A sold-out Concertgebouw has seen the coming back of Christian Tetzlaff with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra together with Marc Albrecht with a program dedicated to Tachaikowsky, Strawinsky and Beethoven.
Christian Tetzlaff is in an unpredictable musician for whom intensity and interpretation should prevail over il bel suonare: his rendering of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto was exhilarating and literally overshadowed the rest of the concert. He started with sentimental and hyper romantic mood almost a parody of violin playing from the thirties to switch, in a few bars, to a wild and incandescent, even aggressive, playing, building up an almost unbearable tension: the public erupted in such a prolonged applause that the conductor had to remind that the concert was not yet finished. But the best had still to come, and a Canzonetta of transfigured and ghostly beauty followed, where Tetzlaff unleashed all his musical charisma.
A remarkable performance of Strawinsky’s of the Divertimento from Le baiser de la fée had opened the evening with Marc Albrecht delivering a performance rich of humour end elegance, beautifully supported by the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. However, in the second part of the concert dedicated to Beethoven there were more shadows than lights.
Marc Albrecht tries to propose an approach to Beethoven which many may find now outdated and obsolete: in the times of the so called “historically informed” performances it is quite a rarity to see Beethoven’s Fourth symphony performed with a string section in the seating 14:12:10:8:6 like in the fifties. This a performance tradition which is going to disappear in the same way performing baroque music on modern instruments did. Who dare to play Bach with twenty violins? And most important who is able to do so and attain a significant musical result? Marc Albrecht attempt is commendable but the results are not encouraging: there was no balance between strings and woodwinds and latter were constantly overshadowed and any dynamic contrast was missing. The choice of the tempos was also quite peculiar: with so many strings one would have expected a relaxed and reflexive rendering, instead tempos were hectic and the final Allegro non troppo was actually a Presto con fuoco: the orchestra played very well but that is not the spirit of this piece.
However, Marc Albrecht and the conductors of his generation have the right and the duty of continuing presenting this performance approach to Beethoven and other classics: they are the last to have personal connection with this kind music making: if they stop an interpretative tradition which roots in Mendelssohn and arrives to the days of the last great Kapellmeister like Wand, Jochum and Sawallisch will be lost forever and will survive only on records.
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Autorizzazione del tribunale di Milano n° 696 dell’8 ottobre 2004 - P. Iva: 04237170966