Thursday, June 2, 2011

5 great opera-concerts at TCE: (1) Karita Mattila

Bartók, Saariaho, Sibelius, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, April 13 2011

Kaija Saariaho and Karita Mattila

Conductor ..... Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Soloist ..... Karita Mattila

Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

This was one of the 5 remarkable concerts I was able to attend recently at Théâtre des Champs Elysées (TCE) in Paris. The first one is maybe the least operatic of five, but it was special anyway: Karita Mattila was back in Paname. The Rotterdams Orkest was good although I should say that I've listened to their  far more inspiring performances before. Maybe they do not resonate with maestro Jukka-Pekka Saraste as they do with Yannick Nézet-Séguin?!

The concert was organized in four parts. In the first part the orchestra opened the evening by a fine performance of the Dance Suite by Bartók. I am not sure that's the piece you would choose to open the concert. especially if it's followed by the music by Saariaho and Sibelius. I believe some kind of easier introduction would have been more suitable in guiding the public to the Symphony no.4 by Sibelius.

Then Karita Mattila appeared on the stage, looking very fresh, sounding as well, and the crowd loved it. She first sang a poem called Quatre instants by Kaija Saariaho. 25 minutes of music with excellent Karita was definitely the high moment of the evening. I was very happy to see Karita singing so good after her recent tired performances of Tosca and as forgettable rendition of Vier Letzte Lieder in the same venue. She too looked happy after the job well done and after the ovations she received -- the Mattila fan-base was clearly present in an otherwise full house.

Maestro Saraste and Karita Mattila

After a short break, Mattila was back for one more symphonic poem for soprano -- Luonnotar by Sibelius. Again wonderful, and again a great round of applause. The Orchestra finished the evening with Sibelius' Symphony no.4 that I am not very familiar with.

One smooth and  enjoyable evening...

Here is a link to Radio France Musique where you can listen to this whole concert. Otherwise you can watch this YT clip with Karita singing another song by Kaija Saariaho -- Parfum de l'instant

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