These are some press comments on Wagner's "The Rhinegold" at the Theater Freiburg, October 2006:
... that the clan of gods moves into the auditorium having payed off the debt has dimensions of city politics...
This "Rhinegold" basically has these in regard to the musical as well. The class which the Philharmonic Orchestra also reveals under its new Chief Conductor Patrik Ringborg sends it critics off to Absurdistan. From the first moment, the archaic low E flat "on the bottom of the Rhine", until the pathos of the D flat major finale, the members of the Philharmonic Orchestra make the score their own, illumining the deepest angles of the counterpoint, for one moment after another making us amazed with brilliant achievements in the solo parts and in the different groups of instruments (horns, violins, brass and, and, and). After this evening, one would wish the partnership with the new Maestro to last longer, because its language is Harmony. Ringborg is an experienced, canny Wagner conductor, who astonishes with his "Rhinegold" especially in matters of tempo. And he knows how to lead a singer. The balance between pit and stage is excellent, and still the orchestra never gets simply covered, the soloists never have to force.
Even more important since the Theater Freiburg doesn't brag with glamorous guest engagements, but with a fine example of ensemble culture. ... Generous, long enduring applauds. The new music theatre in Freiburg can confidently be built upon these foundation walls.
(Badische Zeitung, 09.10.2006)
(Südwest Presse, 18.10.2006)
That Barbara Mundel's first production turned out so outright convincing, was also the doing of the conductor Patrik Ringborg, who in the nineties was Principal Conductor in Freiburg and now returned to his past place of work. The position of Generalmusikdirektor in Freiburg is ... still vacant, and Ringborg couldn't have handed in a more impressive recommendation than this "Rhinegold". What the musicians showed of sensitivity to sound when accompanying the singers and apart from that brought in of expressive capabilities, "war aller Ehren wert".
(Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 11.10.2006)
The good news first: The Freiburg Opera Orchestra made one listen attentively under their interim Chief Conductor Patrik Ringborg and offered a lot, from the most tender instrumental "melismen" to almost violent blustering drone.
Ringborg, who also collaborated on the new critical Wagner-edition, laid open an extremely multiplex spectrum of effects and affects, from sensously stretched figures of brass sound to impulsively charged tutti-passages - all of this never at the expense of the dramatical over-all suspense, after which the curtain by the way was closed after less than two and a half hours. Some extraordinary performances by the singers contributed to this fresh, "unused" Wagner sound...
( Deutschlandradio, 09.10.2006)
When did you ever see a complete Wagner orchestra taking a bow on stage after a premiere? In this case it was justifiable in many ways - first as thanks for the ability to keep the music slim and at all times singer friendly as well as disclosing it with iridescent colouration in its inner wealth of relationships. Then as a demonstration of the teamgeist in the house, lead into battle against the opposition in city politics by Barbara Mundel. And last but not least as recognition for the young, obviously capable Swedish conductor Patrik Ringborg with his long lasting Freiburg experience, from which he now benefits as interim Chief Conductor. ... 130 conductors have applied for the position - Ringborg is not one of them. But it is obvious that the Philharmonic Orchestra Freiburg likes him. That's something to mull over.
( FAZ , 10.10.2006)
De-mystification is also the keyword for the musical interpretation through Philharmonic Orchestra Freiburg und Patrik Ringborg. He saves on the incense and instead places his bet on a Wagner as un-pathetic and sugar-free as possible, but still compelling. The Valhalla theme e.g. has a really mincing and discreet effect, exhibiting wonderfully refined wind players...
... start also in the temporarily pitch-dark orchestra pit. On the podium in front of the even in sensitive moments solid Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra stands Patrik Ringborg, in the nineties Principal Conductor in the house, later in Essen und until a new Generalmusikdirektor is found interim Chief Conductor. Those who rather would have kept him that very evening were given help with their arguments through the premiere in Freiburg. He presented a Wagner with understatements: "The Rhinegold" as a "Konversationsstück", even though discreet still very present in its disassembling of the orchestral parts with meticulously controlled transitions...
(Stuttgarter Zeitung, 10.10.2006)
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