(Deutsch) Spring Vibes – Pop meets Klassik

Christina/ April 28, 2024/ Culture

This weekend is dedicated to classical music. On Friday evening, two Ukrainian artists will perform in the Red Hall. They will present piano concerts by Chopin as well as German and Italian songs. The event is also a fundraiser for a good cause. On Saturday evening, it’s showtime again at the Schlaraffen. “Spring Vibes” await us with the German-Swedish opera singer Mariella Karle and pianist Thomas Bode. Forgive us, but we preferred the second concert.

Schopin’s Jokes
It’s often not easy to get a good seat in the Red Hall, but on this late Friday afternoon, the room remains half-empty. Perhaps it’s because of the early hour, or maybe it’s because the sign outside announces jokes by Schopin. Some might be deterred by the Chinese-sounding name, especially considering recent espionage activities by a German couple. But enough joking aside, Frédéric Chopin’s Scherzi strike a wild and demonic tone, known for their difficulty. With Prof. Dr. Anton Genkin, they seem to have found a skilled performer. Genkin brings these dramatic pieces to the stage with great vigor and artistic understanding. It becomes clear, at least to me, how much of a novice I am. I actually thought of jokes when hearing about Scherzi. But wait, it seems Schumann had a similar experience.

Mixed Feelings
Indeed, the long and dark piano pieces are not light fare for this early evening. In contrast, the songs sung by Nadiya Terza take on a much higher tone. The young, remarkably beautiful woman introduces all pieces in both German and Ukrainian. Despite her vocal prowess, the promised cozy and warm atmosphere of the concert fails to materialize. Some notes sound very shrill to me, and the performance feels quite stiff. It’s understandable that Terza is nervous. It shows in her tense posture, which affects the audience. At the end of the concert, feelings seem mixed. While some audience members request an encore, others have already left the hall.

When Pop Meets Classic
Just a day later, the next concert is underway, once again at the House of the Schlaraffen. “Spring Vibes” aim to welcome spring, which has been delayed this year. Already in the first song, “April” by Italian composer Francesco Paolo Tosti, Karle’s vocal volume is evident. It’s not only the warm and pleasing voice of the singer that makes this evening an experience, but also the combination of her extremely likable presence and modest demeanor that captivates the audience. Thomas Bode on the piano also leaves a solid impression. The two seem to harmonize well together. Additionally, there’s a brief introduction to each piece, usually in the form of a translation of the lyrics.

Love is a Rebellious Bird
In addition to classical arias like “Nessun Dorma” from the opera “Turandot” or the popular “Habanera” from “Carmen,” the duo frequently includes titles from the pop music genre. Artists like Alicia Keys, Elvis, ABBA, and even Pink are represented. When host Thomas Ostwald tries to conclude the duo’s performance after about two hours of singing, the calls for an encore grow louder. Karle asks the audience whether they would like to hear a piece by Verdi or Disney. Clearly, the answer can only be: both!

Furious Finale
During the classic “Libiamo ne’lieti calici” by Verdi, there’s no holding back. The enthusiasm has definitely reached its peak. Bravo Mariella, bravo Thomas, bravo to the House of the Schlaraffen. We all hope that after the summer break, there will be more events of this caliber in the fall.

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