Andris Nelsons – Klaus Florian Vogt – Birmingham

Andris Nelsons – Klaus Florian Vogt – Birmingham

Programme :
Wagner  « Karfreitagszauber », « Amfortas, die Wunde »,
« Nur eine Waffe taugt », extraits de Parsifal
Prélude à l’acte IV de Lohengrin,
« Höchstes Vertrauen hast Du mir schon zu danken »,
« In fernem Land», extraits de Lohengrin
Dvorák  Symphony n° 7 op. 70

Andris Nelsons - Klaus Florian Vogt
Andris Nelsons – Klaus Florian Vogt

When you come out of the comparison of more than 100 versions of the Moldau, it feels good to return to ‘live’ music. Especially since it was a superb concert, like my last one with Esa Pekka Salonen last week with the Philharmonia in the same place. Especially since we could finally appreciate this conductor after many disappointments vis-à-vis some big names this season in the same place and in the same series of foreign orchestras.

First the conductor: he looks like a (gentle) black eagle addressing his instrumentists, not stopping moving, even dancing, often on one single foot, crouching (same remark as for Philippe Jordan: with age, they will make less gymnastics …) conducting with a stick, or without for more roundness (Wagner), sometimes not conducting anymore, getting precise attacks most of the time, but sometimes leaving sound extinguish itself. Finally, a conductor who does not play Stars with useless mimics, and who fades by joining the orchestra during applause…

The evening started rather badly however, with a somewhat emaciated orchestra for Parsifal, but the beginning of Act IV of Lohengrin was sparkling and the rest of Wagner program was superb, for the orchestral part: the vocal part was phenomenal. Klaus Florian Vogt is an exceptional tenor. First his voice fills up the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, which is not necessarily the case for all vocal or instrumental soloists we have heard in this place, then his German diction is of exceptional clarity and richness of tone as well, not to mention his mastery of the vocal line. A well-deserved success.

Then Dvorák ; it was a moving reading, maybe more pastoral and dancing than epic, but this is not a default. The second movement’s Brahms relationship had never appeared to me so obvious. And especially a reading that is not fragmented but has its own logic. Good orchestra, my only complaint is about the flutist who played very well, but in my opinion was too much exposed.

Andris Nelsons thus made his farewell tour with the orchestra of Birmingham, he will return with his new Boston orchestra on 3/9 at the Philharmonie (R. Strauss, Shostakovich).

Conductor’s Website – Tenor’s Website

Here excerpts of  Dvorák 9th with the Bavarians: a future Latvian Kubelík?

Bartok – Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin – Nelsons / Boston

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