Refreshing, such a bit of death

Happy End: The Ensemble Nico and the Navigators dedicates itself to a deadly serious topic at the Konzerthaus Elias Pietsch An early summer has the city firmly in its grip. Warm, too warm for this time of year, it is on Wednesday, and sunny. Nevertheless, the ensemble Nico and the Navigators invites you to an evening about a theme more suited to rainy November evenings: death. The title of this scenic concert: "Nobody dies in the middle of his life". A female speaker (Annedore Kleist), a female dancer and a male dancer create the scenic part, an ensemble of violin, double bass, piano and percussion is responsible for the music, rounded off by the singers Ted Schmitz and Nikolay Borchev and the soprano Julia von Landsberg. Comedy, sadness, anger, melodrama Although - as the evening shows - such a separating division is actually superfluous. The elements do not stand for themselves, music, dance and theater form a harmonious whole. The Navigators interpret the supposedly gloomy theme in a surprisingly fresh and carefree way. Not everything is heavy and sad, rather all facets of death are presented: Comedy, sadness, anger or even melodrama. This is made possible by an extremely broad selection of music that spans four centuries. From John Dowland to Franz Schubert to Hank Williams and Leonard Cohen, a wide variety of musical and textual preoccupations with death can be heard. What is special is how these often well-known pieces are interpreted. Leonard Cohen's sadly beautiful "Dance Me to the End of Love" is countered here with comic, almost parodic dancing. Interestingly, this enhances the mood of the song. But it is also impressive how Matan Porat, who is responsible for the musical direction and the keyboard instruments, interprets Gustav Holst's "Mars" with his handful of fellow musicians without losing the force of the original, and even enhances it. Drummer Philipp Kullen in particular, with a large arsenal of percussion instruments ranging from bongo to marimba, continues to illuminate new and surprising aspects of the music. The concert ends as it began, with the "Abendlied" by Johann Abraham Peter Schulz and the famous text by Matthias Claudius. Calmly and thoughtfully one is dismissed into the night, refreshed by this so life-affirming death dance.

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