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Blomstedt’s conducting of Viennese basic symphonies receives a standing ovation in Berlin – Seen and Heard Worldwide


Germany Beethoven, Schubert: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Herbert Blomstedt (conductor). Livestreamed on Digital Live performance Corridor from the Philharmonie Berlin, 1.10.2022. (GT)

Herbert Blomstedt

Schubert – Symphony No.3 in D main, D.200

Beethoven – Symphony No.7 in A serious, Op.92

This was the one live performance for Herbert Blomstedt this season at Berlin’s Philharmonie, and we needs to be grateful that he led this live performance following his fall and hospitalisation only a few days after his ninety fifth birthday in July. Fortunately after returning to Stockholm for a sequence of concert events, he was capable of conduct this night of Viennese classics.

In his enlightening pre-concert interview, Blomstedt stated ‘Schubert was a fan of Beethoven, but Schubert was very shy’ and solely met Beethoven as soon as. ‘In my youth I attempted to compose string quartets. I had a beautiful thought for ten bars, however I couldn’t develop it as I had no coaching, I used to be only a schoolboy. I consciously tried to mimic Beethoven so as to discover a option to proceed however this didn’t work. Schubert knew this, and so by no means imitated Beethoven. Regardless of this, he wrote works on the finish of his life which might be so nice that they’re the equal of Beethoven’s. Solely with one symphony did he discover it essential to attract a comparability with Beethoven and that is within the ‘Nice’ C main Symphony. There may be nothing like Beethoven on this symphony, it’s all Schubert and it’s genuinely nice. Brahms as soon as stated that Schubert should have been shocked each morning when he found he had a lot expertise. If in case you have a lot expertise, there comes a time when it’s a must to apply the brakes. Schubert is a good miracle. There may be all the time one thing new to find right here, I can say that after my pretty lengthy life as a musician Schubert stays a problem! You possibly can by no means actually unravel his music. You possibly can solely hold looking. You might discover one thing nevertheless it’s by no means the entire fact. It’s great that such music exists.’

The opening motion of the Schubert symphony started with an arresting notice resulting in a sleek passage during which Blomstedt allowed the woodwind full rein, most notably the clarinet of Matic Kuder, and the flute of Egor Egorkin, and stirringly enhanced by the wonderful horns! Within the Allegretto the calm pastoral idiom was highlighted by excellent taking part in from Kuder. Within the Menuetto the temper was upbeat, and the boisterous Trio was embellished with delightfully vibrant Ländler. Regardless of sitting on a chair, Blomstedt remains to be the identical conductor together with his gracefully expressive arms, and with each sentiment expressed in his eyes, and occasionally, a smile. The Presto vivace was breathless, and refreshing in its pleasure, by means of particularly virtuoso contributions from the horn of Paula Ernesaks, and it was good to see how a lot the gamers loved the intoxicating originality of Schubert’s music of their smiles. After the ultimate bars, Blomstedt – acknowledging the response of the viewers – applauded his gamers, calling out musicians of the orchestra with a number of refined finger actions and a smile to the delight of the packed viewers.

As Blomstedt stated of the Beethoven Seventh in his interview: ‘There’s a lot music which you can by no means perceive it at an preliminary listening to. I all the time examine it to in the present day’s pop music with its repeat of 1 or two notes and this rhythm … Generally it’s virtually imbecilic, merely a repeated notice. The repetition has a hypnotic impact. Right this moment’s pop musicians know this after all, and so they use it consciously so as to make an impression. Beethoven knew this too. However lots of Beethoven’s colleagues stated that he shouldn’t be doing this. Weber, for example stated that “Beethoven was ripe for the madhouse.” It’s not attainable to respect him. Within the remaining motion, it’s repeated a number of hundred occasions. This has naturally a hypnotic impact on the viewers, and it explodes on the finish with applause. […] There are locations the place he clings obsessively to a selected rhythm and listeners are so emotionally exhausted that they give up and capitulate earlier than this music. […] However there’s a selected motive why Beethoven repeats this so usually: he needed to coax the utmost emotion out of his viewers. […] I like taking part in the Seventh Symphony. I believe it’s an impressed work. It has a richness that you just don’t initially recognise, particularly not the “regular” viewers, which is extra drawn to the rhythm with its hypnotic impact.’

The opening of the Beethoven symphony was splendidly characterised by Mayer’s oboe and Kuder’s clarinet resulting in a temper of expectation with this astonishing virtuosity mixing pleasure and suspense. The Allegretto began with a grave funereal theme, as if mourning the passing of an excellent man, right here Blomstedt sculpted the dynamics of the music together with his arms and sometimes used his fingers to conjure each nuance of the music.

Within the Presto – Trio Blomstedt evinced a sequence of thrilling and dynamic taking part in, once more exemplified by effective taking part in from Mayer and Egorkin’s flute and creating splendid contentment as the concept merged with the bassoons and horns in pleasant musical taking part in. The finale (Allegro) demonstrated thrilling taking part in with the Berlin Philharmonic’s musicians usually taking part in out of their skins for the conductor heralding the celebratory mesmerising bars resulting in the great climax. On the finish, the viewers rose in an ovation for this nice conductor.

Gregor Tassie

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