were bound to be high. Matthias Goerne, one of the foremost Lieder singers of our time, joined the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, an instDesKnabenWunderhorn.jpegitution with Mahler in its blood, in songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn(The Boy’s Magic Horn). On the rostrum leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was Manfred Honeck, completing the programme with Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7 in A major. Mr Honeck has recorded one of the most thrilling versions of this symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The anticipation was fully rewarded in the Mahler, less so in the Beethoven.

Full review on Bachtrack.