"When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high!"
... sang Renée Fleming in "You'll never walk alone", and this lyric could hardly be a better fit to this year's Klassik am Odeonsplatz. For the 2nd weekend in July, Odeonsplatz was transformed into Munich's most beautiful open air stage - for the 19th time. As in previous years, both concerts were completely sold out. But the weather didn't exactly play along. After a torrential downpour, Renée Fleming and the Symphonieorchester of the Bayerischer Rundfunk under Alan Gilbert had to wait to begin the concert. Nonetheless, the program wowed everyone present. The Abendzeitung review of the concert headlined "It hasn't been done as well in a long while" and the SZ praised the cast: "The protagonists of the evening could not have been any better chosen. For few have internalised the media doctrine of 'keep smiling' as much as Renée Fleming and Alan Gilbert. Their facial expressions tell us: Even if the cold wind blows around our wet shoes, we are here for the sake of enjoying art".
It stayed dry on Sunday. The "annual weather roulette which is part and parcel of open air concerts this side of the Alps, was clearly in favour of the Philharmonic in 2019," remarked the Münchner Merkur. Daniil Trifonov and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra under Chief Conductor Valery Gergiev captivated the audience with a purely Beethoven program: "He relied entirely on the heroic sound and commanding momentum. The everlasting fire was set alight: Trifonov was fervently celebrated - by Odeonsplatz standards," the Abendzeitung described, and the SZ concluded: "After all, Gergiev and the Philharmonic are fulfilling everything that 'Coriolan' suggests: the Fifth Symphony becomes the most profound, heroic triumph of idealism. Old-fashioned, fabulous, stunning. BR-Klassik summed up the mild summer evening: "Petrus must be a Beethoven fan." Both concerts were broadcast live on television and radio, on Bavarian Television and with a time delay live on 3sat Kultursommer on Saturday, and the concert on Sunday was broadcast for the first time on ARD alpha.
Photos © Marcus Schlaf