Barrie Kosky's landmark production at the opening of the 2017 Bayreuth Festival is a surreal fantasy in which Wagner plays a starring role.
“Jewish people and Germans will always be connected to each other.” These words of powerful understatement from the Israeli Ambassador to Germany prefaced the first edition of the New Life Festival, dedicated to Jewish musicians who fled from or suffered under the National Socialist regime during the Second World War. Published on Bachtrack.
If Johann Sebastian Bach is the fountain from which Western music springs, then Leipzig is its source. Three concerts over one day at the opening weekend of the Bachfest Leipzig provided a chance to tip one’s toe into Bach’s enormous legacy. Published on Bachtrack.
The Staatskapelle brought a showcase programme to the Berlin Philharmonie under chief conductor Daniel Barenboim. With it, the orchestra made a case for themselves as one of the best ensembles performing today. Published on Bachtrack.
In Berlin, the ‘FREE! Music’ festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt celebrated musical freedom fighters of all kinds, including Harry Partch, a rebel of a more esoteric kind. Published on The Cusp.
Overshadowed by its Hanseatic cousin Hamburg, Antwerp recently celebrated the opening of its own new concert hall. In his Symphony no. 2, Wim Henderickx tested the hall's capabilities with a multi-media extravaganza. Published on Bachtrack.
Teodor Currentzis, bad boy of early music, appeared at the Konzerthaus Berlin with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and MusicAeterna for a performance that turned it up to 11. Published on Bachtrack.
Vikingur Ólafsson, a daring and unique artist, never repeated himself in a performance of Philip Glass' Etudes for piano as part of the Berlin Konzerthaus' "Festival USA". Published on Bachtrack.
‘We refuse to accept a fascist America.’ A recent celebration of electronic Mexican music was politically pointed. Published on The Cusp.
John Adams and Peter Sellars' biblical oratorio given a fine concert performance by the Berliner Philharmoniker under departing chief conductor, Sir Simon Rattle. Published on Bachtrack.
A firecracker performance by Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin giving urgency to music composed at a time that echoes our own. Published on Bachtrack.
Gidon Kremer, long-time champion of Sofia Gubaidulina, joined the Berliner Philharmoniker and Christian Thielemann for a performance of In tempus praesens. Published on Bachtrack.
Scores, a recent exhibition in Berlin, exhibited new ‘scores’ by four visual artists as artworks in themselves, alongside a series of concerts featuring their musical realisation. Published on The Cusp.
Joseph Beuys, the German avant-garde artist and environmentalist, died 30 years ago this year. To mark his anniversary, Soloistenensemble Kaleidoskop mounted the premiere of a new surrealist theatrical work. Published on The Cusp.
Stasis, originally written for Ensemble musikFabrik, explores the boundary between sound and silence through a kind of symphony in space. Last weekend, the Ensemblekollektiv performed a new tailor-made version for the Akademie der Künste building in Berlin. Published on Bachtrack.
Round the corner from the Bundestag in Berlin, seat of the German parliament, the Akademie der Künste is mounting a new exhibition of works responding not only to migration, but also to exile, occupation, division and alienation. Published on The Cusp.
The Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin is roaming around its hometown this season with a series of chamber music concerts in unexpected places. In a former ballroom in the up-and-coming Neukölln district, the orchestra’s chamber ensemble presented an eccentric programme of music by oddballs and outcasts. Published on Bachtrack.
This former brewery in East Berlin was the home to a three-day celebration of weird and wonderful musical machines. The Wir sind die Roboter festival featured an array of instrumental contraptions from across the globe, with installations and exhibitions accompanied by three nights of musical performances. Published on The Cusp.
The idea of using smells in art isn’t new, but its history isn’t particularly illustrious. Smell-o-Vision was voted one of the hundred worst ideas of all time; Scratch’n’Sniff didn’t fare much better. Osmodrama, a two-month festival in Berlin, was not deterred. Published on The Cusp.
The Musikfest Berlin presented their own ‘Hommage’ to Boulez with his complete works for piano performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich. Published on Bachtrack.