It’s been hard to wait for the concert schedules to book tickets for performances that travellers will attend on the Marvelous Music & Culture of Germany Tour, September 19-30, 2018 with Rod Zook and Rennie Regehr.
Here’s what professional musician Rennie Regehr has to say about the upcoming performances:
On Friday in Leipzig, we will hear the Gewandhaus Orchestra (among the top 2 or 3 in Germany) performing four contrasting works: 1. the spritely, energetic Symphony #88 of Haydn, 2. Overture on Hebrew Themes by Prokofiev, 3. a “Choreographic Essay” by Leonard Bernstein, and 4. Shostakovich’s cheeky, and brilliant First Symphony, written when he was only 19.
On Saturday afternoon at 3:00 the famed choir of Thomaskirche will perform (these concerts usually last 75 minutes), and after the concert we will walk 500 metres to hear the magnificent organ in a recital at Bach’s ‘other’ church, the Nikolaikirche. In the fall International artists are featured in this series. Should be great!
On Sunday, after attending a service at Thomaskirche, we will travel to Berlin, in time to hear the iconic Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. They will be performing Bruckner’s 5th Symphony, an expansive, weighty and colourful work. I have seen their video performance of this symphony, and it’s fabulous: exquisite wind solos, wonderfully textured string playing, and massive and yet beautifully balanced sonority in the brass. This promises to be one of the key features of this tour. (It’s pretty amazing that the schedule works out for us to be there!)
We are also waiting for the concert schedule of the new Barenboim-Said Academy to be announced. The recital/chamber music hall, (Pierre Boulez Hall) designed by the acoustician who also designed the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, just opened a couple of years ago to rave reviews.
In Lübeck we will tour Marienkirche, and hear an organ recital on the very instrument that Bach heard Buxtehude play.
In Hamburg we will be attending the Hamburg Opera in a performance of Cosi fan Tutte. As in all Mozart’s operas, the music is simply out of this world. Cosi is brimming with fun, energy, silliness, humour, brilliant (and difficult!) orchestral writing, and tunes of astonishing beauty. It’s a great way to end the tour. (I am particularly excited to hear this performance, as I had the opportunity to conduct it while I was teaching at the University of Ottawa.)