Wednesday, 22 March 2017 18:11

Voice n' Violin at the Tokyo Spring Festival Featured

A special evening was the concert "Voice n 'Violin" at the music festival "Tokyo Haru Sai". Tenor Andreas Schager and the violinist Lidia Baich, who were highly esteemed as Wagner singers in recent years, presented a very colorful and varied program. Alternately, they performed vocal numbers from opera and operetta and various violin pieces in an intense and brilliant way. They were accompanied by the orchestra of the Tokyo Mitaka Philharmonic under the direction of Vienna conductor Mathias Fletzberger.

The evening was opened with the cheerful overture from "Le Nozze di Figaro". Next, Andreas Schager, who debuted at the Bayreuth Festival last year, sang the first Aria of the Magic Flute. His brilliant heroic tenor's voice filled the hall with force. This was followed by the Wesendonck songs by Richard Wagner in an arrangement by Felix Mottl and Matthias Fletzberger. Although mostly performed by female singers, Schager could interpret these songs in a convincing and powerful way. Especially in the third song "In the greenhouse" he impressed with his deep and suffering presentation. The last song was accompanied by violinist Baich, who was able to show an original and interesting interpretation. Unfortunately, the hall was a bit too small for Schager's vocal range, and I would have liked to enjoy it in a larger space.

Baich presented the Rondo in C-Major by W.A.Mozart in a virtuoso and easy way. In her performance of Introduction and Rondo capriccioso (Saint-Saëns) she convinced with polished sounds and her technique, the coda being the unsurpassed climax. Overall, she let us hear an impressive performance.

The funny and cheerful overture from Donna Diana by Reznicek was followed by Viennese operetta pieces in the second part of the concert. Schager sang arias from the Gypsy Baron by J. Strauss II and F. Lehars Giuditta. They form the favorite repertoire of the successful tenor. With its elastic high tones, the 3/4 bar sounded typically Viennese and familiar. While Baich in the "Love dream" Nr. 3 by F. Liszt was expressing joy with her violin, she produces rural sounds in the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. These were followed by pieces by Kreisler, in which she produced romantic Viennese sounds. You could hear their diversity in expression.

Including the encores, all pieces of the evening were well selected. The soloists harmonized very well with the conductor, who was also responsible for arranging the pieces. Even the small but spirited orchestra was able to precisely implement the musical wishes of the conductor.

(Juno Shibatsuji)