Baroque purest water

Baroque purest water

One can only be amazed again and again at how many visitors gerd schaller gets on their feet with his ebracher musiksommer. His concert "baroque splendor of sound" with musicians from the leipzig gewandhaus was only very sparsely advertised in bad kissingen, and yet the rough hall was as good as full – but just with visitors who had arrived by bus.
Of course, a few people from kissingen were also drawn to the concert, because the program promised the best entertainment without any worries or regrets: baroque of the purest water. The five works by bach, handel and telemann were already extremely popular during the lifetime of their composers and remain so to this day. And then, of course, the musicians of the gewandhaus orchestra also have a very attractive name.
But the longer the concert lasted, the more one wondered why this was so. It should not be said here in glory, but it must also be stated that the leipzig musicians have gladly made a bow around the historical performance discussion. The enormous market value of the thomas cantor – and his contemporaries – has been recognized in leipzig, and the leipzig bach archive is doing fantastic work. But the uncomfortable attitude to a baroque articulation was gladly avoided in saxony. You only have to mention the new bachian collegium musicum or the virtuosi saxoniae from dresden. In the past, the reluctance was explained by the fact that the prerequisites in the GDR had not been met. It was also of no use when the economic planning had written the production of 200 violins at least 300 years old into the five-year plan.
But that was 30 years ago, and there were indeed successful models in the GDR as well: quite spectacular, for example, the handel renaissance in halle with the gmds horst-tanu marggraf from 1950 and later christian kluttig and their handel festival orchestra with exemplary opera productions – by no means burdensome for the GDR authorities, but a welcome source of foreign exchange.
So now, even in the rough hall, one or the other thing became a certain de-railing: for example, bach’s 3. Brandenburg concerto for 3 violins, 3 violas and 3 violoncelli and bb.C., in which really every instrument has its own voice. Unfortunately, there was no recognizable will to individualize these voices, from which tension could have arisen, the music had something strongly etude-like: technically fabulous, but routinely uninspired. Unfortunately, one had to do the same with georg philipp telemann’s concerto for 3 violins, strings and bb.C. Observe. One would have wished for a little more confrontational spirit from the three soloists, if only to really perceive them in the hustle and bustle.
There one could make gerd schaller truly no reproach. As a guest conductor without a lengthy rehearsal period, he had to conduct against 274 years of tradition to bring his pleasantly brisk tempi to the man and a certain basic concentration to the game at the beginning. That forced him again and again to a verhaltnismabig small-part stroke. And he prevailed, even if he would have liked to have had one or two things a little differently, more articulately.
This is not to say that there was not also powerful music, that it is not possible to make an impression with modern instruments. With three horns and three trumpets behind the small but effective group of woodwinds, this is of course almost no art either. Leaving aside the fact that bach’s orchestral suite no. 4 BWV1069, and above all its crudely conceived overture, had to be used for self-discovery in parts, but it was already clear what the visitors to georg friedrich handel’s wassermusik-suite nr. 1 HWV 348 and the royal fireworks music HWV 351 awaited: powerful, sonorous music-making that, thanks to the brisk tempi, never ran the risk of becoming pathetic, with a pleasantly present continuo group providing a stable and anticipatory underpinning. There it was, the "baroque splendor of sound", which the announcement had promised. And another little kick against trade: "la rejouissance" would have been the more gentle conclusion. But this is of course a matter of taste.

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