Autumn 2016: Havana

Taking Haydn to Havana: with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, the first transatlantic orchestra project on the island of Cuba took place from October 29 to November 6, 2016. For round about a week, European students made music together with young Cuban musicians while rehearsing a concert programme under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock. Seven specialist teachers from the Balthasar Neumann Academy schooled the young musicians in section rehearsals and imparted their knowledge in masterclasses and chamber music sessions.
The week of intensive rehearsals concluded with a public concert in the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri in La Habana Vieja. Featuring the overtures “Ruy Blas” by Mendelssohn and Beethoven’s “Coriolan”, the programme was built around Haydn’s “London” Symphony No. 104 in D major. One special highlight was the performance by the internationally acclaimed baritone Matthias Goerne, who was accompanied by the orchestra in arias by Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Wagner. The virtuosic passages from the final movement of the symphony impressed the 300 or so concert guests no less than the yearning warmth of the emotionally fraught aria “O du holder Abendstern” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser.

05.11.2016 Auditorio San Felipe Neri, Habana | Orchestral concert
Matthias Goerne baritone
Thomas Hengelbrock direction

Haydn: Symphony No. 104
Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas overture & „Es ist genug” (excerpt from „Elijah“)
Beethoven: Coriolan overture op. 62 & „Ha, welch ein Augenblick“ (excerpt from „Fidelio“)
Wagner: „O Du, Mein holder Abendstern“ (excerpt from „Tannhäuser“)