Gürzenich-Orchester Köln China Tour 2014

Renowned conductor Markus Stenz joined the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and "Queen of the clarinet" Sabine Meyer on a Wu Promotion organized tour...

From February 17 to February 24, renowned conductor Markus Stenz joined the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln and "Queen of the clarinet" Sabine Meyer on a Wu Promotion organized tour of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing – a spectacular German and Austrian music feast for Chinese audiences. At the same time, the 42nd Hong Kong Arts Festival and the NCPA’s "Commemoration of the 150 Anniversary of the Birth of Richard Strauss" concert series got underway.

This is the Koln Opera Company’s return to Shanghai after their grand performance of Richard Wagner’s masterpiece “The Ring Cycle” in 2010. In Shanghai, in addition to the Beijing and Hong Kong program, the orchestra added a performance of the first act of Wagner's opera “the Walküre” especially for Shanghai audiences. The three soloists are three of the top Wagner specialists in the world – Lance Ryan, Anja Kampe and Eric Halfvason. Thus all-star lineup attracted many devoted music from Beijing to Shanghai for the performance.

On February 23, Beijing National Centre for Performing was sold out. During the first half of the concert, “Queen of the clarinet” Sabine Meyer played Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Sabine Meyer's interpretation of the clarinet concerto was full of color; frequently adding improvisational cadenzas and ornamentation, her performance treated Mozart’s composition with extremely subtle humor.

Meyer’s Clarinet Concerto was the perfect warm-up for the main part of the concert, a performance of Richard Strauss’s “The Alpine Symphony.” As that piece began, the number of musicians on the stage suddenly doubled, even without counting the eight brass musicians on the second floor. Under the baton of conductor Markus Stenz, the Orchestra filled the concert hall with the magical, magnificent and passionate sounds of Richard Strauss’s “The Alpine Symphony.”The music was warmly greeted by prolonged applause.

For the encore, the Orchestra performed the “Lohengrin Prelude to the Act III,” followed by a beautiful and intimate rendition of the Chinese folk song “Jasmine. Spurred on by the warm applause, the orchestra then played “the Ride of the Walküre”, which was immensely popular with the audience.

The Gürzenich-Orchester's performance impressed the audience at the NCPA Concert Hall, who gave a rare standing ovation at the end of the concert.

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