Review: the Munich Chamber Orchestra in the Prince Regent Theater – Munich

Enrico Onofri is an extremely accomplished musician, played the violin in various well-known ensembles, especially those specializing in early music, was concertmaster for many years and then also began conducting. An extremely good decision. In the Prinzregententheater he now stands in front of the Munich Chamber Orchestra as a fellow musician, as a euphoric driver, dancer, wonderfully elegant. In the coming season, Onofri will be one of three conductors who will determine the artistic fortunes of this eclectic ensemble; the current head Clemens Schuldt is giving his farewell concert at the end of June, after which there will no longer be a single chief conductor, but different artistic signatures.

Onofri is not the first to prove that anyone who is familiar with early music can also get along very well with contemporary music; the often sluggish 19th century is simply left out. The programming alone is great: the outer brackets are a symphony by Joseph Martin Kraus and the 35th by Mozart. Kraus survived Mozart by a year, otherwise the biographical data are identical, but the music is not. Kraus begins in delicate spheres, then keeps trying something new, separating thoughts with general pauses until he arrives at a rousing roar. Onofri creates the Mozart at the end with a lot of humour, joy in playing, the orchestra pulsates with the finest dynamics, it is a musically fabulous experience.

“Neroli” by Lisa Streich doesn’t give that away. The commissioned work consists of nothing. No sensuality, just stubborn boredom, one feels sorry for the violin soloist Carolin Widmann. Hans Abrahamsen is also stubborn, but ten times new and curious. His “10 Preludes” are ten sonorous stories, sensual, exciting, played brilliantly.

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