"GREAT INTERPRETERS:: Martha Argerich, Hervé Niquet, Pieter Wispelwey, Zubin Mehta, Menahem Pressler"Classic Voice, 02-1-2018
Een knipoog naar Bach in een ode aan Mendelssohn
Klassieke albums bevatten zelden koor- en kamermuziekrepertoire, maar op deze nieuwe release is die confrontatie perfect gerechtvaardigd. Want welke muziek van Felix Mendelssohn is het meest door Bach geïnspireerd? De Lutherse koorwerken die Bach in elke noot uitademen? Of het verrukkelijke tweede Pianotrio, met het koraal Herr Gott dich loben wir dat ook Bachs cantate BWV 130 aandreef?
Hoewel de Thomaskantor over Mendelssohns schouder meeluistert op dit album, heeft diens adembenemend mooie muziek de Bach-geloofsbrieven helemaal niet nodig om te betoveren: de belangrijkste vereiste om het genie en de lyriek uit Mendelssohns muziek te bevrijden zijn gevoelige en toegewijde uitvoerders.
De twee ensembles van dit album, het Vlaams Radio Koor o.l.v. Hervé Niquet en een trio van cellovirtuoos Pieter Wispelwey, violist Pekka Kuusisto, en pianist Alasdair Beatson, brengen hulde aan een componist die niet lang genoeg geleefd heeft om de faam te krijgen die hij verdiende, maar wel een tweede leven aan Bach schonk, en – veel belangrijker nog – gratie, intensiteit, en poëzie aan de Romantiek.
Selten findet man auf einer CD sowohl Kammer- als auch Chormusik, doch bei Felix Mendelssohn ist die Gegenüberstellung gerechtfertigt. Welches Werk zeigt den größten Einfluss Bachs – die a capella-Werke, in denen Bach aus jedem Ton spricht, oder das Klaviertrio Nr. 2 mit dem Chorteil „Herr Gott dich loben wir“, der auch Bachs Kantate BWV130 antreibt? Ein außergewöhnliches Trio bestehend aus Violinist Pekka Kuusisto, Cellist Pieter Wispelwey und Pianist Alasdair Beatson, der vielgelobte Flämische Rundfunkchor und Dirigent Hervé Niquet zollen dem Komponisten Tribut, der Bachs Werken wieder Leben eingehaucht und der Romantik Eleganz und Poesie geschenkt hat.
Hervé Niquet, chief conductor of the Flemish Radio Choir as of 2011, is a passionate musician like most of the composers of Baroque music whose works he enjoys. He studied not only harpsichord, piano and organ, but also the lyric arts and conducting. He considers the musical profession from a researcher’s perspective, and thus gives priority to primary sources in order to move beyond established conventions and customs. The experience he garnered from working with several major Baroque ensembles laid the basis for his special connection with the French ‘Grand Motet’ of the 17th and 18th centuries.
His great desire to bring new life to this unknown repertoire resulted in 1987 in the establishment of Le Concert Spirituel. Over twenty years, this ensemble has become the reference point for Baroque music.
In the same spirit, and starting from the principle that over the centuries there has been only one ‘French music’, Hervé Niquet conducts various eminent orchestras, including the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Sinfonia Varsovia, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Rias Kammerchor, the Kammerorchester Basel, and Brussels Philharmonic.
In 2009, he participated in the foundation of the Centre de musique romantique française, also known as Palazzetto Bru Zane in Venice. This led, among other things, to a prestigious project in collaboration with the Brussels Philharmonic and with the Flemish Radio Choir: a CD collection with music from the Prix de Rome and rarely performed works from the French Romantic repertoire. The first CD of the series is devoted to Debussy (2009), the second volume consists of neglected works by Saint-Saëns (2010), the third disc features the work of Charpentier (2011) and the fourth volume (2012) is dedicated to d’Ollone. In the meantime, new series have been launched featuring portraits of composers and French opera (Joncières’ Dmitri and David’s Herculanum).
Hervé Niquet has been made Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite and an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Scottish pianist Alasdair Beatson works prolifically as soloist and chamber musician. He is renowned as a sincere musician and intrepid programmer. Alongside a particular affinity with the classical repertoire and the music of Schumann and Fauré, he often explores the more exotic: Catoire, Pierné, Thuille; Debussy’s Jeux (in the composer’s arrangement for solo piano); Ligeti Horn Trio, Harrison Birtwistle’s Harrison’s Clocks; and Thomas Adès Piano Quintet. His concerto repertoire includes works of Bach, Bartok, Fauré, Hans Abrahamsen, Hindemith, Mozart, Sally Beamish, Stravinsky, and Messiaen.
Alasdair has enjoyed working closely with composers George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, and Heinz Holliger. He teaches solo piano at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and regularly mentors for the London-based Chamber Studio. From 2012 to 2018 Alasdair was founder and artistic director of Musique à Marsac, and since 2019 is co-artistic director of the Swiss chamber music festival at Ernen.
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
Mendelssohn is often compared to Mozart. Both of them were child prodigies, both had a talented sister and they both died at a young age. Mendelssohn, who as a child also painted wrote poetry, was born in small family which converted to christianity from judaism. As a composer he preferred looking back, rather than forward: his main examples were Bach, Handel and Mozart. It was Mendelssohn who retrieved Bach from oblivion and pushed for a revival of his music, which still lasts today. One century after its premier, Mendelsson performed the St Matthew Passion for the second time ever, in 1829.
Three years, earlier, on his 17th, he had already composed his masterfully overture A midsummer night's dream op. 21, based on Shakespeare's play. Today, it is still considered as one of the absolute masterpieces in all of the orchestra reperoire. His Violin Concerto op. 64 belongs to the most beautiful works of the 19th century as well. During his travels through Europe, he wrote his brilliant Italian Symphony, Scottish Symphony and the overture The Hebrides.
Although Mendelssohn had a prosperous career, his weak physique made him emotionally vulnerable. The death of his favourite sister Fanny became fatal: Mendelssohn died in the same year, at the age of 38.
Martha Argerich, Hervé Niquet, Pieter Wispelwey, Zubin Mehta, Menahem Pressler
Classic Voice, 02-1-2018
An imaginative programme of chamber and choral music, designed to highlight links between them, is capped by a superb Second Piano Trio.
BBC Music Magazine, 02-1-2018
A special combination that highlights two sides of Mendelssohn.