October 14, 2005

Cosmonauts from Kremlin in the Konzerthaus

Named the “Chamber Orchestra Kremlin,” this superb ensemble of young musicians are not particularly Russian in sound, but universal. Their dress, the men’s almost a uniform like Cosmonauts, suggests “unity” and that is what was musically realised in the great hall of the Konzerthaus in an impressive way. These Kremlin strings are indeed first class. Misha Rachlevsky founded the ensemble in 1991 and has adamantly kept them together since then.

In Stravinsky’s “Concerto in D” they captured the sharp-edged intonation. This piece seems to be meant for the Muscovites, exemplarily transforming a Russian idiom into the universal language of the 20th century. How fervently the “Prayer” of the underestimated Swiss composer Ernest Bloch came across. Guest soloist Jan Vogler gave it a dedicative cello sound, and he also made an event of Mansurian’s second cello concerto. Finally, Tchaikovsky’s popular “Souvenir de Florence", partly performed in wildly fast tempi, left us breathless. Magnificent! Invite them again right away, these Kremlin cosmonauts!