‘Magical nocturnal music with ensemble LUDWIG’

For its new production ‘Face of the moon’ music collective LUDWIG programmed a concert consisting of pure night music.

“An ‘address book’ orchestra”, music collective LUDWIG was called mockingly at their foundation in 2011. Some 8 years, several jubilant reviews and a Grammy Award later, their project-orientated, hyper flexible way of working has proven itself convincingly. Their secret: content comes first, according to artistic leader Peppie Wiersma in an interview in this newspaper.

For their new production ‘Face of the Moon’ LUDWIG created a concert ‘in a nocturnal atmosphere’, illustrated by a full stage projection of an ever discoloring sky full of stars.

Also noteworthy: the star role for the bassethorn, the darker predecessor of the modern clarinet. Dutch composer Max Knigge (1984) presented both reed instruments in a world premiere with the beautiful poetic title ‘Soft and light laughs the face of the moon’. Motives in thirds slowly sipped through in a string sextet. The effect: a musical equivalent of drops on a moonlit water surface. Tones slowly spread out rippling and murmuring into colorful chords, until the nocturnal dream bursts open into a sudden agitated intermezzo.

The members of LUDWIG performed Knigge’s Face of the moonimmaculately. (…)

After the intermission a masterful rendition of Mendelssohn’s first Konzertstück, especially thanks to unequalled solos of Arjan Woudenberg (clarinet) and Bart de Kater (basset horn).

Mendelssohn’s stage music to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream was played integrally in an ingenious arrangement by – again – Knigge.

Only in the overture the wings of the fairies fluttered somewhat surly, because the close-knit (four times split) violin parts from the original orchestral score of course sound less fuzzy with single strings. The famous ‘scherzo’ and march of the fairies however sounded  transparant and pointed, with double bassist Wilmar de Visser and cellist Michael Müller cleverly freelancing on triangle and cymbals. With her lean, clear soprano voice, Laetitia Gerards turned out to be the dreamed fairy in chief in the song ‘You spotted snakes’, while

Horn player Laurens Otto impressed with his solo in the Notturno.