“Bringing large works closer to the audience in a small cast, that is the ambitious and courageous concept of Klassikamplatz.at. in the northern Weinviertel.

The beginning on the “Gstettenbühne” is a first-class concert with two works from the fin de siècle period. Maurice Ravels Ma mère l'oye (mother goose) was created in the years 1908-1911 in several versions, of which the instrumental was premiered in 1911. The director and musical director of Klassik am Platz, Matthias Fletzberger, specially put together for this Weinviertel Festival of thirteen Ensemble in place immersed in this work in a magical world of beguiling beauty.

What follows is one of the most beautiful and moving things that Mahler wrote. The Song of the EarthHow Ravel's fairy tale suite was created in 1908 is a wistful work that is surrounded by sadness, farewell and a desperate zest for life that breaks out again and again.

Benjamin Bruns is an excellent creator of these abysmal stanzas. A light-sounding tenor with emotional expressiveness and the ability to effectively build up and drop off tension, which he also did in the second drinking song, "The drunk in spring" as well as in the song "From the youth " can prove that each can reflect fundamentally different moods. If drinking wine is a means of exhilarating escape from the world in one, the other is an impressionistic, Japanese or Chinese description of the state of youthful indifference. The clarity of the words in Brun's debut in this part should be emphasized.

Brun's partner on the podium is the German singer Nadine Weissmann, the ones in Mahler's Song of the earth is also on stage for the first time. The highly acclaimed Wagner interpreter, with appearances in Bayreuth and at the Salzburg Festival, has a light-timbred, voluminous mezzo-soprano and knows how to use her pleasant voice in a finely modulating manner. With the sensitively designed last part, "The good bye", it delivers the expected climax of the evening. Mahler's instructions for this half-hour finale are “Difficult”. How do you sing "difficult"? Weissmann explores the long struggle to the transcendent climax on a journey that leads from deep loneliness into eternity, but perhaps also into eternal nothingness, in a sounding and serious manner.

Matthias Fletzberger and his ensemble accompany the singer attentively and very present on this difficult path. Particularly impressive is the instrumental funeral march, which ends in sudden hoops and once again signals hope and departure before it inevitably comes to a final farewell.

A big concert evening with unfortunately far too little audience. "

Manfred A. Schmid / Der Neue Merker, August 7th, 2021
Photos: © Gesine Görlich-Fletzberger