Originally, Christian Thielemann would have Concert with Julia Fischer and the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden in the Isarphilharmonie. Would he have conducted with such composure? This is noticeable with David Afkham at the conductor’s podium. In the case of Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides” Overture, it seems that he is mainly concerned with softening the sound and paying particular attention to the quiet, feather-light quality. Beautiful: if it arises from such a soft murmur, the gradual compression of this composition is all the stronger. That is pretty. However, it is not known whether the interpretation concept would have lasted longer, since the overture – which is really great at the end – is already over by then.
Julia Fischer continues the Mendelssohn afternoon with the Violin Concerto op. 64. The fact that she opens the work with the famous theme in a very subtle way fits well with Afkham’s approach. As grandiose as Fischer’s virtuosity is, the performance thrives above all on how precise and cultivated the composition and interaction of soloist and orchestra are. Those brief moments in which the Staatskapelle cannot easily keep up with Fischer’s graceful speed in the final movement are the exception. It is wonderful how sweetly and unaffectedly Fischer and the orchestra sing the Andante. And with what concentrated calm Fischer enjoyed her cadenza to the first movement! With clear dynamic contrasts and the most delicate top tones. At the end she reaps immense applause and thanks with Paganini’s 13th Caprice.
After the break, Mendelssohn’s “Schottische” follows. Unlike the overture, it doesn’t end so soon, and it becomes clear that as much as the supple elegance of the orchestral sound is pleasing here (encouraged by the fact that Afkham himself conducts the fast pace with calm gestures), the interpretation is quite restrained over the entire length of the work .