Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Ludwig van Beethoven, Missa Solemnis - Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Semperoper

Performance 13th February

As every year since 1951 the Staatskapelle Dresden is dedicating one of their symphonic concerts to the victims of the bombardment on Dresden in february 1943. This year Kapellmeister Christian Thielemann conducted Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in two concerts (one on the memorial day - 13th and another one the following day). I was lucky enough to attend the memorial concert which was a very touching experience. Neither before nor after the performance the audience applauded but stayed silent for a minute of silence and remembrance.
Thieleman conducted the Staatskapelle Dresden masterfully and shaped this epic work magnificently. The dynamic variations and accurate cues led to a marvelous performance of the orchestra which easily followed Thielemann's instructions. The Sächsische Staatsopernchor also gave a wonderful performance and convinced with a huge wall of sound on one hand and delicate calm parts on the other hand. Especially during the Benedictus (with an impressive violin solo by Matthias Wollong) everything matched just perfectly.
The solo parts were sung by Camilla Nylund, Elisabeth Kulman, Daniel Behle and Georg Zeppenfeld. Camilla Nylund's beautiful floating voice sounded great and powerful throughout the range. Especially her higher register sounded just heavenly smooth.
Elisabeth Kulman's dark mezzo voice on the other hand has a very attractive warm timbre and the sheer power of her voice is really impressive. It is really a pity that she decided not to sing opera onstage anymore.
Daniel Behle is definitely one of the most interesting tenor voices of the younger generation. His timbre is noble and youthful but at the same time powerful and flexible. I can't wait to see him singing Wagner (his Lohengrin would surely sound marvelously).
Georg Zeppenfeld always gives a solid performance with his dark bass voice. The timbre of his voice is very balanced and radiates dignity and warmth. He never disappoints and always manages to keep his üerformance standards high.
Alltogether I would give the touching performance 9 stars
Reviewed by Daniel Url

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