Review of the Anniversary Concert, Part 2

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With the Stuttgart Concertino, Trummer again had a very attentively accompanying orchestra at his disposal, which mastered the high, sometimes operatic demands of the score in an impressive manner.

The soloist tercet was also a particularly lucky choice: Both vocally and creatively, the young artists were convincing on an outstanding level. The Greek soprano Fanie Antonelou sang clear and effortless coloratura. Lyrical melting, expressive recitative shaping and always round, softly timbred tenor tones with beautifully balanced high notes were the trademark of the Stuttgart tenor Philipp Nicklaus. The bass part was almost sensational with the Tyrolean Oliver Sailer. Unbelievable vocal fullness and technical mastery characterised the performance of the just 28-year-old bass soloist, whether in the high f of the “Gipfel” in his first aria or in the low D of the “Gewürms”. After this surprise, an appreciative murmur could be heard in the audience.

Making three into one…

…exceedingly large choir! This astonished with its high homogeneity and spot-on synchronisation and was the result of Trummer’s meticulous preparatory work. He explained his musical ideas in detail to the other two choir directors via zoom meetings. Only in this way could a differentiated interpretation be realised – despite only a few joint rehearsals. Clever choice of tempo, clear articulations and agreements (despite the Czech- and French-speaking parts of the choir!) as well as convincing changes of expression in the classical sense enthused audience and participants alike.

Already the famous “Licht-Werdungs-Stelle” at the beginning of the first choral entry gave goose bumps with its dynamic leap between pianissimo and fortissimo at the radiant C major chord. The interplay of soloist tercet and choir in the final chorus after the fifth day of creation was also overwhelming. “The Lord is great” became a splendidly jubilant sound event, which impressively brought the heavenly hosts into the Beethoven Hall with sparkling coloratura, rousing tempo and wonderful dynamic increases.

All in all, the choral numbers made a grandiose impression alongside the soloistic parts. Without exaggerating, it can be said that Haydn himself must have taken great pleasure in this choral performance and the entire performance with its ravishing tone paintings. Once again it became clear why this oratorio has been so popular with audiences and performers for over 200 years.