Humperdinck

Hansel and Gretel at the Aalto-Theater Essen, December 2000:
Patrik Ringborg and the Essen Philharmonic play Humperdinck with differentiation and an exceedingly beautiful sound, evading a possible musical cosiness, whereas they repeatedly apply tender changes of sad wistfulness. And the gloomy, the threatening in this so often underestimated music resounds in subtle dosage over and over. Thus Hansel and Gretel also is worth of hearing.
And exactly because the conductor Patrik Ringborg does not approach this work too easily the Essen performance gains clear outlines and closeness. Ringborg lets the Philharmonic play elegantly and very excitingly, knowing the not so distant relationship between the Witches Dance and the Ride of the Valkyries.
The excitement in the performance emanates ... from the music by Humperdinck, painted by Patrik Ringborg before the Essen Philharmonic with beautiful, almost poetic tapestries of string sound. The young conductor avoids ranting symphonic poem and dashing brass and also gives a place for subtleties from the soloists.
On the podium of the Essen Philharmonic stood their Principal Conductor Patrik Ringborg. He gave the ensemble of singers all possible attention, turning Wagner's orchestral sound on only where it was adequate. Enthusiastic applause in the auditorium.
Calm, unperturbed and with great flair for several climaxes Patrik Ringborg approaches the score before the with luminosity playing Essen Philharmonic. It might be, that in some places a somewhat brisker gait would have been apposite. Yet ultimately the poetry of this scuff-proof hit piece comes into its own.
The closed curtain allowed us to concentrate solely on the music. With strong expressions Patrik Ringborg interpreted the opening piece, foreshadowing the remaining evening. A wide span in dynamic from pizzicato in pianissimo to forceful richness in fortissimo sound made the skills of the musicians clear. Witty accentuation brought moments of surprise. These details showed that the music alone can tell a tale and create suspense. As the evening progressed the technical know-how of the instrumentalists protruded in wonderful solo parts for example in the violin.


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