Good music chases goose bumps over the whole body, makes your breath catch. And sometimes she manages to do that with a single chord. The Heidelberger Frühling podcast series "Genau jetzt" is eagerly anticipating precisely these moments that make plays so special.
Maria Gnann and Thilo Braun invite prominent musicians to bring their key moments in a classical work. Host and guest tell which passages thrill them, which passages get on their last nerve, and what offbeat things they learned about a work.
"Genau jetzt" is a production by the music journalism collective MUJK for Heidelberger Frühling. In "Nachhause gehen mit...", also produced by MUJK for Heidelberger Frühling, festival artists give insights into their everyday lives and reveal what happens after the concert. In a very personal way, they accompany concertgoers on their way home or whenever they long for inspiring company along the way.
At the very end of his life, Brahms wrote eleven chorale preludes. Number ten ("Herzlich tut mich verlangen") indulges in a longing for death, but also harbors hope and a few riddles. Organist Olivier Latry and host Maria Gnann follow in their footsteps. Together they explain why this music is a drug, a flight attendant and a profession of faith all in one.
His first quartet was a "forceps birth", as Johannes Brahms felt. The perfectionist had burned all his previous designs in the fireplace. Amelie Wallner, 2nd violinist in the Leonkoro Quartet, and host Thilo Braun wander between his "composed crisis of meaning" and moments of radiant light.
Playing this work is like an embrace, says clarinettist Sharon Kam. Johannes Brahms wrote his quintet a few years before his death. Is it a "melancholy look back at life", as his friend Max Karlbeck believed? Sharon Kam talks to host Maria about the special mixture of hope and sadness, about magical moments and colors.
Multi-talented Florian Weber can be experienced several times at the Heidelberger Frühling Musikfestival. As a pianist and improviser with his jazz trio and a series of unusual original compositions, together with clarinettist Kinan Azmeh and as a coach in Brahms.LAB V, where he performed Brahms' "Vier Gesänge" in an experimental concert performance with the Festivalcampus-Ensemble and the 4x4 Women's Choir of the Heidelberg University of Education. In the podcast, Florian Weber raves about the four songs, discovers enchanting harp sounds, horn fanfares, howling dogs and time standing still and, together with host Thilo Braun, asks about the difference between romantic clichés and true passion.
A piano like an entire orchestra: in his third piano sonata, Johannes Brahms already shows himself to be a great symphonist, says pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati. Together with host Maria Gnann, she marvels at the emotional depth of the work, which the composer wrote when he was just 20 years old.
A viola that can sound like a Persian long-necked lute, the tar, and tells of pride and pain. Muriel Razavi and Thilo Braun talk about "Latent," a work by Iranian composer Aida Shirazi.
Pianist Elisabeth Brauß calls Robert Schumann's piano collection "Carnaval" a "celebration of life." In conversation with Thilo Braun, she enthuses about musical disguises and reveries, with which Schumann enchants any place, no matter how gray, into a colorful fantasy realm.
Whoever plays the cello must be a Haydn fan, says Kian Soltani. He, at least, loves both of Joseph Haydn's cello concertos - and talks enthusiastically about the second one in the podcast. Here the cello jubilates in the highest registers, and the soloist is allowed to show his improvisational skills. Host Maria Gnann is converted to Haydn after the episode.
Nikolas Altstaedt, Kammerakademie Potsdam, cond: Michael Sanderling
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Hob. VIIb. 2
Label: GENUIN Classics; EAN: 4260036251487
Courtesy of Warner Music Group Germany Holding GmbH. A Warner Music Group Company.
Francis Poulenc dedicated his Clarinet Sonata to composer friend Arthur Honegger, who died in 1955. Sad, yes, but above all this work sounds perky and urban. "Sometimes it stinks a little bit," says Annelien van Wauwe. Like podcast host Thilo Braun, the clarinetist immediately has the city of Paris on her mind.
In the first episode, Maria Gnann talks with organist Markus Uhl about a colossus of organ music: "Volumina" by György Ligeti. It's about superhuman sound waves, risk of injury, and the irritation the piece caused in the 1960s.