Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events


Raphael Pichon. Foto: Henning Høholt

Raphael Pichon. Foto: Henning Høholt

PERIGUEUX: Wednesday evening we are in a completely other world, but still by the same Johann Sebastian Bach, that we attende in the afternoon concert.  But this time one of Johann Sebastian Bachs large works for singers, choire and orchestra. Premiere of a new production with ENSEMBLE PYGMALION presenting Köthener Trauermusic BWV 244a under the direction of the outstanding, young, conductor  Raphael Pichon.

Absolutely first class!!!!

In the front line the outstanding soloists:

Sabine Devielhe, sopran. Carlos Mena, countertenor, Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, tenor and Peter Harvey, bass. Furthermore outstanding solosists in the orchestra.

The Trauermusik is an extended funeral cantata in 24 movements (chorusesarias and recitatives). in four parts.

It is a very demanding work to present. First the large and generouse soloparts for the singing soloists, where it in general is presented by a recitative followed by an aria which is being repated several times, to accompagnement from different groups in the orchestra, which gives the solosinger and the small orchestral group the possibility to develope the piece, this was giving absolutely wonderful results.



The first part is about the national mourning, the second part is about the prince’s departig and the salvation of his soul, in this the countertenor Carlos Mena in the recitative followed by a deliciouse violinsolo by the first violinist, followed in the aria is having a beautiful cooperation with the 1 violin and other members of the orchestra, intelligently placed on each their side of the ensemble. And later the soprano Sabine Devieilhe in her aria together with Solo flute and flutes – delicious performed. The third part, that followed after the homily, deals with Leopold’s commemoration. In which the bass, Peter Harvey, is speaking “directly” to Leopold. – Beautifully performed together with Luth and Viola da Gamba, and later the tenor aria Emiliano Gonzalez Toro.   The last part is about the farewell and about the deathlike silence, again with the wonderful bass Peter Harvey in focus, with the soprano, Sabine Devieilhe, recitative and aria in between.

Raphael Pichon is directing it all tranquil,  with a good feeling for details, giving each part the time to sound out, but also not forgetting that the acustic in the Saint Etienne church in Perigueux are having a lot of acustic, so it sounds up to two seconds in the room, which usually is difficult to hadnle, in this case it works perfect to listen to from my (very uncomfortable) seat. But still with calm, Raphael Pichon is also giving each part the passion as it deserves, and he is never parking a part, he is always opening up for a successfull continuation. I am deeply impressed of his work.

After the concert, Wednesday August 24th, we had a small interview with Raphael Pichon about the work and if the result would have been as good as to day, with so brilliant singers, at the time when Johann Sebastian Bach lived: “We know that during his time in Leipzig J.S.Bach complained a lot about the bad level of singers and musicians, but it is too clear that he during his periode was having brilliant singers and musicians visiting to Leipzig, and for them he then wrote demanding and wonderful pieces of music.  This has inspired Bach to make such great music pieces.”

We are curiouse about where Raphael Pichon has found so well functioning group as this he is directing: “Through the last four-five years, we have build up this group of young great musicians and singers, this make the basic for well formed and successful productions.”.

After the premiere the Ensemble Pygmalion directed by Raphael Pichon shall tour with this production.

27 août : Festival de Sablé

13 septembre : Musikfest Bremen

17 septembre : Festival d’Ile-de-France

This evening was one more of the extraordinary succesfully concerts at the festival. The festival artistic leadership manages to find pearls around in Europe to present to the audience, in this case, this particular festival is outstanding.

The funeral cantata Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, BWV 244a, also called Köthener Trauermusik, is a lost composition of Johann Sebastian Bach. The Trauermusik was composed for the memorial service for Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen on 24 March 1729 in the St. Jakob church in Köthen, one day after the prince’s burial in the crypt of the church. Bach’s librettist Picander wrote the text. The libretto exists in three versions, which differ in some details.

A partial reconstruction was performed by Hans Grüß, a complete reconstruction by Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik. The Trauermusik is important to understand the history of the St Matthew Passion, BWV 244.

For the version presented in Perigueux by Ensemble Pygmalion is research work and parody done by Morgan Jourdain.


Tagged as: , ,