Fotos: Stefanie Loos

 

räsonanz - The concert evening

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At the räsonanz – Donors’ Concert in Munich, the donor idea became sound: contemporary music, created in and from our time, displayed all its vitality and was met with enthusiasm.

The concert began with a fanfare, Call by Luciano Berio. Five brass players from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra formed a row on the uppermost platform and played above the orchestra. Teodor Currentzis was already sitting on stage, listening. He let them play half of the piece attacca, interrupting it only for the MusicAeterna Choir from Perm to take over the top platform. They then sang György Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna wearing long black robes. The vibrating dissonances between the voices formed floating soundscapes. The next piece also floated: in Lonely Child by Claude Vivier, the soundscapes became tone colours. The soprano Sophia Burgos not only sang; she produced sounds, merging with the orchestra to become ‘pure melody’, as Vivier himself put it. The floating is interrupted only by heavy bass drum strokes, serving to earth the listeners for a moment. Teodor Currentzis wiped the last sounds off the stage before darkness ended the first part of the räsonanz – Donors’ Concert.

Coro by Luciano Berio, the second part of the concert, already departed from old habits before the first note: the members of the MusicAeterna Choir and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra sat together in a mixed arrangement. At the concertmaster’s desk, a female singer sat together with a flautist, and a trumpet player at the last desk at the front right. The rows normally reserved for the woodwind were now occupied by string players, with a trombone in the middle. The sounds were no longer associated with their usual places in the orchestra; thus the producer of each sound lost meaning on the one hand, but gained it on the other hand, because one was always looking to see where it was coming from. The piece’s character constantly changed: Coro too floats in some passages, but also impresses with its energetic volume. It seemed like a song when singers and their instrumental neighbours were suddenly left playing in duos, and in the next moment the music sounded powerful and sublime again.

The audience was delighted at the end. Currentzis motioned to the musicians and singers row by row to stand up, and once they were all standing the cheering began. MusicAterna delivered an encore: Immortal Bach by Knut Nystedt. The humming final chord moved almost imperceptibly towards silence. The donor idea sounded on.

Saskia Müller
Translation: Wieland Hoban