Sometimes, when the audience is particularly enthusiastic, the orchestra gives an encore, which of course also has to be rehearsed. During the rehearsals for the encore for Balingen, however, it was discovered after a certain time that it was inappropriate to add another after such a titan as Brahms’ first symphony in C minor, said the managing director of Schwäbisch Media, Lutz Schumacher, who moderated the event and introduced the works. So they decided without further ado to forego the encore at the end and simply play it at the beginning of the concert, as a kind of prelude to the program.

Conventional was yesterday. Young, fresh, lively, different is today. The concert presented by ZOLLERN-ALB-KURIER and Schwäbisch Media with the Neue Philharmonie Berlin and the soloist Arne-Christian Pelz in the Balingen town hall showed classical musicians in a different way. Roland Beck was out and about with his camera and captured the evening in pictures.

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

Impressions from the concert of the Neue Philharmonie Berlin in Balingen.

© Roland Beck

What the New Philharmonic and its conductor Andreas Schulz had come up with would have been unusual even as an encore. With Emil von Reznicek’s overture to “Donna Diana”, the audience was immersed in the world of romantic music, albeit in the lighter genre. Lutz Schumacher introduced the composer – and it was then clear that he is almost forgotten today not because he was not a master of his craft, but because he got into trouble with the regime in the Third Reich and now almost all of his works have fallen into a deep sleep and are hardly played to this day – except for the Donna Diana overture.

Parade concert of romanticism

With Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor, a showcase solo concert of the Romantic era was on the programme – with exuberant melodies and lively rhythms. Lutz Schumacher pointed out the history of the work’s creation. To Dvorak’s connection to his Bohemian homeland, to his homesickness, which he experienced during a three-year professional interlude in the USA.

Musicians from 20 nations form a unit at “Schwäbische.Klassik.Sterne!” in Balingen

© Roland Beck

Balingen’s mayor Ermilio Verrengia (right) together with Schwäbisch Media managing director and moderator Lutz Schumacher.

Soloist Arne-Christian Pelz, first solo cellist of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, was convincing from the first note. The interaction with the Neue Philharmonie was harmonious. Especially in solo concerts, it is important to find the right balance between soloist and orchestra, to avoid airs and graces and to play with each other, not against each other. Pelz’s visible and tangible immersion in the structure of the work showed how much he loved the work and the orchestral interpretation by conductor Andreas Schulz. This Dvorak was not just a soloist-focused interpretation, but a joint brilliant performance by soloist, conductor and orchestra. And this is the only way to best express the breaks in the score.

Symphonic Titan

Finally, Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony in C minor was a true symphonic titan on the programme. A few weeks ago, Brahms’ Second Symphony could be heard in an interpretation by the Arcademia Sinfonica under the direction of Dietrich Schöller-Manno in the Stadthalle.

Musicians from 20 nations form a unit at “Schwäbische.Klassik.Sterne!” in Balingen

© Roland Beck

Dietrich Schöller-Manno recently conducted Brahms’ Second Symphony with the arcademia sinfonica in the Stadthalle. He was among the guests on Thursday.

One cannot speak of this first symphony without mentioning Beethoven. Lutz Schumacher did just that in his introduction, referring to Brahms’ friendship with Robert and Clara Schumann and to Robert Schumann’s desire to make Brahms Beethoven’s legitimate successor.

Successor to Beethoven?

“For Schumann, Beethoven was like a fixed star, his admiration knew no bounds,” writes Stephan Eisel in his essay: “Robert and Ludwig as soul mates.” For Johannes Brahms, this question of succession, as absurd as it was, was a real problem. The composer once said that he would probably never be able to compose a symphony because he always had the giant Beethoven marching behind him. It took him 15 years before he was satisfied with his symphony. It was not finished until 1876, when Brahms was already 43 years old. But was this question of succession even a question? After Beethoven’s death in 1827, the five symphonies of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, the four symphonies by Schumann himself and three by Anton Bruckner had been written. The symphony as a musical form lived on after Beethoven – albeit in different forms.

What Brahms then created stands alone in music history today and its structure and elaboration can be interpreted independently of Beethoven. The two outer movements in particular are fundamental. The rush to the first theme in the first movement, driven by powerful drum beats, or the different moods in the fourth movement represent Brahms and not a successor to Beethoven.

Excellently arranged

One of the most difficult sections of the work shows how well the New Philharmonic is arranged – the pizzicato passages at the beginning of the fourth movement, which are played by all the strings. If they do not work together precisely and dynamically, the internal tension is lost and the modulation into the major passage that follows shortly afterwards becomes blurred.

This is where it becomes clear what a homogeneous orchestra Andreas Schulz has formed. Lutz Schumacher then spoke of “young, committed people” from over 20 nations who may not speak the same language but are connected by music.

When the young musicians hugged each other after the final applause, it was clear that the concert was not only fun for the audience, but also for the orchestra.