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15 Questions to Dorothee Oberlinger

img  Tobias

Hi! How are you? Where are you?
I´m fine. I am sitting in front of my Laptop in my flat in Cologne.

What’s on your schedule right now?
Giving answers to questions...

If you hadn’t chosen for music, what do you think you would do right now?
For me there was never a choice.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
First and foremost, I had fantastic teachers, my mom included. They all influenced me, together with all the musicians I heard on LPs, CDs, in concerts... I think I received a very personal (and sometimes totally different) opinion about music and life from each of them. But in general, I'd say, its not only important, what I learnt from my musical idols (there’s a few of them). In the end, as a musician you’re influenced by yourself and your personality which is formed and influenced by so many things: genes, parents, friends, situations...

What’s the hardest part about being a musician and what’s the best?
To play with other musicians...

What’s your view on the classical music scene at present? Is there a crisis?
Sure, if we can believe the medias and the numbers there is one. Smaller audiences, less orchestras, less classical music on the radio and in music lessons at school, less major labels featuring classical music, etc. etc. Many things are changing and  we´ll see, what´s next.

Some feel there is no need to record classical music any more, that it’s all been done before. What do you tell them?
I would tell them: Would you say: If I saw once Shakespeare´s Hamlet, I don´t need to go anymore to a new Hamlet-production, regardless of whether’s a new, outstanding director would have made a new production on it? The interesting thing is to compare old and new interpretations! (And sometimes there are even new discoveries!)

What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
It sounds like a bad cliché: For a good live performance you need the magic of the moment. Sometimes it´s there, sometimes not. Sure, I have a good feeling, when everything fits together: The accustics of the room, the musicians I play with, the audience, the time, the temperature, the weather (too humid recorders are bad!) and so on. If the conditions work in that way that I can really concentrate on the music, it works well.

What does the word “interpretation” mean to you?
Interpreting music is similar to the work of an actor. It means planning the performance of your piece like a speach.You need to think about "how" you say it and first you have to dicover the "it". Then you have to fill the free space which remains after reading the "Notentext" (the exact score) with your own ideas. You´ve always to balance faithfullness to the original with your personal style. The question is: Where is the border and where do I cross the border?

How do you balance the need to put your personal emotions into the music you play and the intentions of the composer?
First of all, the performer has an obligation towards the composer. He has to find out, what the intention is and that requires deep research. And it´s important to try to reconstruct all aspects of the (historical) performance practice. But in the end you give your voice to let these intentions speek - you cannot avoid colourING the music according to your personal preferences and your emotions - and that´s good!

True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
True and false. It´s the same with wine: You can appreciate it without knowing anything about it - but you can differenciate and refine your taste, if you know all the details about it - in this way you can "really" appreciate it. It´s leading to the central question: What is the truth and sense of music?

You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall. What would be on your program for this season?
Perhaps I would be too subjective and too little commercial for such
a job, better not to do it...

How would you describe the relationship with your instrument?
With this tool I have the ability to express things which cannot be expressed with words.

Have you ever tried playing a different instrument? If yes, how good were you at it?
Singing, transverse flute, cello, viol, piano, harpsichord, guitar...Not good enough for the stage, but with passion.

J.S.Bach - A Due (Marc Aurel)
A. Vivaldi - Concerti per Flauto (Marc Aurel)
A. Vivaldi - Concerti per Flauto & Flautino (Arcana)
G.F. Händel - Sonatas for Recorder (Marc Aurel)
Peripheries (Marc Aurel)
Italian Sonatas (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi/Sony BMG)

Dorothee Oberlinger

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