500 years of German orchestral legend finds a home in Edinburgh
This article is from 2007.
Of all the orchestras appearing at the Festival, there is none with a more impressive pedigree than the Gürzenich from Germany. Mahler, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Brahms and Stravinsky all wrote for and conducted this orchestra, whose Cologne roots stretch as far back as the 15th century. Its conductor for almost 30 years was the legendary Günter Wand, a well-known figure at past Edinburgh Festivals.
As well as playing for the Edinburgh International Festival/Oper Köln new co-production of Strauss’ Capriccio, the Gürzenich Orchestra also takes to the stage in its own right this week. In a gloriously Germanic programme of Schumann’s Third Symphony, Strauss’ Til Eulenspiegel – premiered by the orchestra in the late 1890s – and the 20th century sounds of Bernd Alois Zimmermann, musical director Markus Stenz (pictured) proves why this orchestra is something special. ‘It’s actually our secret weapon,’ says EIF Director Jonathan Mills. ‘Its provenance is impeccable and they really are a connoisseur’s choice.’ (Carol Main)
Usher Hall, 473 2000, 31 Aug, 8pm, £8–£37.