Faust at the Aalto-Theater Essen, May 2000
Patrik Ringborg in front of the Philharmonic allows the beauty of the score to fully flourish, in spite of the big orchestra he makes his music extraordinary transparent, takes good care not to get overly romantic and flaunts the specific expressiveness of the work without sighing. A great achievement.
The Principal Conductor Patrik Ringborg lead the inspired Essen Philharmonic at their best nothing less than enchantingly; seductively perceptive strings and wood winds, but also occasionally poignant and bright brilliant brass; special praise to the horns. Ringborg is a discovery - a blessed, young conductor who already now must be counted as a hot tip and, if I'm not very much in err, stands before a great career.
Musically the evening is on the high level of quality we have got used to, although this time not Stefan Soltesz, but Patrik Ringborg stands on the podium. The often to the heart reaching music by Gounod, gains under his baton lyrical breath; forceful accents are not missing.
Pointed effects and precise traits made the première of the romantic love drama come from the stage with immense intensity. The Essen Philharmonic lead by their Principal Conductor Patrik Ringborg supported this effect with transparent playing and enchantingly shaped dramatic peaks.
The Principal Conductor Patrik Ringborg with the Essen Philharmonic do what is necessary when bringing out more than brass of the French music. He starts out with an unspeakably levitating overture, goes to revelling or dramatic peaks without a trace of romantic sesquipedalian excesses.
Patrik Ringborg managed Gounod's flourishing music with passionate impulse. The Essen Philharmonic played with a good portion of sweetness and drama.
This time it is not GMD Stefan Soltesz, but the young Principal Conductor Patrik Ringborg standing in the pit. And he conjures the Philharmonic with the art of stretched transitions bringing out tone-coloured filigree, that renders the perfumed charm of the score the dignity of superficiality.
Conductor Patrik Ringborg owes the score nothing in terms of melodious sound, lyrical euphony and musical verve.
The usual high musical level in Essen was this time provided for not by the host Stefan Soltesz, but by his Principal Conductor Patrik Ringborg. The Swede celebrated Gounod's refined French sound ideal with the Essen Philharmonic without sugary sweetness. He also did not disdain dramatic impulses.
Musically the Faust - as has to be expected in the Aalto-Musiktheater - is on an appealing level. The conductor Patrik Ringborg turns the overture into a sensitive sound poem with big, singing bows and later has the changes between lustful affectation and tender traits well in his grip.
More unerring conductor Patrik Ringborg approaches the opera: With the once again extraordinary Essen Philharmonic he fully savours the beauteousness of the score. The tempi are very well balanced, the developments homogeneous and natural. The musicians are allowed to roll powerful on the drum, blow the horn etc., but the orchestra holds itself back in a wonderful way as soon as someone is singing. And these changes work so elegantly, that they are unnoticed: You seldom hear such flattering charm.

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