“Weltmusikfestival Grenzenlos: Herausragende Leistung im fast leeren Saal” [“World Music Festival Without Borders: Outstanding performance in an almost empty hall”]

From: Merkur (October 27, 2010)

Source (originally in German): http://www.merkur-online.de/lokales/murnau/weltmusikfestival-grenzenlos-herausragende-leistung-fast-leeren-saal-973150.html

Murnau – freedom as conscious attention to the fate of individual people. This is the ambitious theme of the world music festival Grenzenlos 2010. It started with a special concert. (© AUTO_MUR)

Two professionals who understand each other: Conductor Andreas Hérm Baumgartner and first violinist Jeany Park of the Bavarian Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Few have heard the moving performance of the works of the anti-fascist composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann. Photo: kolb

In his speech at the opening of the festival, Michael Rapp, Mayor of Murnau, made it clear that freedom only comes into consciousness through the personal experience of the opposite: being locked in. The critical impulses of the comprehensive topic of “boundlessly free” required a high degree of tolerance, which the Murnau Cultural Association, namely the chairmen Thomas Köthe and Konstantin Zeitler, would take up in an exemplary manner.

But disappointment prevailed on the first evening of the festival, which lasts until tomorrow’s Sunday: the chamber orchestra of the Bavarian Symphony Orchestra played in front of an almost empty hall. Almost 60 listeners do not do justice to the anti-fascist composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann. The concert was a moving homage to the Munich composer whose work, buried in the parish garden of the Christuskirche (we reported), survived the Nazi regime.

The chamber orchestra had an excellent leader in Andreas Hérm Baumgartner. The conductor preceded Hartmann’s 4th Symphony with a specially written orchestral version of Franz Schubert’s string quartet “Der Tod und das Mädchen”. With this variety of violins, the inner drama of the late work came to the fore even more clearly. Baumgartner focused on the colouring and description of sound forms. In the large version for orchestra, the death motif of sound repetition showed a similarity to the idea in Ludwig van Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Through the superimposition of the string parts, the unconditional nearness of death spread almost palpably throughout the hall. If one adds the oppressive stage design by Christian Schied and Bernd Weber to the description – a section of bars over which blurred, faded rows of numbers ghost – then the transition to Hartmann’s work is perfect.

“The Inner Emigrant” is the name of a concert and exhibition (we reported) on the life and work of Karl Amadeus Hartmann. This highly committed, impressive and moving performance with music made clear what life in the Third Reich had actually meant.