Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Watch Janowski's Ring Enescu Festival

Marek Janowski's Wagner Ring at the Enescu Festival in Bucharest continues with Siegfried on Thursday 19th at 1700,  and Götterdämmerung on Sunday 22nd at 1700. No repeats, only live, but it's worth making the time for if you can. Das Rheingold on Sunday was enjoyable, in an energetic way, but Die Walküre was something special. Janowski's style is vigorous, but direct. Not for him the overripe "romance"  some expect in Wagner even though the operas are hardly sentimental by nature. He conducts the Radio Symphonie Orchestra Berlin who may not be as glitzy as Bayreuth but are pretty good.

But listen, too, for the singers, especially Egil Silins. He's a regular on the Wagner circuit  but doesn't often appear in English-speaking countries. His well-modulated control of line suggests Wotan's personality rather well. How Wotan became leader of the Gods, we don't know, but we do know that he's no saint, and may constantly be struggling between his weakness and the power of his position. The Ring isn't about heroes so much as flawed people trying to do the best they can. Silins isn't a flashy personality, but his disciplined technique evokes something of Wotan's hard-won mastery of the wilder forces within himself. Silins is reserved, but when he sings Wotan's confrontation with his daughter, he shows the fragility within., which Wotan usually has to conceal..

Petra Lang is always interesting, and her Brünnhilde is convincing. Without her trademark fiery locks and in evening dress, Lang looks like an ordinary woman, but that helps characterization too. She's strong enough to be a Valkyrie but is also human. I was surprised at the tenderness she brings to the part, especially for a singer who can create demonic Ortruds. A pity that she won't be singing Brünnhilde, awakening from the flames.

On Thursday, Stefan Vinke will sing Siegfried fresh from Seattle. Catherine Foster will sing Brünnhilde fresh from Bayreuth, where much was made of her being the first English Brünnhilde. there. Since the role has no nationality, this alone means nothing. Foster is pleasant enough, if that's what they mean by "English". Martin Winkler sings Alberich and Arnold Bezuyen sings Mime, reprising their roles from Das Rheingold. Both very effective. The George Enescu Festival in Bucharest is definitely on the international map, and they do things to the best of their resources, without fuss. Nearly all concerts are being streamed live, including Enescu's Oedipe around which the Festival was built.


Unknown said...

You write so well about these performances. They are so good it seems so difficult for me to resume. It is a great luck to hear interprets like Sillins.

Doundou Tchil said...

it is thanks to you, that I get to find these things in the first place. Merci bien 10000 times!