Weill

One Touch of Venus at the Freiburg Theater, December 1998, and at the kurt weill fest, March 1999:
Over the years Freiburg has staged a record number of Weill productions – more than any other German theatre I can think of – including such rarities as Johnny Johnson, Street Scene and last year's brilliant Silbersee. The man behind it is Patrik Ringborg, the 34-year-old Swedish Principal Conductor, a genuine Weillian and solidly at home in Weill's two worlds, as he proved again - after Silbersee - at the helm of the Freiburg Philharmonic for One Touch of Venus on December 23. ... But then one can only marvel at the melodic riches of the scores, with one catchy tune succeeding the next, setting the audience tapping its feet. Ringborg keeps the tunes constantly alive - he has an uncanny sense of timing and obviuosly enjoys granting Weill all his sophisticated Broadway refinement, paying scrupulous attention to the score's countless felicities of orchestration.
The Seven Deadly Sins at the kurt weill fest, February 2000:
The renowned Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen played under the young Swedish conductor Patrik Ringborg, also the Artistic Director of the kurt weill fest 2000 in Dessau. With impressive agility and greatest attentiveness he cared for an exquisitely interesting and overall consistent performance. The nuances in the music are explored in profoundest detail.
There were standing ovations in the outsold Anhaltisches Theater, probably in particular for Milva, but also deservedly for the other singing soloists, the orchestra as well as the conductor.
Having played Mozart's Don Giovanni-Overture on the highest technical level the orchestra from Bremen (Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie) implemented the Transfigured Night by Arnold Schoenberg. The young conductor Patrik Ringborg mastered the rugged as well as the poetic passages of a provokingly erotic world of senses. The performance of the ballet The Seven Deadly Sins then was of quite a different kind. ... Not an easy task for Patrik Ringborg, who nevertheless succeeded in tying the diverse powers together and crowning the swing-like edgy tone with an excellent orchestral direction.
The frail staging of the in 1933 created Brecht/Weill piece succeeds under Patrik Ringborg's conducting. ... In total a score of intensity and great power of expression arises.
The Silverlake at the Freiburg Theater, November 1997:
The Freiburger Theater has found in Patrik Ringborg a conductor who is capable of bringing deep understanding and feeling to Weill's music. Although Ringborg accelerated many of the tempi daringly, he was able to achieve a fine musical sensitivity. Similarly, he handled the play of contrasts, which he always knew how to control, in correct proportions. Overall, the Freiburg production of Silbersee may be regarded as a successful, even exemplary, staging.
Indeed you are downright grateful that Weill's music remained untouched, the large orchestra (with grand piano and tam tam) included. What Patrik Ringborg brings out of the Freiburg Philharmonic, the singers and the optimally prepared chorus is really striking already in the overture with its brilliantly played trumpet solo. And last throughout the sixteen numbers. It is Weill at his best, tied up to the Three Penny Opera and Mahagonny, but moved beyond Brecht into a new, more lyrically designated dimension.
Patrik Ringborg raked into the score with small, dashing movements, with verve and inner tension, making it through and through transparent. He applies the scalpel of time with audacious dynamics, drive and joy of playing. If music can be political and artistic at once, then in this way! Weill's composition sounded neither anachronistic nor dusty, but behind the hammering marching rhythms and the brass, radiant full of hope in glowing red (bravo!), it mirrored the fine art, so often missing in the labour movement.
As if bitten by a tarantula Patrik Ringborg and the orchestra storm into Weill's music. The drum rattling harshly at the start, tempo, tempo. ... Sensitive lyricisms are added, and the conductor has a sympathetic ear for the unobtrusiveness as well. Furthermore it is throughout alluding to the practices of Mozart or Puccini, Verdi or Weber.
The Freiburg Philharmonic under Patrik Ringborg's direction was in splendid form. Fantastic, how the conductor slided from one level of style to the next. Almost somnambulistic. Nuances, details became events?. An elastic orchestral sound. Transparently, pfiffig played. Pathos? No, thanks!


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