The last weeks I had a fabulous time visiting two great chamber music festivals: The Scaldis Festival in the Netherlands and the PODIUM Festival Esslingen. The repertoire included great pieces like the Bartok Violin Sonata no. 1, Tanayev Piano Quintet, Bach Goldberg Variations and many more, with some truly great musicians.
A very interesting project to take part in was the closing concert of the PODIM Esslingen where baritone Dietrich Henschel performed Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn together with a movie by Clara Ponse. I was excited to get the chance to do a few of the orchestra arrangements myself, which is alway allot of fun.
One of the most exciting parts of going to festivals like these, is some of the concerts you get to experience as a listener. One I was lucky enough to catch this time was an absolutely incredible first performance of Ian Anderson's genius arrangement of Björk's album Homogenics. This was one of the greatest concert experiences I've ever had, and the level of engagement I felt took me by surprise. The piece was arranged for string quintet (with double bass) and seeing it done in this setting highlighted (at least to me) how incredibly well this music comes across in comparison to even the greatest pieces from the more mainstream classical literature.
Two fabulous festivals filled with incredible people that I would not have missed for the world.