01 November, 2013

Concert Review: Dresdner Philharmonic - Michael Sanderling - Julia Fischer

Concert Review: Dresdner Philharmonic - Michael Sanderling - Julia Fischer

October 23, 2013, CCCH
Wagner - Dvorak - Brahms

Double Happiness! I was happy to hear Michael Sanderling again (I heard him give an excellent concert with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in 2009). And I eagerly anticipated Julia Fischer, whose excellent body of recordings on Pentatone are widely available in the HKPL. And the Dresdner, though not as famous as the Staatskapelle, has had a long tradition under many illustrious conductors (many not well known in the West).

The Tristan und Isolde Prelude opened very beautifully. It was immediately apparent that this is an orchestra whose members listen to each other. The sections were balanced and there was a sheen to the strings. The music however, lacked somewhat in cumulative impact and the Liebestod in particular could have used more warmth.

Julia Fischer played beautifully in Dvorak's Violin Concerto, one of her favorites. From the highest notes to the low registers, her technique is impressively even and her tone ravishing. The accompaniment was symphonic; the winds were especially impressive. The playing of the flute in particular was heavenly. The reading as a whole excelled in precision and drive but lacked a little in "bohemian" feeling. Nonetheless, a fine effort for this concerto, which is always difficult to bring off.

I could hardly have asked for more in the rousing Brahms Symphony No. 4. Again, the woodwinds showed great strength and character. The strings caught perfectly the ebb and flow of the piece. The brass was not especially distinctive but blended in well. The difficult ending felt just right. As true for many young (German) virtuosi, Fischer participated by playing in the first string desk.

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