Yesterday I have been to a concert at Kulturpalast Dresden. I am afraid this will be a lengthy review because the outcome of the concert was unexpected to me. In that way it fitted to my whole day yesterday.
I was really looking forward to this concert, because I was expecting to experience Yuja Wang live on stage. I haven’t seen her yet but have viewed a lot of YouTube clips and she is amazing! Unfortunately she is ill and could not perform 😥 Here is a clip of what we have missed out, Prokofiev5.
We were informed about that a couple of days earlier and instead of the piano concert of Prokofiev the event organizer changed it to a violin concert of Tschaikowski. Very different to Prokofiev but at least Russian.
When I bought the concert program the lady told me they were playing Schumann, she didn’t know about Tschaikowski. Now I was confused and upset. How could they replace an exciting Prokofiev performed by Yuja Wang by a boring Schumann followed by a possibly also boring Brahms? They probably wanted to bore me to death!
Indeed Jan Vogler informed us at the beginning of the concert that something had happened he has never experienced before: Yuja Wang could not perform because she is ill. They found an exciting violin player as a replacement but the day before she had to cancel as well, because she had a death in her family (terrible for her). Then they found a young pianist as stand in short notice: Kit Armstrong. I don’t know how a pianist and an orchestra can play together without having played together before. Obviously Schumann was the piece both have on repertoire. We (the audience) had mixed feelings about it.
But the concert started with the Concert Românesc by György Ligeti. The orchestra performing was the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra led by Mirga Grazinytė-Tyla. She is a young conductor following in the footsteps of Sir Simon Rattle or Andris Nelsons and she made an amazing performance! The orchestra is wonderful! It is was a short piece that was forbidden to be played in communist Hungary, because of some slight dissonances in the piece. It is incredible to imagine how a 12 minute long music piece should endanger a political system. 20 years after it has been composed it was performed for the first time in 1971 in the US. We were very happy yesterday after the performance and were afraid that the best part of the concert was over.
During the short rebuild break the conductor came out and informed us (in German) that the Orchestra is on a little tour right now and will be celebrating it’s fiftiest (or hundredth, I forgot) birthday next year. And she invited us all to Birmingham. From what I have heard I am considering to follow the invitation!
Then 27 years old Kit Armstrong came on stage. And he gave an incredible performance of Schumann‘s piano concert that was not boring at all! And then he gave an encore that he explained in excellent German. I was completely stunned and had to google him immediately during the interval. He studied the piano with Alfred Brendel (!), in addition he studied mathematics. Being American he speaks four languages fluently. I definitely have to see him again! I found a nice clip on YouTube about him (in German).
After the interval the orchestra played the second sinfonie of Brahms. And again it was not boring at all. The orchestra and the conductor are amazing! The only thing that was strange to me was, that the orchestra used the American lineup for playing German romantic instead of German lineup. But that did not impair the perfect overall impression.
A wonderful concert evening!