Monday, 3 August 2015

Anton Bruckner, Messe in f-moll - Salzburger Festspiele, Großes Festspielhaus

Performance 25th July

After the very interesting Lazarus concert I also attended the first concert of the Wiener Philharmoniker. The conductor was canadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin who has such an elegant conducting style. The programme featured Bohuslav Martinů's Fresques de Piero della Francesca, a work with great colors and expressive sounds. The orchestra played so well that I was really surprised because I am not used to them playing that well. Those last year's they did not really convince with musical quality but this concert showed that they can be a first class orchestra, Do not ask me why they sound so differently suddenly, they just do.Anyway, the second part of the concert was Bruckner's final Mass in f minor. A work that is quite modern if you think of its creation in the early 70s of the 19th century. Nézet-Séguin managed to make the orchestra play so incredibly thrilling that the duration of a whole hour seemed like a few minutes. Also the choir (Chor des bayerischen Rundfunks) was exceptional with a great dynamic range from the most delicate pianissimi to huge ff-outbreaks of exceptional power. The choir is surely one of the best in Europe, no doubt.
The soprano solo was sung by Dorothea Röschmann, who still has such a beautiful warm voice with exemplary beauty of tone, but seemed to have gained power over the last few years. Her voice was huge and was heard over orchestra and choir without any problems.
Scottish mezzosoprano Karen Cargill seemed had a strong voice with a very dark lower register but seemed not to have that much power like Röschmann. Anyway she sang very beautifully and has really a very interesting voice with a very exciting timbre.
Christian Elsner showed that a Wagner proven tenor voice does not have to be totally broken after a few years and convinced with a strong but still very flexible voice. You can hear that he has a great Wagner voice but it does not sound strained or overused like many other Wagner tenors.
Franz-Josef Selig sang the bass solo and was fine as well. He was not the most powerful of the soloists but did a fine job anyway. I sometimes had the feeling that he lacked a little bit of volume in the lower parts, but maybe the thick orchestral disposition was just too much.
I really enjoyed the whole concert, especially the first piece and it showed the high qualitative niveau of the Salzburg festival. Therefore I award 8 stars.

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