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Bridging the Divide

img  Tobias

The motto of the Spectrum Concerts Berlin has always been "Expanding the language of Chamber Music". Up until now, this has meant presenting Classical and new music in perfect harmony and offering suprising renditions of well-known works. Above all, however, it has meant reestablishing Chamber Music as an important and meaningful part of Berlin's cultural life - among the many friends the series has made is Richard von Weizäcker, a former German (Federal) President and now Honorary President of the Organisation. With the advent of two concerts in New York's Carnegie Hall, Spectrum's slogan will gain an even stronger significance.

We could have been suspecting as much when reading the announcement of the setting up of the "Spectrum Concerts Berlin-USA, Inc" by Spectrum's founder Frank Dodge earlier this year. Now things are official, this looks like a wonderful co-operation that should not only bring some of the finest European musicians to the States but start an exchange that will work in both ways. In his address of welcome, John Kornblum of Spectrum added that this synthesis was a most natural one, as Spectrum was by definition already a Euro-American venture (Frank Dodge was born in Boston and his economic model was an early example of market-based financing) and that there has always been a link between Berlin and the USA, which this project will only deepen.

To ensure the first nights, planned for November 3rd and 5th of next year, will go smoothly, Dodge will send out some of his finest protegees (for some of them this term may already be out-of-date): Top-violinists Janine Jansen and Julia Maria Kretz (who, at present, is enjoying commercial and artistic success with her piano trio) will join forces with Viola-wizards Antoine Tamestit and Maxim Rysanov for a piece that shows the broad outreach of Spectrum and their broad definition of the term "Chamber Music": Robert Help's "Nocturne for String Quartet" dates back only to 1960. For Schönberg's "Verklärte Nacht" (which will here be presented in a version for String Quartet) as well as a slice of Schubert, Cellists Torleif Thedeen and Jens-Peter Mainz (a new addition to the artist roster) will enter the stage and then there will be a work by Brahms, which asks for Lars Woutes van den Oudenweijer's clarinet.

Sounds most fascinating and we truly can't wait for the first note to be played. Until then, Spectrum will have enough Berlin-based concerts to keep you happy for the time being - don't miss their next performance on February 20th. Even without going to New York, you can expand your very own horizon on Chamber Music and listen to some great music while you're at it.

Homepage: Spectrum Concerts Berlin

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