Grieg, Ibsen and Maisky on the Bergen Festival | EUROtoday

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Sage und schreibe 2600 Menschen sind hier zusammengekommen – vom oberen Ole-Bull-Platz bist fast hinunter zum Fischmarkt am alten Stadthafen. Sie füllen – bei Sonnenschein, 28 Grad Lufttemperatur und 16 Grad im Fjord, in den sich verwegene Zehnjährige vom Sechsmeterbrett im Sjøbad Nordnes plumpsen lassen – die Haupteinkaufsstraße in Bergen. Sie trägt den Namen „Torgallmenningen“. Mit „Marktallmende“ müsste man das übersetzen: Es ist das öffentliche Gelände schlechthin, die Agora im antiken Sinne.

Hier, nirgendwo anders, eröffnet Norwegens Ministerpräsident Jonas Gahr Støre mit dem Intendanten Lars Petter Hagen die 72. Internationalen Festspiele in Bergen. Sie sind das größte Mehrspartenfestival Nordeuropas für Theater, Oper, Konzert, Zirkus und Tanz und so etwas wie die kulturelle Marktallmende ganz Norwegens, ein Lagerfeuer der Nation, ein Volksfest und zugleich eine Arena des Meinungskampfes. Kunst müsse Wellen schlagen und Wind machen, sagt der Ministerpräsident, der die Festspiele mit der Statsraad Lehmkuhl, dem majestätischen Dreimaster im Hafen, vergleicht. Alte und Junge in der Fußgängerzone, norwegische Zausbärte und Mädchen mit den schwarzen Augen des Orients, allesamt Laien, singen Solveigs Lied aus Edvard Griegs Schauspielmusik zu Henrik Ibsens „Peer Gynt“. Und sie stimmen, Liedzettel in der Hand, ein in den „Chorus mysticus“ aus der achten Symphonie von Gustav Mahler, begleitet von einer Big Band: „Alles Vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis“ – Goethe auf Norwegisch, Mahler verjazzt. So klingt kulturelle Aneignung, und niemand fragt, ob sie legitim sei.

Luftschiffbruch mit Wiegenlied: Peer Gynt (Herbert Nordrum) und Solveig (Frøy Hovland Holtbakk)
Luftschiffbruch mit Wiegenlied: Peer Gynt (Herbert Nordrum) und Solveig (Frøy Hovland Holtbakk)Thor Brødreskift/Bergen Intern

“For many, this was probably their first contact with Grieg and Mahler,” Lars Petter Hagen tells the FAZ. “Music lessons in Norway are becoming increasingly scarce. If our children still have access to them, they learn pop songs or folk songs. Grieg, Ibsen, 'Peer Gynt' – most of them are no longer familiar with these.” But Hagen, a composer by commerce, sees a terrific alternative on this improvement: “Today's decision-makers in the media sometimes come across strong resentment against the habitus of the educated middle class and against classical music. This is different for the younger generation: they simply click on all available content and create their own access, regardless of previous knowledge. Education may be lacking, but prejudices are also lacking. This is how we can reach out to younger people again.”

Ten or twelve years in the past, the talk in Norway concerning the supposedly elitist, high-culture character of the Bergen Festival escalated. In the meantime, the inventive director, Anders Beyer, had been working like an engineer to draw audiences to divide this system into sections and optimize the goal teams. Hagen, Beyer's successor for 2 years, now says: “You can't optimize art for target groups. You have to let it go its own way and also allow it the freedom to fail. The discussions about elitism have now died down. We get involved in old people's homes and kindergartens, and we hold free concerts in the pedestrian zone. That is also important so that the city accepts the festival as its own. Then no one will complain when I invite the SWR Experimental Studio from Freiburg to celebrate Luigi Nono here.”

It's laborious to imagine, however Henrik Ibsen's “Peer Gynt” has not been carried out in Norway with the unique incidental music by Edvard Grieg since 1993. The use of an orchestra, choir and a great singing actress within the function of Solveig is simply too complicated for spoken theatre to dare to do it. So it's a case for the pageant: the director Johannes Holmen Dahl has created a model with Hege Randi Tørressen through which 4 choirs and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra underneath the course of Thomas Søndergaard be a part of the actors. Intimate, somewhat cinematic, virtually like a radio play to observe, Herbert Nordrum as Peer, clumsy, loving, silly to the purpose of brutality, and Ågot Sendstad as mom Åse, sensible to the purpose of crafty, start the drama. Ragnhild Hemsing, taking part in the Hardanger fiddle, floats by means of the piece like a timeless, legendary determine.

But when Frøy Hovland Holtbakk sings as Solveig, an depth is created that we lack on stage at this time. This requires the distinction between talking and singing. The finish with Solveig's lullaby, with choir and youngsters's choir, is overwhelming. After the nihilism of the button maker, one hears the next sung on these Pentecost days: “O morning hour, when tongues of the spirit have blazed down like swords! From the mouths of grandchildren, the spirit is now praised in songs that come from heaven.”

If Adorno praised Eichendorff's “metaphysical tact”, right here we discover a steadiness between agnostic and religious tact. Faith and doubt resonate and cause delicately with each other. When Kant asks whether or not one can lie out of affection for humanity, we hear a compellingly lovely “perhaps”. “Peer Gynt” belongs to Bergen. Grieg was born right here, Ibsen was the theater director right here, appointed by the violinist and composer Ole Bull, who was the mannequin for Peer. “Peer Gynt”, like Grieg's piano concerto, was truly speculated to be the second mainstay of the pageant's program.

And one voice is to be admired: the soprano Lydia Hoen Tjore sings songs by Grieg at Grieg's Troldhaugen nation property, based mostly on this system of the final live performance that the composer gave as a pianist with the singer Borghild Bryhn Langaard in 1906. The pianist Ole Christian Haagenrud got here up with this concept. Grieg combined his personal piano items in with the songs and helped the then younger singer to make her breakthrough. Lydia Hoen Tjore and Ole Christian Haagenrud are a wonderful match: they don’t cowl the sound, they let the whole lot blossom and circulation with out turning into daring or tough. Hoen Tjore's soprano has heat, softness and fullness. This can be Norway's subsequent nice voice after Lise Davidsen and Elisabeth Teige. She floods the room with large energy and enviable symmetry in all registers, in order that one needs to exclaim with Giacomo Leopardi: “and shipwreck is sweet to me in this sea”!

Cellist Mischa Maisky has come to the Håkonshalle, a medieval banquet corridor, along with his youngsters, violinist Sascha and pianist Lily, and opens the night, painfully and pensively, with the Trio élégiaque op. 9 by Sergei Rachmaninoff and the second piano trio by Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian funeral music, partly with Jewish overtones, in occasions of the Ukraine struggle and the Gaza battle. “There is a lot of discussion here about Russian music and musicians, but also about Israeli artists,” says Hagen. “But I am not afraid of discussions. This year we are doing Grieg's piano concerto with Alexandra Dovgan and Ilan Volkov – a young pianist from Russia and a conductor from Israel.”