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Moritzburg Festival 2010

Thursday, 2 September 2010 , ora 13.48

To me, any journey is a life experience and even more than that, a journey to one of the most important Chamber Music festivals in Germany or perhaps in the whole of Europe, the way it is at the Moritzburg Festival.

First of all, we need to mention that Moritzburg is a little town near Dresden, which was named after one of the rulers of Saxony who built there the first hunting palace. In the XVIIth century, August of Saxony arranged the present-day structure of the Moritzburg Castle to a typical example of German baroque art. For a period of 18 years, the Moritzburg Castle has been the welcoming host of the recitals entered on the festival agenda; the initiator of this event is the cellist Jan Vogler who is also its present artistic director. His passion for music has successfully put in motion real machinery, working with a perfectly synchronised mechanism.

The concept of the festival is similar to the Malboro Festival-USA. Every year, Jan Vogler decides who will be the invited artists and interprets what exactly works for each musician; this however will be decided only after the rehearsals have started at Moritzburg. The festival was born out of Jan Vogler's desire for chamber music to be played at Moritzburg, along with some of the most important names that perform on international stages and this family atmosphere is still preserved.

I have experienced it during a lunch with the musicians at the hotel where they have been accommodated and have rehearsals during the two weeks of the festival's programme.

In 2010, the Moritzburg Festival is taking place between 8th and 22nd August. The invited artists include names that have appeared on the Romanian stages; the piano player, Lise de la Salle, the violin players Valeri Sokolov and Viviane Hagner. Also performing will be artists who are less known both to the Romanian audience and the European audience in general, but who will be greatly appreciated, especially on the American stages.

Between 13th and 15th August we listened to 5 recitals scheduled for this festival, each with its own special personality, but having a common characteristic and undoubtedly with interpretation of the highest quality.

13th August - a recital at the Moritzburg Castle, works by Daniel Schnyder (the composer in residence at the festival - editia 2010), Brahms and Schumann, followed by a dinner-party in the kitchens of the palace where the menu was chosen by two of the most well-known and appreciated cooks from Dresden. Exclusive guests were present whose host was Thomas de Maiziere, the German Minister of the Interior.

14th August - two concerts. The first one, held at the Volkswagen Glass Factory in Dresden, was a special concert for children and their families. It was played by the young artists who participated earlier this year at the Moritzburg Academy - a 2 week improvement internship together with famous artists who play at the festival. A story read by a presenter with short musical pieces and the prize offered at the end was milk and cakes for everybody. The second concert took place at the well-known Frauenkirche in Dresden. A lied programme was presented by Schumann and Shostakovich including the String Sextet No.2, Op.36 byJohannes Brahms. I valued very highly not only soprano Christiane Iven's interpretation, but also the repertoire chosen from Shostakovich's musical work, that sounded so impressive in the church that had collapsed during the bombardments during WWII. The communists did not want to rebuild it and it was later rebuilt only after the Fall of the Iron Curtain and inaugurated only in 2005.

15th August - two other concerts. One in the morning, organized as a musical picnic at the Proschwitz Castle, a beautiful baroque residence surrounded by vines. The guests invited to play were the young interpreters of the Moritzburg Academy while between two concerts, the audience enjoyed a complimentary sandwich and a glass of wine. Proschwitz Castle has a history that might seem familiar to us, the Romanians. Naționalised in 1945, the castle and vineyard was bought by the heirs in 1997 At present, Count Zur Lippe is successful at selling his wine, branded with the name, Proschwitz Castle. The second concert at Moritzburg again during the evening; a violin and viola Duo by Mozart, the piece "Zoom in" by Daniel Schnyder and Johannes Brahms's Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115. This final concert was broadcasted on Radio Romania Music with permission granted by Deutschlandradio Kultur.

The Moritzburg Festival is a learning experience not only for musicians but also for organizers of events and the audience. It is a lesson about everything that is born from the passion for music, a lesson about music that can be connected successfully with somewhat fashionable events. It is of a very good quality, indicated by the fact of being able to sell tickets priced at 200 euros. It is a lesson about the need for money if you want to organize cultural events (this year's festival budget has been approximately 500.000 euros), but the spiritual benefits are obviously superior, proved by the sponsors' involvement in organizing the event.

In addition, Jan Vogler's words made a very strong impression on me because he presented me as follows: "Watch her, her work is very important; because she comes from Enescu and Lipatti's country…".
Cristina Comandașu
Translated by Elena Daniela Radu
MA student, MTTLC, Bucharest University