Haydn year’s Internationale Haydntage
Since this year is Haydn Year, the annual Internationale Haydntage was extended to two and half weeks. The theme of this year was “Haydn London & Paris”. Famous orchestras, chamber music organizations and soloists were invited and the entire Haydn London symphonies and Paris symphonies were performed during the festival.
On the opening day on September 9 was the 60th birthday of Adam Fischer. After
the presentation by Dr. Anton Zeilinger “The experimenter Josef Haydn and his
research Lab”, the Haydn Orchestra performed two named symphonies, “Surprise”
On September 22 Adam Fischer came back to Eisenstadt and they performed Symphony No. 81, G.B. Viotti Violin Concerto No. 22 (soloist Beni Schmidt) and the “Military” symphony.
As usual the last Sunday saw the matinee of the Haydn Orchestra. However, September 27 was also the opening of the 125th anniversary season of the Hungarian State Opera and Adam had to conduct Gala performance in the evening at Budapest. Hence there was only one matinee performance this year.
After the opening symphony No. 75, the orchestra invited the young Hungarian
trumpeter Gabór Boldoczki. The trumpet concerto is one of the “hit” pieces by
Haydn. Even Jazz trumpet player perform it sometimes. With wonderful technique
Boldoczki performed one of the best concerti and audience got excited. He and
the orchestra performed the third movement of Hummel’s trumpet concerto as an
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Adam Fischer and the Salzburg Festival 2009
Salzburg Festival is one of the biggest cultural festivals in Europe.
During the summer the festival organizes many events, including operas, concerts
and theater play. Visitors from all over the world enjoy the high quality
The stage was set in a designer mansion. White walls and staircases were remiscent of Count Almaviva’s Mansion in last year’s Figaro. Outside the modern mansion is a dark forest like Don Giovanni. In the second act, the forest invades into the living room.
The most impressive role was Don Alfonso. Originally he is the philosopher who teaches a lessen to the young couples, but in this production, Don Alfonso, sang by the Danish baritone Bo Skohus, is a fallen angel with devilish power. He is the opposite fugure to cupid in Figaro. The young maid Despina sang by Patricia Petibon, got attention of audience. She seems like a typical modern teenager who listens to rock music on a MP3 player, recommends the two sisters to have a fun with another man.
The Swedisch soprano Miah Persson sang very beautiful arie of Fiordiligi, Frolian Bosch was a very romantic Guglielmo. Isamel Leonardo (Dorabella) and Topi Lehtipuu (Ferrando) were average performers.
These days many critics expects drastic Mozart interpretation like Harnoncourt, but Adam Fischer and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra gave a standard and stable performance. Later Adam Fischer himself admited that he was a little passive and the music was more Vienna Philharmonic style, rather than of Adam Fischer.
During the run of “Cosi fan tutte” Adam Fischer was active with young musicians. The Attersee Institute Orchestra was created in 1991 to preserve the Viennese style. Young students from all over the world gethered in a small town in Attergau to take lessons from the member of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Adam Fischer conducted the final concert at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg on August 23rd.
The first half of the program was Haydn. Symphony No. 97 and the cello concerto No.1 with the famous cellist Mischa Maisky. The symphony was not like the Haydn Orchestra, but the students did their best to realize Viennese Style. With the virtuoso Maisky, the concerto was very successful and the applause was like thunder. Adam Fischer and Maisky will perform the same concerto in Korea this November.
The second half was the Mahler Symphony No. 4 with the soprano Malin Hartelius. Although orchestra musicians have different style, they learnt Viennese style. When the orchestra plays together, difference of the style was not noticed, however, during solo ensemble for example oboe, bassoon and horn play differently. Just a few weeks of the Institute are not enough to learn how to play like the Vienna Philharmonic, but it was good experience for young musicians and the audience supported the performance.
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Wagner in Budapest Festival 2009
Adam Fischer went back to Budapest immediately after the Haydn Memorial Concert, and started rehearsing the Wagner in Budapest Festival. Two cycles of “The Ring of the Nibelung” in four days, and two performances of “Parsifal” were performed this year. As last year, Wagner lovers from all over the world gathered at the Palace of Arts on the bank of the Danube.
Although there was no new production, there were many major debuts this year. The role of Sieglinde was double cast. Christiane Iven sang in the first cycle, and the star Wagner soprano Waltraud Meier sang in the second cycle. The current Bayreuth Isolde, Irene Theorin sang Brünnhilde in Siegfried, The Danish baritone, Johan Reuter sang Wotan in “Das Rheingold” and the Wanderer. He has sung the same role for the Danish Royal Opera. The title role of Siegfried was the British tenor John Treleaven, who is known as Siegfried in Vienna and Tokyo. The successful Hagen in the new production of ”Götterdämmerung” in Vienna, Eric F. Halfvarson was the same role, in addition to his role debut as Gurnemanz in “Parsifal”. The Graz-born tenor Nikolai Schukoff sang the title role of “Parsifal”.
Not only were the newcomers, the regular ensemble also top level. Christian Franz was the most important singer in this Ring production. He sang Loge, Siegmund and Siegfried in “Götterdämmerung” The first act of “Die Walküre”, with his Siegmund, Waltraud Meier as Sieglinde, and Walter Fink as Hunding, was simply perfect. Such a high quality performance was rarely seen. The Bayreuth Brünnhilde, Linda Watson was very strong and expressive in “Die Walküre” and “Götterdämmerung”. After she vanished into the fire and the final curtain was closed, there was a long silence, as wanted to feel the music lingering on in mind after the performance was over.
Next year will be the Ring and the new production of “Tristan and Isolde”, with Christian Franz singing the title role.
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The Haydn Memorial Day performances by Adam Fischer and the Haydn Orchestra
Franz Josef Haydn is known as the “Father of the symphony” and inventor of the string quartet. Mozart respected him very much. But in the current climate of classical music industry, while many love Mozart, Haydn is not so popular. But finally his day has come. The world should appreciate the works of Haydn. The city of Eisenstadt in the Burgenland and the Haydn Festspiele have long awaited the 200th anniversary of Josef Haydn’s death and prepared for the big event. They organized the mini festival around the end of May, and Adam Fischer and the Haydn Orchestra took the main role of this historic event.
The atomsphere at the concert on 31 May was similar to the new year concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. Tickets were sold out far in advance and more than 200 people were on the waiting list. VIPs including the Austrian president Heinz Fischer attended the performance. Adam Fischer and the Haydn Orchestra gave the masterpiece, oratorio “The Creation” and the ORF broadcast it live in Austria in HD.
Only the best soloists sang in this memorial performance. Soprano Annette Dasch
sang this piece for the first time. Although her style was rather more opera
than oratorio, she sang very beautifully. The German tenor Christoph Strehl
showed his talent for Haydn interpretaton. The star bass baritone Thomas
Quasthoff was of course phenominal. The Vienna Chamber Choir was very powerful
Not only in Eisenstadt, Esterháza castle in Fertöd, was an equally important
place for Haydn. Therefore there were also memorial events on the Hungarian side
of the border. Adam and the Haydn Orchestra were of course invited to perform
there in the same evening after “the Creation”.
After the concert, the prince invited the entire audience to reception in the Sala Terrena and fireworks in the park. This concert was broadcast by Hungarian TV.
Two concerts in a day, both broadcast o n TV. Haydn’s 200th anniversary was a very busy day for Adam and the orchestra.
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Handel’s opera “Serse” at Budapest
Adam Fischer’s another premier at Budapest in this season was the opera “Serse” by Handel. In the past Adam conducted many operas of Haydn and Mozart, but not Handel, the production got attention of fans. Unfortunately, Adam was ill during the important rehearsals; he cancelled the conducting but attended the premier as second cembalo. Young conductor Péter Oberfrank took over and led the orchestra.
“Serse” is the story of Persian King. Instead of ancient Persia, the director Balázs Kovalik builds the stage of the present time. Combination of baroque music and break dance is unusual but was very funny. The production was full of entertainment and event conservative Hungarian audience loved it very much.
All casts are Hungarians but some are well known even in Vienna. They all sang and acted wonderfully and Handel’s “Serse” was a big hit of this season. Go back to Top
“L’anima del filosofo” at Budapest
Immediately after the premier at Zurich, the rehearsal of “L’anima del filosofo/Orfeo ed Eudridice” started at Budapest. Adam Fischer had chosen Haydn’s last opera for his own opera house. Although Haydn wrote most of his operas to perform at the small opera house at the Eszterháza castle in Fertöd, *L’anima del filosofo” was written for a large opera house in London. Compared to Haydn’s other operas, this piece is for a large-scale orchestra with dramatic chorus.
The director Sándor Zsótér set the in the abstract world. Two large objects move around on the stage. One looks like a small cottage and the other is ruined bridge. While waiting for the boat of Charon, undead spirits throw balls or fish on the river bank. Unfortunately it was not convincing and confused the audience.
Meanwhile, the music was very fine. World famous Hungarian soprano, Andrea Rost sang Euridice. Since she is rather a Verdi soprano than Haydn, she had a little problem with the coloratura part, but she sang so beautifully at the death scene of Euridice. American tenor Kenneth Tarver expressed emotion of Orfeo, especially touching was the in the aria of sorrow after losing Euridice. The young Hungarian soprano Júlia Hajnóczy was a spirit Genio with a funny costume.
Following the practice at the Zurich opera, introduced by Nikolaus Harnoncourt,
Adam Fischer used some early music instruments, the horn, trumpet, trombone and
timpani, and mixed with the modern string instruments using early style bowing.
Adam used this style for Mozart operas at Mannheim, and some Zurich productions,
however, this is very new to the Hungarian State Opera. Some orchestra members
struggled with the unfamiliar instruments and the result was not perfect,
however the orchestra made a big impression.
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Opera by the anniversary composers -“La fedeltŕ Premiáta” at Zurich Opera
I It has been 200 years since Haydn’s death and 250 years since the death of Georg Frederic Handel. Although they composed many operas, their works are not in the list of regular opera repertories. That does not mean they were secont class opera composers. The memorial year is a good opportunity to revive the the forgotten opera masters. Many theaters planned new productions of Haydn and Handel’s works, and Adam Fischer conducted several new productions during March and April.
The 1st of March was the premiere of Haydn’s “La fedeltŕ premiata” at the Zurich Opera. Although all of Haydn’s operas were recently performed in Eisenstadt, the festival invited a guest company when this work was given. Therefore, this is the first time for Adam Fischer to conduct this piece as an opera production.
The story takes place at the village of Cuma, where a priest of Diana, Melibeo rules. In this village, the faithful lover must be sacrificed to the Goddess Diana. The director Jens-Daniel Herzog set the stage in the 1970s, the time of the “Flower Movement”. Villagers of Cuma dressed like hippies in purple clothes. Instead of Rock’n’roll, they sang beautiful 18th century music. Since many of audience had expericenced the 70s as young teenagers, they loved this production because the detail was very accurate and it matched the original story.
Of course the Music is the center of the production. Czech soprano Martina Jankova sang beautifully as Fillide/Celia. Eva Mei played a very jeolous Amaranta. One of the best Mozart tenors, Christoph Strehl was a long-haired timid Lindoro. While wearing humble hippy costume, the Mexican tenor Javier Camarena (Fileno) sang sweet love songs. The entire ensemble including Carlos Chausson (Melibeo), Cristine Kohl (Nerina), Gabriel Bermüdez (Perrucchetto) and Anja Schlosser (Diana) were all singers of the highest quality..
Although this piece is not famous, it is full of Haydn’s humor. Using some original instruments of the 18th century , Haydn specialist Adam Fischer and the Zurich Opera Orchestra expressed lively feeling especially in the hunting scene.
A very intersting production, top level ensemble, and lively orchestra, Zurich
opera showed real ability with this production.
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The Opening concert of Copenhagen’s new venue of classical music
It has been ten years since Adam Fischer became the principal conductor of the Danish Radio Sinfonietta. During these years, the home of the orchestra was not ideal for classical music. The Danish Radio finally completed the new building this year. Following the private gala performance, Adam Fischer and the Danish Radio Sinfonietta made the first public concert of the new concert hall on 18th of January, 2009.
First half was Mozart’s coronation mass with Henriette Bonde-Hansen, Ulla Munch,
Daniel Johansson, Daniel Ĺberg, and the DR Vocal Ensemble. After the
intermission the orchestra played the Jupiter symphony. With ten years
experience of Adam Fischer’s Mozart, the orchestra realized every single idea of
Adam. The sharp interpretation of lively Mozart attracted audience. As soon as
the music finished, the audience of more than 1800 audience rose to its feet and
answered with thunderous applause.
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Budapest New Year Concert 2009
Different from Vienna, Budapest had no tradition of enjoying the concert on New Year’s Day, however last year Adam Fischer started the New Year celebration at the Palace of Arts with Haydn’s master work “The Creation”. This year he conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Choir, and soloists Simona Šaturová, Bernard Richter and Nathan Berg. Since the London Philharmonic is a large symphonic orchestra, the interpretation was a little different and the London Philharmonic does not know the piece as well as the Haydn Orchestra. But the full house audience was satisfied by the high quality of music.
Prior to the New Year concert, Adam Fischer and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra performed a New Year concert for a young audience at the Palace of Arts. This year’s program was excerpts from Haydn’s Surprise symphony, Leopold Mozart’s famous Toy symphony, and, with the students of Bartok conservatory, the symphony in G-Major “The Hunt”.
Leopold Mozart’s “The Hunt” was Adam’s favorite work. It starts with a hunting horn solo and lively music describes the threlling hunt. In addition, father Mozart required a real dog; however, it is not easy for a dog to become a soloist of orchestra concert. Adam finally found a clever dog Boris, who can sing when the orchestra plays. It seems that his trainer was much more nervous than Boris himself, but he barked when Adam gave the sign. The young audience was so excited especially by Boris.
Next year Adam Fischer will conduct Freiburger Barock Orchestra and Arnold
Schoenberg Choir. This will be a very interesting performance.