Concert: building bridges between early music and contemporary music – Fürstenfeldbruck

Music can be communicated not only through words, but also through the interpretation of music itself. Those who prefer the historical way of playing, for example, receive the most original sound impression possible since the inception of music. Crossover projects often try to build bridges between long-gone times and the expectations of today’s people’s listeners.

Both have their justification, because although the work was originally created due to certain framework conditions, the diverse auditory experiences of our time are significantly different from those of earlier times. Often a large amount of prior knowledge is required, which can be reduced by new ways of teaching. In the final concert of the current season of the Fürstenfeld concert series, a somewhat unusual concert evening took place in a practically full Stadtsaal.

“Spark” is the name of a group of five musicians who play traditional instruments and call themselves a “classical ensemble”. There was a specific bond between the stringed violin (sometimes also the viola) and the cello, as well as the numerous specimens of the recorder family played by two musicians, which was moderated by the piano. Andrea Ritter and Daniel Koschitzki played recorders, Stefan Balazsovics played the violin, Victor Plumettaz played the cello, and Christian Fritz played the piano. In addition, there was countertenor Valer Sabadus, who is a highly respected singer, especially in the field of early music. The “Closer to Paradise” program has been divided into four blocks, in which music from different stylistic eras has been arranged thematically and geographically.

The evening started with baroque music from Italy. There were no costumes – and yet the audience felt like in a baroque opera when the aria “Augelletti, che cantate” from George Frideric Handel’s opera “Rinaldo” sounded. Valer Sabadus played two soprano flutes with great virtuosity, like a nightingale that personified the symbol of love on a warm summer night. In this atmosphere, everything seemed artificial, yet the audience was magically drawn into the sounds.

Countertenors are practically the castrats of our times: in the Baroque period, among the limitless stars of the court music scene, there were men who, thanks to the appropriate operation, had a female voice. The countertenors today produce just such sounds with a special vocal technique – and are celebrated in the same way. With so much power, energy and flexibility, it inspired the audience throughout the evening.

Spark, the “classic band”, very reliably took over the instrumental background, and yet historical authenticity was not the final goal here. Rather, parameters such as sound, expression and emotional intensity have come to the fore, resulting in a loss of weight on a structural level. The colors were always selected to be slightly stronger than originally intended. The pop music threshold was constantly touched and occasionally crossed almost imperceptibly. And this is what created a wonderful unity with the singer, because the coherence of the interpretations had the highest priority, which the audience appreciated with great pleasure.

This also applied to music from other contexts: Rigaudon from Maurice Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin” introduced a delicate melancholy in a completely transparent way, with deliberately set accents. The fact that the other songs used melodies instead of the recorder also activated French sound worlds and sometimes resembled a bandoneon.

In the third program block from Germany, perhaps the most pressing was the question of the convincing power of the cover versions. In Robert Schumann’s song “In der Fremde” from Liederkreis Op. 39, the dominant accompaniment was dominant, while in “Śniłam noc” the singer did not want to create any tension. The onomatopoeia of instruments brought the dream to the fore as an unreal background. Oliver Riedl’s Seemann was very strong. At the end, there is not only applause, calls and a standing ovation, but also two encores.

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