Friday, October 1, 2010
The traveller returns
Anne has just arrived safely back from Germany. She came straight to my place from the airport and was wound up like a top -- but who wouldn't be after witnessing the magnificent spectacle at Oberammergau and seeing one of the great Mozart operas at the Bayerische Staatsoper?
I gather that the performance Anne saw closely replicated the original performance of Cosi fan tutti conducted by Mozart himself -- so that is hard to beat. I absolutely HATE it when some producer is arrogant enough to think that he can "modernize" a classical play or opera.
Germany/Austria is of course the home of the passion for Originalinstrumenten -- the view that the exact sounds originally intended by the great composers should be respected -- and I wholeheartedly agree with that. If that makes me a dinosaur so be it -- but that would also make the home of music (the German-speaking lands) dinosaurs. And I don't think that proposition is remotely sustainable.
Anne was very impressed by the quality of the music at Oberammergau. It was originally written in the early 19th century -- and subsequent changes and additions have remained true to the Romantic style. So it is very easily assimilable. Anne brought back a CD of it and I must say I am impressed too. Some of the chorales are as good as any chorale in the classical repertoire, in my opinion.