Ton Koopman led the last concert of the Munich Philharmonic’s season, and true to his repertoire and reputation, he brought Haydn, Mozart, and Bach—exactly those composers I want the Munich Philharmonic (any and every symphonic orchestra, actually) to play more of… so much that one day even non-specialists will pick up classical and pre-classical music again with these musical bodies.
J.Haydn, London Symphonies,
M.Minkowski / Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble
W.G.Mozart, Coronation Mass, Ave verum corpus et al.,
Koopman / ABO & Choir
Bach’s “Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen” is a Cantata especially magnificent even if you think they’re all quite magnificent. Bass-baritone Klaus Mertens sang with gentlemanly, veteran assurance, in wonderful conversation with the basso continuo of tenor-oboe and bassoon and again with the oboe in his second aria, “Endlich, endlich wird mein Joch”. The closing chorus, “Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder”, is among the most popular; heavy with sweetened sadness and often adopted; by Knudt Nystedt (“Immortal Bach”) for example, or by Hubert von Goisern for the film “Brother of Sleep”.
The second half was given over to Mozart, first the Ave verum corpus K.618, 46 bars of simplicity, calm serenity, and sheer beauty—sonorously gorgeously sung by the Philharmonic Chorus Munich (Andreas Herrmann, dir.). Last came the comparatively tumultuous, viola-less Coronation Mass (Missa in C, K.317) with soprano Lisa Larsson (treble-like, attacking notes from below), tenor Tilman Lichdi (charming-sacred restraint), and the nicely blending Bogna Bartosz (mezzo) and Mertens. The mass was very capably performed by the Munich Philharmonic, but couldn’t supplant the more detailed and outstanding Haydn as the concert’s highlight.