Monday 21 March 2022

The magic returns: Dresden Music Festival 2022

Jan Vogler (Photo Stephan Floss)
Jan Vogler (Photo Stephan Floss)

After two years when the festival operated either online or in mixed mode with smaller-scale live concerts, the Dresden Music Festival is back this year with a large-scale event including several visiting orchestras. From 11 May to 10 June 2022, the festival will be presenting over 60 concerts in and around Dresden celebrating the 45th Dresden Music Festival. 

The festival's opening concert is the period instrument Dresden Festival Orchestra, conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi in Mozart's overture to Die Zauberflöte and Symphony No. 40, plus Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 'Emperor' with soloist Jan Liesecki on forte-piano. And the festival orchestra will be closing the festival as well when David Robertson conducts more Beethoven, the Choral Fantasy and Symphony No. 9 with soloists Martin Helmchen (piano), Aleksandra Kurzak  (soprano), Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (mezzo-soprano), Christian Elsner (tenor), and René Pape (bass). 

Two concerts celebrate historical Dresden connections. The Dresden Baroque Orchestra will be marking the 300th anniversary of composer Johann Adolph Hasse's (a native Saxon) journey South to acquire some Italian polish, whilst Helmuth Branny conducts the Dresdner Kapellsolisten in a the opera Elvira by Princess Amalia of Saxony, a work about which Carl Maria von Weber (her teacher) was most enthusiastic. Whilst Cellomania brings the chance to hear three of CPE Bach's Cello Concertos with three distinguished cellists, Nicolas Altstaedt, Edgar Moreau, and Pieter Wispelwey accompanied by La Folia Barockorchester directed from the violin by Robin Peter Müller

Highlights of the festival include Thomas Ades conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra in this year's festival commission, the premiere of the suite from Ades' opera The Tempest, alongside his In Seven Days for piano and orchestra with pianist Vikingur Olafsson. Other visitors include Riccardo Chailly and orchestra of Teatro all Scala, Milan, Andris Nelsons and the Vienna Philharmonic, Simon Rattle and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.  Soloists include violinists Ray Chen and James Ehnes, soprano Patricia Petibon, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena, tenor Andrew Staples, and pianist Alexander Kantorow.

Other highlights include Cellomania, the second episode of the festival within a festival and this year cellist (and festival artistic director) Jan Vogler will be welcoming 40 cellists to Dresden include Mischa Maisky, Sol Gabetta, and Gautier Capucon. 

Recitals include baritone Samuel Hasselhorn (whom I chatted to last year, see my interview) with pianist Doriana Tchakarova in songs by Carl Loewe, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner and Hugo Wolf.

Full details from the festival website.

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