A Young Soloists´s personal experience
“We were working on this opportunity for more than 10 years”, said Raimund Trenkler about Christoph Eschenbach´s coming to Kronberg to deliver a series of masterclasses over one weekend. Now, last weekend it finally happened (February 8-9). This was a unique chance for me to personally get to know a worldwide renowned pianist and conductor.
Maestro Eschenbach shared with us his incredible experience as a conductor, working on such beautiful concertos like Schumann´s cello concerto, Bruch´s violin concerto, Walton´s viola concerto and various other pieces. In addition, we had the chance to play and perform with him, playing chamber music works by Mozart and Dvorák.
I was very much impressed by his strong sense of timing in music, and how he was feeling the natural shape of musical phrases. At times, he paid attention to a very small detail with the result that the music was getting freedom and new colors. None of the formal, lifeless notes were missed by him. And he was so much involved in working with each student to bring into the piece truthfulness and natural breath. Sometimes, he just showed a direction, conducting only two bars and the phrase got immediately clearly articulated. He also suggested some of the bow changes for orchestra groups in certain places, where the melody of the solo instrument needs a particular support from the orchestra.
To play chamber music with Christoph Eschenbach is a very special experience. It’s an opportunity to make music with a great musician, to feel his spirit and fully embrace the music. And sensing a kind of distance which always exists between a soloist and the conductor. However, a distance that is disappearing in the moment of creating music together. At the beginning Maestro Eschenbach wanted to play only one movement of the Dvorák piano quintet and it was so interesting to see how excited everybody became when he couldn’t stop with one movement and the quintet piece was finally played to the end.
As a result of my participation and listening to a series of masterclasses conducted by great musicians who were coming to Kronberg over the last couple of months I got the feeling of a common spirit. Also I felt that there was a common idea shared amongst the group of Young Soloists who were also in the room during those masterclass sessions. And that feeling was so special, meaning that all young musicians were united by that common idea and we were part of it through shared learning and performing. And this feeling got even stronger, when all the Young Soloists and Maestro Eschenbach played together chamber music. Mr. Eschenbach pointed out that musicians should carry a message to the audience which is to make sure that music has the power to unite people with different standpoints, convictions and beliefs.
Last but not least I would like to add a few observations. The Maestro didn’t want to make breaks between sessions, in other words, it seemed that he was very much looking forward to the next interpretation, a new personality and new musical experience. And I also felt, that after the two days making music together and speaking and exchanging ideas during dinners, we got to know him better and if I may say so, the distance between him and us was shrinking. We came closer to each other. After these two amazing days with Christoph Eschenbach we were all excited about the experience and we are clearly looking forward to his next stay in Kronberg, scheduled in June.
Young Soloist, Kronberg Academy Masters
(Photo: Andreas Malkmus, Frankfurt)