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<<  -- 4 --  Bill Newman    BERLIN FESTIVAL DIARY


Harmonic content is derived from Satie, Poulenc, Debussy and Ravel, but the conception, whether pictorial or from personal association, derives from Koechlin's many-sided orchestral inspiration. With the programme approaching about 80 minutes' duration, the piano sound was increasing in depth and sonority, and suddenly the performers were alongside my front seat! Mussbach had a cantilever device underneath the platform to pull forwards diagonally through the centre aisle and the length of the hall. Occasional cracks and creaks notwithstanding, a more natural way of communicating and sharing music is hard to imagine!

Yaara Tal also featured in a concert the following day at the Kammermusiksaal der Philharmonie, the first half devoted to Darius Milhaud. Holger Groschopp, piano, Elisabeth Glass and Cornelia Brandis, violins, Hartmut Rohde, viola, and Martin Menking, cello, rang the changes around Le Boeuf sur le toit, the String Trio, and La création du monde. This represented Milhaud at his most sophisticated jazzy and ironical. Those, like myself, more familiar with chamber orchestral versions of the first and last pieces heard instrumental combinations using slightly different notation and bringing fresh timbres and more directness to the harmonic complexities.

The claim of Milhaud's close colleague and admirer, Erik Satie, to a place in posterity is even more clearly linked to the people and pastimes that permeated his ultra real, often erratic lifestyle. Caresse, Prélude a la porte héroique du ciel, Pièces froides, Sarabande No 3, Funf Lieder fur Gesang und Klavier, Choses vues a droite et a gauche, Embryons desséchées, Chez le docteur, Sports et divertissements are sparked with charm and satire synonymous with French folk of all ages, and soprano Ulrike Staude and violinist Muriel Cantoreggi paired with the irrepressible, impish Yaara to elucidate their exact meanings. Some of this music is for piano alone, and the audience had screened drawings with French and German texts to guide the sequence. Apart from slight hesitations and minor delays from the cinematographer (much to everyone's amusement) they left an indelible impression. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Muriel Cantoreggi (left) and Yaara Tal on 13 September 2000 at the Berlin Festival. Photo (c) Bill Newman

Continued next Tuesday >>


Copyright © 5 December 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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