The soloists Omar Ebrahim narrator, Anna Lena Persson, soprano, Katarina Karnéus mezzo-soprano, Tomas Lind tenor, Patrick Harryson cello, Göteborg Opera Orchestra
live, die and survive
Registration (Brundibar) Mia Ringblom Hjertner.
Conductors Henrik Schaefer and Finn Rosengren
There is no mistaking the conductor Henrik Schaefer’s special commitment to this concert. It emerges in the highly concentrated interpretation of Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. But also in the conversations that take place in one of the breaks, between Schaefer and dramatist Goran Gademan.
Schaefer talks about how anti-Semitism is spreading, and the special responsibilities of representatives of cultural life. He highlights music’s broader political meanings: how the social context in any way affect the music expression. It is important standpoints, not least Schaefer points out Richard Strauss dubious relationship with the Nazi regime, as head of the National Music Chamber appointed by Goebbels, and how he thereby, in music, had to administer the Nazi sick ideas on Entartete Kunst.
This, in turn, the performance of Strauss Vier letzte Lieder rare charged. The soprano Anna Lena Persson’s a great soloist, and suddenly realizes how this music, composed just after the war, associated with a political context.
This also applies to the evening as a whole. It begins with a very convincing interpretation of His Krásas children’s opera Brundibár, the Göteborg Opera Children’s Choir and distankör, and a small chamber orchestra Finn Rosengren’s management. At the advent expressed this Stravinsky- and Kurt Weill-influenced works 55 times in the concentration camp Theresienstadt, before both the composer and the majority of the participating children were sent on to the extermination camp Auschwitz.
And then to hear Schoenberg’s depiction of Nazi terror in Warsaw, is a thrilling experience. Omar Ebrahim is terribly good as the narrator, tight and factual, with a virtuoso ability to hold together the mood. This in turn affects how you perceive the other works, particularly the completion of Mahler’s song cycle Das Lied von der Erde. Here are Katarina Karnéus and Tomas Lind not only convincing vocal soloists. All Mahler Varnish has been washed away and you hear the human essence of the term, the actual vulnerability. The orchestra plays with an unusual nerve.