Poulenc

Dialogues des Carmélites at the Staatstheater Kassel, April 2009:
The performance of the orchestra as well is an undisputed success. Patrik Ringborg strikingly led his musicians in a highly concentrated way through the difficult score. The many time changes, the abrupt mood swings – everything was flawlessly rendered, creating an instrumental commentary that helped the staging ideally and never ever showed off.
Triumph of the Weak
... A substantial part of the musical maelstrom created by Poulenc's opera however emerges from the pit. Not from the separate roots of his musical language, among these sounds of old sacral music as well as reminiscences of Puccini's striking music, but in Poulenc's ingenious mixing of styles and his rhythmical refinement, making this music quite addictive. From this Patrik Ringborg and the Staatsorchester Kassel accomplish an equally dense as light play of colours and motifs.
Transfiguration? Too beautiful, to be true? Poulenc's music mustn't yell to be dramatical. But it glows and elicits something like love for the characters. Long applause and bravos in the not quite sold-out opera house.
Not during all times has the voice of humanity sounded the same. Sometimes it's harsher, sometimes more gentle - and sometimes with French idiom. Francis Poulenc doesn't just pick up some of Richard Wagner's characteristic harmonical sequences in his scoring, but also uses Puccini's sweeter language. Patrik Ringborg provides for a throughout intense implementation of the overall historicisingly tinted score - with Nicole Chevalier as Blanche, Cornelia Dietrich as the old prioress and Monika Walerowicz as Mother Marie, half a dozen other soloistic women's voices and an exquisite ladies' chorus he remarkably realises the intentions of the composer in a musical deed of denomination.
In Poulenc's music distinctive colours and scented chords inebriates in a score without thematic pedantry but in fluent dialogue between the voices with many repeated notes. ... With resilient rhythmics the Gallic classicist Poulenc gives the sentiment a whiff of ease. A sensitive musical storyteller, GMD Patrik Ringborg illuminates the score as the drama's advocate. He shapes keen progressions with the singers, for example with the American soprano Nicole Chevalier.
Poulenc's opulent palette of sound is in safe hands with conductor Patrik Ringborg: He confidently leads a Staatsorchester Kassel in full cry and provides for languorous shivers.
Even when the action on stage is calm there is consistent movement in the pit. And it is thanks to Patrik Ringborg, who masters the art of fine transitions in a way that allows the diversity of styles within the orchestra to be experienced as a musical unity. ... Poulenc's concept works: a first class musical drama and a conclusive interpretation.
The empathy of the listener is enforced by the masterly moulded sound. The episodic, atmospheric and dramatically pointed, subtly characterising and unostentatiously beautiful musical idiom brings film music to mind. It is celebrated by Patrik Ringborg with the Staatsorchester Kassel in well-polished precision. Yet just the perfection of this performance reveals the art of seduction in this music, well-nigh as an art of manipulation.
Thus the sound fully agrees with the message of this opera.
The musical part was just as impressive...
Patrik Ringborg controlled his orchestra perfectly, conducting highly concentrated. The mood swings and the many delicate changes of beat in the score were ideally realized and allowed an instrumental subsurface to develop, ideally serving the sparkling clean production without showing off.


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