“An immediate conclusion. In a discussion with some of the artists invited by Leif Ove Andsnes to perform at the fourth Rosendal Chamber Music Festival, it quickly became clear … most of them found the summer playing and music exploration particularly special. Precisely because Dmitri Shostakovich’s music is so Janus-faced, oscillating between grief and pain, yet always remaining recognizable, the abundance of 18 pieces in four days plus the controversy of contemporaries, forerunners and successors had been so extraordinarily exciting. One is deeply satisfied and joyfully fulfilled, even if one has played sad music. A very intense experience, everyone agrees. 

“And while the weather has clouded over outside, low-hanging cloud veils give the valley by the fjord and the castle with gardens a whole new, enchanted poetry, the festival bends with another two very dense concerts in the barn into a fantastic closing curve. In the morning, Shostakovich’s relations, including Soviet music as such, are examined with Jewish sounds. The klezmer-encased overture according to Hebrew themes by Prokofiev is written in a version for clarinet, string quartet and piano at the beginning. 

“It is clear that Anthony McGill is once again challenged with his ever-new range of colours, the Quatuor Danel and Marianna Shirinyan are the tireless players. Similar motifs can be found in the fourth Shostakovich string quartet, once again a worthwhile task for the Danels, who in turn also perform “Two Sketches on Hebrew Themes” by Alexander Krein (1883-1951) with the clarinet soloist. Shostakovich’s song cycle “From Hebrew Folk Poetry” must be remembered, it is not performed. In return, the concert culminates in the second piano trio, which once again spreads and processes new moods, for which Veriko Tchumburizde with her crystal-clear violin tone, Clemens Hagen on the fully grasped cello and Leif Ove Andsnes as a discreet, but also packed pianist on the podium. 

“For the final afternoon chords of this year, an original combination of works are once again heard. Anthony McGill starts with the virtuosically blinded three pieces for solo clarinet by Igor Stravinsky, a classic that now also brings this time-alive rival in the spirit of Shostakovich to the Rosendal game for the last session. Alexander Vustin (who also bows down one last time in his humble-left way) answers this with his “dedication” for cello, marimba and piano, with Amelia Stalheim, Kristoffer Almas and Andsnes. 

“Andsnes also sits first on the left, later right on one of the two pianos, when, at the virtuoso start after the break, he performs the witty and playful Stravinsky Concerto for two pianos, then the Allegro from Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony and Concerto with Marc-André Hamelin. As an encore Stravinsky’s elephant-like circus polka. 

“As a real finale, Shostakovich 15th and final Symphony, arranged by Viktor Derevianko for piano trio and 13 percussion instruments, can be heard as his orchestral conclusion. So fine and sparse we are once again surprised by the playing with its material like the shapes. You just can’t be saturated with Shostakovich. Can there be a better festival summary? Especially since this final opus is also performed by the PERCelleh boys, Christian Krogvold, Sonoko Miriam Welde and Clemens Hagen with wild temperament and the finest instrumental skills. 

“But Rosendal as a really special music meeting among friends has a very last specialty to offer: the joint final dinner in the Blue Salon of the Barony. Under candle chandeliers and Meißner porcelain, one imagines onely as in the Bergman film “Fanny and Alexander”. The two French chefs go up again, champagne perl, wine flowing, last toasts and acceptance speeches are spoken. 

“And then the holidays are off in Norway, and the Rosendal Chamber Music Festival is history again for the time being. But the 6th to 9th of August 2020 can already be reserved in the calendar. And even if the choice of themes does not seem so special, for the 250th birthday of course chamber music giant Ludwig van Beethoven has to be remembered, the program and artist friend selection of Leif Ove Andses will surely have such a surprise in store again.”


Source: Die Welt