Les Sommets Musicaux launched their 20th anniversary festival on the weekend of 31 January with two magnificent and festively sublime concert evenings of music by Beethoven. The church of Saanen once again offered a unique atmosphere.
On opening night of the festival, the Triple Concerto was performed, followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s First Symphony. The soloists Kit Armstrong, piano, Renaud Capuçon (artistic director of the festival), violin, and Edgar Moreau, cello, matched perfectly. The warm tones of the two string soloists brought out the fullness of the beautiful music. The young pianist Kit Armstrong added character to the concert. He played charmingly, joyfully, and racy, and was also convincing in his role within the trio.
The performance of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Elena Schwarz in a somewhat sterile and reserved manner, turned out to be rather well-behaved. Only in the following First Symphony by Beethoven did Schwarz’s conducting become freer and more artistic; the orchestra followed light-footedly. It was a real pleasure.
Outstanding musical personalities
On Saturday, another Beethoven concert stirred up the listeners’ souls. Not a single note missed the audience’s innermost feelings. Joshua Weilerstein conducted the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne magnificently! What a personality! He danced, reveled and was completely taken in by the music. The Second Beethoven Symphony was pure pleasure, musically perfect and exciting to the end.
The accompaniment in the 5th Piano Concerto was also outstanding. To be carried by the orchestra in such a way, a pianist must simply feel at home. Bertrand Chamayou’s piano playing was grandiose, powerful, and wonderfully interpreted. It was easy for the listeners to immerse themselves in it and forget everything around them, and they became part of the music. The encore, the Adagio from Haydn’s last sonata, was tender and delicate. Chamayou played tremendously beautiful.
Based on AvS/Lotte Brenner