Salzburg Festival Blog 19 (13 Aug)

10.00 am – A ‘tutti’ rehearsal of the ‘Stabat Mater’ in our ‘OrchesterHaus’. The choir is highly esteemed Arnold Schoenberg Choir from Wien. This choir is well known from it’s may concerts and recordings with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and it’s style of singing betray his strong musical influence. I like their strong phrasing sense and good control of ‘piano’ dynamics through my personal preference is for a stronger consonantal attack and on occasion more sostenuto than their default style. This is however why we rehearse and I thoroughly enjoy working with them this morning. Their Chorus Master is the hyperactive and hugely hard-working Erwin Ortner to whom one must give great credit.

The day follows a similar pattern to Wednesday with another ‘Armida’ Sitzprobe in the afternoon. We finish the piece. Sadly our ‘Armida ‘ set is not yet in position (there is still one more performance of Nono’s ‘Gran sole’ in the Felsenreitschule) otherwise we could have practiced several numbers in position in this rehearsal. (The stage is extremely wide). Still conscious of a heavy weekend of performances I retire to Aigen where in my beautiful home of several years (courtesy of good friends Gertrude Ruckser and Johnny Bader) I find it easy to unwind.

Tonight with a novella by the enigmatic Belgian writer Amelie Nothomb. Her novels are invariably short, caustic and written in a shockingly terse style. She seems to penetrate deeply and directly to what runs inside people’s heads. And it’s not always very pleasant! Tonight I am reading her ‘Antechrista’. Recommended.

Tomorrow back to a more spritually uplifting world of Haydn and an ascent to paradise.