Friday, January 18, 2013

Summer 2012 Recap

I'm so lazy now that I decided to make post summarizing the concerts/productions I went to during last summer. Some of them are good, some are MEH. Let's get this started!

1. Neither & Delusions II (12.07.2012, Radialsystem V)

My first new music experience in Radialsystem V, Berlin. Neither is a one-person (sopran) opera by Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldmann. The opera is quite absurd, actually. Hehe. It's packaged in this whole 3D- light and beam concept, but it's really nothing special. The sopran, Eir Inderhaug, on the other hand gave a very good, haunting vocal performance that fits the nature of the piece very well. But doesn't change the fact that this piece is boring to me. Sorry, hardcore new music fans - I'm not one of you.
Meanwhile, Delusions is a piece of garbage. I don't even know why this kind of 'sounds' is even performed in a (quite) classical music event. Delusions II takes dubstep to a whole another level, projection of  'senseless' noises in the room, that can't be enjoyed as music. Only benefit: people who like this stuff could call themselves 'edgy'. Meanwhile even though I'm also quite experimental with my music taste, this 'work of art' is way above my level. Sarcastically. 

Rating: 2/5

2. Das Waldbuehnenkonzert - Daniel Barenboim & WEDO (29.07.2012)

One of the city's summer highlight. Barenboim took her proud orchestra, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to his residency, Berlin. Claimed as a sold-out concert, the previous statement is a complete lie, because I was there and almost 30% of the seats weren't occupied (most are in the third and fourth class areas). From my objective observation, almost 80% of the audience are non-classical music viewers. Why? Because they clapped their hands after every f**cking single movement. If I am a devil, I'll just burn 'em all. 
Anyway, works performed are Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 & 5. Classic. Nothing and NOTHING could go wrong. On the other side, WEDO's interpretation is also good but not magnificent. It's standard and gives nothing new to the game. 
A few moments later, I discovered a free documentary about WEDO on iTunes. I began to understand their background and the very precious chance for them, to play together in this orchestra. So let's give a round of applause for Barenboim on his works for world peace and encouraging the young talents from his part of the world. 
The whole story of WEDO didn't change my judgement for their music and still won't make me go again to their concert next summer. I think. We'll see.

Rating: 3/5

3. Hasse: Pyramus & Thisbe (??.08.2012, Schloss Britz)

A small and simple baroque opera production could be the best thing in the whole world. 
It didn't occur this time. 
Sommeroper in Schloss Britz is an annual classical music festival in Castle Britz, south-east of the Berlin city center. This year, they decided to perform Hasse's story of baroque era Romeo & Juliet: Phyramus and Thisbe. The work itself is very simple: they fall in love, the girl's father forbid their love, they planned to run away, through some misunderstanding they both died, the father committed suicide. The end.
The three singers of this production are decent. I personally think they're better than some of the singers in Komische Oper Berlin. 
The production is small, cute-pretty with those flowers on stage... but of course, BORING. What should we expect, anyway? 

Rating: 2.5/5

4. Young Euro Classic - Epilogue: Tan Dun & Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra (13.08.2012, Konzerthaus Berlin)

What a night... and what a man! Tan Dun has proved to the Berlin audience that he's not only a Grammy-winning composer, but also a very lively and passionate conductor. On a night filled with Russian and his own works, Tan is the leader of this young orchestra full of excitement. Tan Dun's Crouching Tiger Concerto with Tan Wei on the instrument Erhu is definitely my highlight of the night. Such performance are rare. Thanks to the percusionists, its final movement moves the whole house. Die Balletsuite from Prokofjew's Romeo & Juliet closed the night elegantly. Simply wonderful.

Rating: 4.5/5

5.  BIZET: Carmen (23.08.2012, Seefestspiele, Wannsee-Berlin)

For the second year the Seefestspiele Berlin, Oscar-winning director Volker Schloendorff and dirigent Judith Kubitz presdented their interpretation of Carmen
Sitting on a second class seat with quite a wide view of the stage, I was quite impressed by the huge fan that becomes the center of the stage. Its below part can open like an automatic door. 
The singers are decent. Julia Rutigliano deserved the greatest praise for giving such a bold and brave interpretation of Carmen. Her "Havanera" is also very good, even though Elina Garanca's still the leading Carmen in the game. 
The Kammerakademie Potsdam is also very decent, nothing special.
After all, this production put a very huge money to get the venue and made the stage, so its lack of high quality in the music department, both vocal and orchestra, could be understood. Anyway, since the beginning this event is designed for the major public, who doesn't understand classical music and is familiar with the music already.
So, is Kallman's Csardafuerstin for summer 2013 is a good choice? Don't know, but I think, I'll come again this year  to simply enjoy the festiveness, regardless of the predicted lack of musical quality

Rating: 3.5/5

6. EXITUS (25.08.2012, Villa Elisabeth - St. Elisabeth Kirche Berlin)

Cellist Marcus Hagemann is known in Berlin for his new music and experimental projects. Exitus is one of the latest he offered. Based on the idea from composer Jose-Maria Sanchez-Verdu the event showed the experience of Streichtrio with Auraphon and room installation. Confused? Me too. Basically, they played the music in one room, and the sound is transmitted to another room, to be projected as 'aura' with gong and tam tam. The sturcture of the room and architecture of the venue can be captured through the sound transmission. This is the 'feel' that the audience could get while hearing.
Still confused like me? Visist:
Anyway, the works performed are very interesting. From Bach to Bingen to Gubaidulina, the pieces seem to connect with one another. 
Did I enjoy it? Don't know. I don't really get the idea of the ghostly and 'aura' sounds. It sounds quite relaxing, but not really knowing the mechanism of the room installation, I can only say, 'hmmm interesting' and acting smart and cool during the concert. Ha!
Anyway, it's good good. 

Rating: 3/5

7. FERNWEH ( 30.08.2012, Neuköllner Oper)

Another absurd production from Neuköllner Oper. I wanted to check this out because their previous production was quite a hot cake with tickets sold out every single night. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. In Neuköllner Oper. Never happened before. So I thought a new spirit may have come to the house. 
Instead I caught myself in this 2 hours of sometimes oper - mixed with pop rock music- singing show, that's quite normal at the beginning, telling the story of a couch potatoes in a radio station set (huh?), that got even weirder with an ending involving size-shrinking machine and a trip into human body. Literally.
It's a wrap. I'm done.

Rating: 1.5/5 

Hope you enjoy this review. Phew... my music experience during summer seems to be 'most bad' rather 'quite good'. But this is my first summer. Hopefully boredom won't force me back to some of the dreadful events that are surely up again by summer this year.