Monday, March 14, 2011

Budapest Festival Orchestra and Petra Lang

BFO & Petra Lang, Salle Pleyel in Paris, March 5 2011

Iván Fischer and Petra Lang

Iván Fischer, conductor
Petra Lang, soloist
Budapest Festival Orchestra

I simply love this orchestra and , as far as I am concerned, this was one of the best musical event in Paris since December 2009 when the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra --conducted by Mariss Jansons-- delivered a sensational performance of Mahler's Symphony no.2.

The concert started easily -- with Liszt. I don't remember to have listened to the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (The Dance in the Village Inn) before, but whatever Budapest Festival Orchestra play sounds great to me. I guess their secret is that they are all brilliant musicians --each one of them could perform as a soloist-- but that does not stand on the way to be cohesive as an orchestra and that's because they trust the guy who they totally resonate with -- Iván Fischer.

Last year they came up with an unusual no-Bartok program and won our hearts. This time, except for this short Liszt, it was all about Wagner. First, the overture of Tannhäuser plus Venusberg, then the overture of the Meistersinger [for some reason the crowd especially loved the Meistersinger, while I thought that was not as great as the rest of what they performed that night.] It's their strings that strike you the most. It's just crazy. And the perfectly tamed brass too...

Part two of this fantastic evening was all about Die Götterdämmerung. Extremely luxurious, not only for delicately performed Siegfried's Journey to the Rhine and a sober Siegfried's funeral march, but especially for an electrifying finale of that opera with the Immolation Scene sung by Petra Lang (probably the only female singer that you can perfectly understand while she sings)

I obviously loved the concert and instead of dissecting it I have something better to share: the concert has been recorded and it can be found on this link. Even if no recording can transmit the electricity in the air that we've felt at Pleyel that night, nor you can hear the depth of the sound this orchestra manages to build up like no other orchestra can, this recording remains a good approximation anyway... 


Here I embed the Immolation scene only:

With the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, this is the only orchestra I would make a trip to see them perform live. I am more than happy to know that we'll see them next season at Pleyel again. Hope Maestro Fischer remains as strongly related with his orchestra even after he takes his new position as the director of Berliner Konzerthausorchester.

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