In their just released CD Loss & Love: Schubert – Schumann, cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas and pianist Josu De Solaun touch on two perennial themes that permeate all human lives. The album is a very personal one, as both artists recently lost their fathers. First reactions from the press praise the “lyrical-poetic tone, the devoted interplay” (www.falter.at) and the “virtuosic joy and sensitive fingering” (pizzicato.lu).
The spring at the Theater Vorpommern is all about George Frideric Handel: first with a new production of the opera “Alcina”, conducted by GMD Florian Csizmadia, who also sat at the second harpsichord himself. There are further performances to come in Stralsund, Greifswald and Putbus until July 2nd. A little later, six concerts followed with Handel’s “Messiah”. And in Madrid, Paul Goodwin, Artistic Director of the Department of Historical Performance Practice at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, conducted two concerts with the university’s baroque orchestra, which included arias from Handel’s operas “Ariodante” and “Gulio Cesare”.
At the beginning of May, the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Saxon Liaison Office in Wrocław was festively celebrated at the National Forum of Music (NFM) with a concert by the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie conducted by its Music Director Ewa Strusińska and the magnificent pianist Alexandra Dariescu. The audience, including prominent guests such as Dr Daniel Morgenroth, artistic director of the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Theater Görlitz/Zittau, and Saxony’s Minister for Europe Katja Meier, was enthusiastic and thanked the musicians with a standing ovation.
Live again – at last: the Feininger Trio of the Berlin Philharmonic gave a celebrated guest performances at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival and at the Heidelberg Spring Festival with works by Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Arensky. Critics particularly praised the great intensity and the “superbly balanced sound” of the three musicians. The next concert will be on 25 May at the Schlosskonzerte Spiez in Switzerland.
“One of the most versatile conductors of our time” – we are delighted to welcome British conductor Paul Goodwin to UR classics. From Handel and Rameau to Beethoven and Brahms, Stravinsky and Elgar to John Tavener and Mark-Anthony Turnage: Paul Goodwin combines “energy and precision” from Baroque to the present. Equally at home as a conductor in Europe, North America and Australia, he has also made a name for himself as a teacher, creator of outreach projects and as festival director. A warm welcome!
Two symphony concert programmes last week offered delightful contrasts: Florian Csizmadia and the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie juxtaposed the bubbling and grooving hustle and bustle of Time Square in Leonard Bernstein’s “On the Town” with the vastness of Finland’s lake-rich landscape in Sibelius’s 1st Symphony. In the flute concerto by the American Lowell Liebermann, with its melodic
and racy passages, Zofia Neugebauer thrilled the audience with breathtaking virtuosity.
Ewa Strusińska and the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt/Oder contrasted the uncompromising wildness of Rolf Liebermann’s “Furioso” with reminiscences of the sound world of the 18th century in Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations (soloist: Maximilian Hornung) and the grandiose 9th Symphony by Antonín Dvořák inspired by American music.
7 concerts with 4 different programmes in 13 days in 2 countries – Piotr Pławner once again proved his versatility as a soloist, conductor and chamber musician: with the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Boreyko he played the violin part in Sofia Gubaidulina’s Triple Concerto; the following day he thrilled audiences in Saxony as conductor and soloist with the New Lausitz Philharmonic Orchestra in an entertainment programme. He then appeared in Warsaw with the Sinfonia Iuventus, also as conductor (Brahms’ 4th Symphony) and soloist (Philipp Glass’ 2nd Violin Concerto). The concert marathon was concluded by two evenings with the pianist Piotr Salłajczyk in Łodz and Szczecin with works by Polish composers.
Two debuts this month: Svetoslav Borisov conducted the German premiere of Elena Langer’s “Figaro lässt sich scheiden” in David Pountney’s production at the Magdeburg Theatre and “lets the Magdeburg orchestra sound and shine”, as the Volksstimme wrote.
Polina Tarasenko gave the debut concert with her Anima trombone quartet at the Nikolaisaal Potsdam. The four musicians amazed not only with their technical possibilities and their stylistically confident flexibility between baroque and jazz but also with very personal presentations of their music. More concerts are to follow.
“The Ukrainian shooting star”, “brilliant soloist” – these were the words after the New Year’s concert with Polina Tarasenko and the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie conducted by Ewa Strusińska, which was streamed live from the Gerhart Hauptmann Theatre Görlitz/Zittau on the first day of the New Year. In the concerto by the British composer Derek Bourgeois, with its echoes of pop and jazz, the trombonist showed all her versatility. On 18 January, the next concert follows right away: Polina returns – after her streaming debut in January 2021 – to the Nikolaisaal Potsdam, this time live on stage with her “Anima” trombone quartet in a programme ranging from Verdi to Webern.
After her appearance with the Staatskapelle Halle in August 2021, Ewa Strusińska continues the series of her successful concert debuts: at the end of November she gave a guest performance with the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra in a French-Spanish programme and from December 10 – 15 she gave four concerts with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz with works by Mozart, Strauss, Mahler and Schubert/Berio, about which “Der Südkurier” wrote: “Ewa Strusińska convinced with physical conducting and rousing commitment”.