Old folk at lunch

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.

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