Nonsense according to notes: Patricia Kopatchinskaja performs Fluxus pieces by George Brecht, John Cage and from her own pen in her late-night program.
Help, they have fledged the classical music. When the visitor enters the chamber music hall, the trombone is ironing away a mountain of laundry, the percussion is sweeping the banisters, the bassoon is strumming on the piano, the horn is picking nuts from the kitchen tables on the stage, and then watering the holly.
Patricia Kopatchinskaja has called her late-night program as Artist in Residence of the Berliner Philharmoniker "Nonsense in Residence". However, if you think the orchestra members were just messing around on the violinist’s instructions, you are mistaken. The bow-feudel-work is nonsense after notes, George Brecht’s Fluxus-work "Symphony No. 3".
In the next 90 minutes a whole series of Fluxus pieces by John Cage, Mieko Shiomi and Patkop himself (the composer’s name of the soloist) follow, in which nails are hammered into the tables, words are dissected, instrumental duels are fought and group-dynamic distortions are made audible. Gyorgy Ligeti is also part of the party.
Pursing lips, fluttering palates
At the center is a film presentation: Kurt Schwitters’ "Ursonate" as a loopy family tragicomedy, which Kopatchinskaja shot in Switzerland in 2019 with three fellow performers. Whereby here there is no wild improvisation, but Schwitters’ random syllable themes are varied highly virtuosically in front of the camera and increased to prestissimo, from the martial "Fumms bo wo ta za uu pogiff" to the elegiac tender "Rumpf tilf too".
Whereby the whispering duets and shouting quartets elicit more than just Dada hilarity. Suddenly you find yourself wondering how it is that our species meticulously purses its lips, flutters its palate-R, and makes hissing, hissing, nasal and explosive sounds in order to make itself understood. Where phonetics ends and music begins.
Paper planes sail into the audience
Kopatchinskaja is no longer just a violinist, composer and conductor; here she appears as an energetic, playful performer. The 16 Philharmonic and Karajan Academy musicians also fall out of character with obvious pleasure and act as concert anarchists. Like when the tall oboist Dominik Wollenweber hands the violin hanging from the stage sky to the boss of the evening, who is two heads shorter and already climbing the ladder.
Or when the musicians hurl the concert program into the audience in the form of paper airplanes. Or when, during the final aria adaptations from Ligeti’s opera "Le Grand Macabre," everyone pounces on poor horn player Stefan Dohr, until he prefers to put on his FFP2 mask in jumpy defense after all.
Whereby the lightness prevails, with whistled pentatonics in Cage’s "Living Room Music," bubbling eighth-note chains in Ligeti, or the waltz from Jean Francaix’s "Octet for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn and Strings" put through the wringer.
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A delightfully disheveled three-beat with fairground flair, palatable performed at the kitchen table. Huge applause, to which the performers not only bow, but immediately fall to the ground completely. Times are tough, man needs fun.