The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival brings all stars together | Music | DW | 13.01.2021
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The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival brings all stars together

Several musical stars came together at the Schleswig-Holstein Music festival, making it a memorable event. We'll hear their music in these two Concert Hours.

Listen to audio 54:59

Concert Hour: All stars in Schleswig-Holstein, part one

Your ticket to the German classical music festival scene: Concert Hour has the picks of the season — two hours of music updated regularly.

Along with host Rick Fulker, the musicians themselves are on hand to give their insights into the events and the music.

Listen to audio 16:25

Concert Hour: All stars in Schleswig-Holstein, part two

Part one:

A who's who of who's in demand in any season: mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, percussionist Martin Grubinger, harpist Xavier de Maistre, cellist Sol Gabetta, pianist Christian Bezuidenhout and clarinetist Sabine Meyer.

Each these artists was individually in the spotlight in a past season of the Schleswig-Holstein Music festival. In 2020, they all came. "It's like coming home," said Israeli mandolin player Avi Avital, who adapted Bach's Violin concerto in A Minor for the mandolin.

Having brought the mandolin out of the shadows, Avi Avital describes it as an instrument that is common, yet mysterious: "Not a lot of people have really heard it in concert. This is what I enjoy revealing to the audience: what it is nowadays."

The Japanese composer Maki Ishii wrote Thirteen Drums in 1988 for big tubular Japanese taiko drums. Percussionist Martin Grubinger has played it that way too, but here he brings out the full arsenal of percussion instruments for a big sound.

Amidst the pandemic, French harp player Xavier de Maistre gave house concerts for music lovers at their homes. Together with former students, he then staged a little harp festival with pop-up concerts for small audiences. Sometimes he arranges orchestral music for solo harp, but at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival he had tailwind from the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.

Clarinetist Sabine Meyer

Sabine Meyer has made several appearances at the Schleswig-Holstein music festival

Here are the details:

Johann Sebastian Bach

Violin concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041, adapted for mandolin   

Edvard Grieg

From Holberg's Time, suite op. 40, version for strings

Maki Ishii

Thirteen drums   

François-Adrien Boieldieu

Harp concerto in C Major, arranged for strings by Arthur Lilienthal (first movement, excerpt)

Sol Gabetta

Argentinian Cellist Sol Gabetta hosts a TV music show in Germany

Performed by:

Avi Avital, mandolin

Martin Grubinger, percussion

Xavier de Maistre, harp

NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra

Alan Gilbert, conductor

Recorded by North German Radio Hamburg (NDR) in the Hasselburg country estate on July 5, 2020 

Part two:

A homecoming for past portrait artists of Germany's biggest festival, spanning an entire state and, in the most recent season, offering many digital events such as this concert.

Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta, a classical music TV host in Germany, has her own festival in Switzerland, where she makes her home. Joining her here is the Australian pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in Beethoven's third sonata for cello and piano, a work that Gabetta finds simple – yet difficult:

Kristian Bezuidenhout at the piano

Kristian Beuidenhout plays the harpsichord, the fortepiano and the modern piano with equal ease

"There are so any open questions in the music," said Gabetta. "It's so fragile, yet so strong. You can structure it so many different ways. As a performer, I feel like an architect. The stones are all in place, the doors are where they need to be too, but you still have to inject taste. You only discover these things after doing it for years."

Kristian Bezuidenhout pointed to the freedoms performers have when interpreting the Viennese classics: "In the score, they didn't give many indications of how to play it. That leaves it up to us: the choice of instrument, the articulation, the sound colors. You have to bring your own personality and opinion into play."

Reiner Wehle and Sabine Meyer play the same instrument, or nearly: she the clarinet and he the basset horn, which is in the clarinet family of instruments. They're both soloists here in Mendelssohn's Concert Piece 1 in F Minor.

Here are the details:

François-Adrien Boieldieu

Harp concerto in C Major, arranged for strings by Arthur Lilienthal (second and third movements)

Ludwig van Beethoven

Sonata No. 3 in A Major for cello and piano, op. 69   

Felix Mendelssohn

Alan Gilbert conducts a concert at the New York Philharmonic

America music conductor Alan Gilbert

Concert piece No. 1 for clarinet, basset horn and orchestra, arranged by Rainer Schottstädt

Performed by:

Xavier de Maistre, harp

Sol Gabetta, cello

Kristian Bezuidenhout, piano

Sabine Meyer, clarinet

Reiner Wehle, basset horn

NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra

Alan Gilbert, conductor

Recorded by North German Radio Hamburg (NDR) in the Hasselburg country estate on July 5, 2020

Antonin Dvorak

Romantic pieces, op. 75

Performed by:

Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

Annika Treutler, piano

Recorded by North German Radio Hamburg (NDR) at the Rostock Music Academy on July 16, 2020