Eiserner Ritter, Weiler
Saturday 10 November 2012
One tends to think that the cello functions most often as an accompanying or solo instrument, in chamber musical works together with its siblings or only with a piano. But to find five celli playing beautiful pieces from the very late classical period to modern film scores is quite seldom. The quintet Celloquenz, an ensemble from Bielefeld consisting of Sigurd Müller, Monica von Bülow, Kristin Hirschauer, Tobias Schmidt-Deterin and Andrea Fehling, showed off their talent in a rather unexpected location: the country inn Eiserner Ritter in Weiler by the river Rhine. With its exquisite six-course menu one felt quite like set back to an age where chamber music was a standard accompaniment to every dinner at court. At times I wasn’t sure whether the music was the main attraction though – with emphasis on roughly two epochs (music from the 18th and 19th century; and film scores from the Roaring Twenties) the dinner seemed much more distinguished. It would also have been nice to have some light tunes during the meal instead of just three sets.
Concerning the programme, especially the first two works were a bit less known and thus really interesting. Michel Corrette’s concerto ‘Le phenix’ was the first piece ever composed for five celli, while Julius Klengel’s Four Pieces op. 33 were set for four. Followed by Saint-Saëns The Swan in an arrangement by Celloquenz and Richard Wagner’s Pilgerchor from Tannhäuser the first set was concluded with two easy and well-known works.
The film score part definitely mirrored the overall atmosphere of the party (there were two different wines from two vineyards to every course – and as much as you wanted) with music that was easily digestible and rather jaunty. Gems like “Nur nicht aus Liebe weinen” or “Bel Ami” surely reminded some of the guests of their youth. Intonation-wise there were some minor errors, but the colour of sound of five celli was incomparably beautiful. Together with the outstanding quality of the served regional meals by head chef Josef Mayer the evening proved to be an extraordinary culinary and cultural symbiosis.