It’s high time for a Close-up portrait concert focusing on the enterprising violist Michael Gieler. Together with a number of his Concertgebouworkest colleagues, he is presenting an exciting yet balanced programme featuring works by Haydn, Bach and Schoenberg.
Michael Gieler, assistant principal violist with the Concertgebouworkest, takes centre stage in this Close-up portrait concert. In addition to his work as an orchestral player, he is a devoted chamber musician. Indeed, Gieler serves as artistic director of two concert series in which his orchestral colleagues often feature prominently: the IJ Salon at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ and Bijlmer Klassiek at the Bijlmer Parktheater. He also founded the International Bach Festival, held for the first time in Gran Canaria in 2015. It’s high time for a portrait concert dedicated to this passionate chamber musician.
Michael Gieler and his colleagues open this concert with the string quartet in which Joseph Haydn incorporated the popular ‘Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser’, his own newly composed personal anthem to Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, hence the work’s nickname. Remarkably enough, the quartet is followed by a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, with an equally surprising role for Gieler’s Concertgebouworkest colleague Marleen Asberg, who for once is performing not as a violinist, but as a singer. The concert concludes with Arnold Schoenberg’s expressive String Quartet No. 2, an unusual work in that it features a part for soprano in the third and fourth movements.
For years, musicians of the Concertgebouworkest have been giving chamber music concerts in the Recital Hall as part of the Close-up Series. These intimate concerts organised by the Friends of the Concertgebouw and the Concertgebouworkest present a unique opportunity to enjoy up close these outstanding musicians’ individual qualities in small ensembles.