Tuesday 4 August 2009

Salzburg Festival 2009: forthcoming reviews

Bo Skovhus (Don Alfonso), Isabel Leonard (Dorabella), Topi Lehtipuu (Ferrando), Miah Persson (Fiordiligi), Florian Boesch (Guglielmo)
© Monika Rittershaus

Julia Wieninger and Laura Sundermann (actresses)
© Stephen Cummiskey

From Thursday to Tuesday I shall be in Salzburg for the Festival. Last summer having been the first time for some years I did not attend - Munich and Bayreuth were reasonable compensation... - I am perhaps even more eager than usual. Salzburg remains to my mind the greatest music festival in the world, bar none. Here, by way of a preview, are the performances I shall be attending and reporting upon:

6 August - Nono, Al gran sole carico d'amore: VPO/Ingo Metzmacher (dir. Katie Mitchell)
7 August - Così fan tutte: VPO/Iván Fischer (dir. Claus Guth)
8 August - Mozart Matinée: Mozarteum Orchestra/Alexander Lonquich - Six German Dances, KV 571, Linz Symphony, Masonic Funeral Music, Piano concerto no.22 in E-flat major, KV 482
8 August - Liszt-Szenen, Liederabend: Matthias Goerne/Andreas Haefliger - Lieder by Liszt and Wolf
9 August - Karita Mattila/VPO/Esa-Pekka Salonen: Berg Three Movements from the Lyric Suite and Altenberg-Lieder, Bruckner Symphony no.6 in A major
9 August - Mark Steinberg/Clemens Hagen/Dame Mitsuko Uchida: Chamber music by Mozart, Webern, and Schubert

I suspect that, save for the occasional performance under Claudio Abbado, the Vienna Philharmonic has not had much Nono in its repertoire, so that should be interesting. So should Katie Mitchell's direction, in the wake of After Dido for ENO. The other opera could not be closer to home territory for the VPO: Così fan tutte. One has never heard Mozart until one has heard his music from the Vienna Philharmonic. (An exception should be made for Sir Colin...) And with Claus Guth following up his superb, revisionist Figaro and what sounded like an equally fresh Don Giovanni, we can be sure that there will be nothing of the museum to the production. Many more pictures will follow with the reviews.

The concerts pretty much speak for themselves. David Fray had been advertised as Matthias Goerne's pianist but Andreas Haefliger is unlikely to disappoint as a replacement. Dame Mitsuko Uchida, as we must now call her, will deploy her exquisite touch upon three composers most suited to her: Mozart, Schubert, and Webern. The VPO in Berg and Bruckner is once again self-recommending. And who could resist yet more Mozart in one of the Mozarteum Orchestra's longstanding matinée concerts? Alexander Lonquich will act as conductor and pianist.