Friday 1 December 2023

Monteverdi's first opera, the historically informed Ring Cycle continues, Bruckner's 200th birthday, composer Sven Helbig live - Dresden's 47th music festival

Wagner: Das Rheingold - Derek Welton, Kent Nagano, Mauro Peter, Daniel Schmutzhard, Concerto Köln & Dresdner Festspielorchester - Dresden Music Festival 2023
Wagner: Das Rheingold - Derek Welton, Kent Nagano, Mauro Peter, Daniel Schmutzhard, Concerto Köln & Dresdner Festspielorchester - Dresden Music Festival 2023

The 47th Dresden Music Festival runs from 9 May to 9 June 2024 under the title Horizons, presenting 60 events in 21 venues in and around Dresden. 

Things kick off in fine style with a concert performance of Wagner's Die Walküre with Kent Nagano conducting the combined forces of two period instrument ensembles, the Dresdner Festspielorchester and Concerto Köln, a continuation of the festival's exploration of an historically informed Ring Cycle that began last year with Des Rheingold [see my review]. 

Further historically informed performances include soprano Janine de Bique and Concerto Köln in arias by Handel, Graun, Broschi, Telemann and Vinci, Haydn's The Seasons with Jordi Savall and La Capella Nacional de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations, Mark Minkowski and the Dresdner Festspielorchester in Wagner, Mendelssohn and excerpts from Offenbach's rare grand opera Die Rheinnixen. The ensemble lautten compagney BERLIN directed by Nikolaus Habjan, with the conductor and lute player Wolfgang Katschner stage Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with Rolando Villazón in the title role. Philippe Herreweghe directs Collegium Vocale Gent in Bach's Mass in B Minor.

For the festival's official opening night, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and chief conductor designate, Klaus Mäkelä, celebrate Anton Bruckner’s 200th birthday with a performance of Bruckner's Symphony No. 5, and for the final concert Jakub Hrůša directs the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in an all-Smetana programme.

Dresden’s Staatsschauspiel presents Brecht & Weill's Die Dreigroschenoper with the action transposed to today’s Germany. Thomas Quasthoff joins the Amatis Trio for a programme that combines readings from World War I letters and diaries by soldiers and their families with music by Rebecca Clarke, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Fritz Kreisler, Dmitri Shostakovich, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and Anton Webern. Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja will be playing the violin and reciting in a performance of Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. 

Other visitors include Abel Selaocoe and the Bantu Ensemble, violinist Eldbjørg Hemsing in Grieg Szymanowski, Faure and Ravel,  pianist Hélène Grimaud and the Camerata Salzburg in Beethoven, Schumann and Mendelssohn, pianist Lang Lang, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann in Ravel and Debussy, violinist Daniel Lozakovich, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Manfred Honeck in Andrea Tarrodi, Sibelius and Dvorak, violinist Daniel Hope, cellist Jan Vogler (intendant of the festival), Deutsches Symphonie-orchester Berlin and Anna Rakitina in Florence Price, Tchaikovsky and Miklós Rózsa's Sinfonia concertante for Violin, Cello and Orchestra Op. 29, violinist Elen Urioste joins Chineke! for Fela Sowándé, Cassie Kinoshi and Max Richter. Jan Vogler joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and Santtu-Matias Rouvali for Anna Clyne's Cello Concerto. Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the Dresden Philharmonic are performing a group of concerts including music by Stravinsky, Prokofiev 

Countertenor Xavier Sabata will be joining the saxophone quartet Kebyart for everything from Handel to Gershwin and behond, soprano Simone Kermes joins with Amici Veneziani,  baritone Matthias Goerne and pianist Markus Hinterhäuser in Schumann. Pianist recitals include Francesco Piemontesi in Beethoven & Debussy, Igor Levitt in Mahler arranged Ronald Stevenson, Hindemith and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony arranged Liszt, Anton Meijas, and Seong-Jin Cho.

Composer Sven Helbig will be presenting his radio show, Schöne Töne, live on stage.

Full details from the festival's website.

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