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Weltschmerz on the beautiful island? – An evening of chamber music with Dvořák, Berg and Mahler on La Palma

5. February 2020 Guest post Write first comment now!

Teatro Circo Mars © lapalmabiosfera.es

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is probably every fan of classical music, a term. But have you ever heard of the ensemble Camerata RCO? Some years ago, a few members of the renowned orchestra of the Dutch capital have joined forces as a chamber music group, reveals how the official website - - to "personal and intimate" the pleasure of making music together on a plane and to learn each other mutually better acquainted.

Even the refreshing contact with the audience, resulting in a smaller circle, is obviously a key impetus behind the project. By his own admission, the ensemble in designing its programs and the choice of his musical partner has a free hand; However, the concert history as well as the repertoire and cover the small Discography give the impression, tend that the musicians supported sounds. In the webshop of the ensemble eleven albums with titles like "Music for the mourning spirit" offered, in younger concert program one evening was dominated by melancholy.

The RCO is known for its attachment to the melancholy composer Mahler. I wonder if the Winter Blues played a role, as the chamber ensemble decided, at 36. International Music Festival of the Canary Islands mitzuwirken? After all, promised the five Canary Islands, which will visit the ensemble in the coming days, in the gray and dreary season consoling sunshine.

© Hans van der Woerd

The program of the tour acts at least at first glance, strange for this sunny holiday resorts, which are already decried as a cultural wasteland: offer Dvorak Bagatelles op. 47, the "Seven Early Songs" of the still very young Alban Berg and the G major Symphony No.. 4 of his friend and role model Mahler.

None of these composers would bring you straight away with the cliché of the carefree island life in connection, rather morbidity and Weltschmerz, and yet were on opening night in the small Teatro Circo de Marte in Santa Cruz de La Palma on 29. January 2020 to recognize some touching references to these "beautiful island": The violinist Annebeth Webb takes the stage in a flowing robe, dotted with pink flowers - at the time of the almond blossom this stage outfit was certainly not chosen at random.

Dvořáks Bagatellen, the two violins, Cello and accordion (as a substitute for the harmonium the original version) be carried forward, Open the program.

Almost doing a touch of romance sailor comes on, the here - seems very consistent - not far from the ferry terminal. The talk is not hard at all corresponding to the five Movements and dreary, and especially the play second fiddle (Unfortunately, the names of most performers are not figure out this evening) looks charming and casual.

can be finally the Bagatelles are supposed played among good friends and intrepid amateurs, and it is this informal mood turns on stage here.

Even with Berg's seven songs (in the treatment of de Leeuw) it goes further relaxed. That the aforementioned Geiger obviously the wrong music book has taken to the stage and therefore ensures a slight delay in the program execution, forgive the small audience - including many expected, German and Dutch - like. Later, the chin rest it will fall off of his instrument and a squeaker in high position undermined again, but rather also fires the relaxed mood of the evening, instead of providing for chagrin.

At the beginning of the event every concert-goer has been handed a free booklet, Word follow in the then almost all the guests for word, as the soprano Judith van Wanroij mountain settings of German poetry texts interpreted. The debate is in any case clean, though some Rs perhaps a bit too sharply, and the vocal implementation of bittersweet and sometimes oppressive and even scary texts (Lenau "Schilflied") equally convinced.

The presentation is colored dark and behave, a certain distrust of a potentially deceptive idyll swings audibly. If you are daring enough, you can interestingly read out from each text references to La Palma: "Far Wonderland is opened / Silver project mountains, dream big " (C. Captain's "Night"), „Wander- and Wonderland " (High mountain "Summer Days) etc. The orchestra under the direction of Lucas Macías succeeds, to make together with the singer the embarrassment of seven songs to life, the dark by the, always arises from Dissonating drift melodies. In the song "Traumgekrönt" unfortunately fails, an insert.

The beautiful idea, to provide a booklet available to each guest, unfortunately creates even brief confusion, because the order of the stage presentation does not comply with the order of the songs in the booklet. Here, Berg had apparently even a dramatic sequence for this cycle in mind, which could not be taken into account that evening, however, if only because of the different composition of the presented arranged version. Unfortunately, in the booklet even small errors in the printed English texts were to discover.

The quality of the next attached Spanish translations not a judgment can be made at this point - at most, it would have been interesting to know, where these lyrics are.

Mahler's Symphony No.. 4 in the processing of Erwin Stein for chamber orchestra forms the second part and thus the conclusion of this concert evening. "Slowly", "without haste", should "calmly" and "very pleasant" the four sets are played, but for the progressive time, unfortunately, does not apply. Even the departure of the last island bus is coming, while remaining at least fifteen minutes concert! About the end of the evening, therefore we can only speculate.

For the future, the organizers might be advisable, must be reduced accordingly early to start full-length events in the island, so that every guest the deals can participate fully in claim. Because it would be a shame, if still people believe, that a Canaries holiday and the enjoyment of classical concerts mutually exclusive!

Stefanie Schlatt

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