This July, the only project of the MCO happens to be its participation in the Rencontres Musicales d’Evian, which is led by the Quatuor Modigliani.
From a personal point of view, it is a double pleasure for me to perform in France. First of all, I moved from France to Germany four years ago and unfortunately rarely go back, and furthermore, a week in a beautiful hotel directly at Lake Geneva, without any travelling in the meantime, is in general something very welcome.
We learn right away that peace and purity of the air is something you must earn, with a continuous hopeless traffic jam all along Lake Geneva, which makes the transfer from Geneva Airport feel endless!
But anyway, that seems to be the twice daily routine of people living here, and once we are checked in in the Hilton, nothing will trouble our peace, except for maybe the victory of the French football team against the German one, celebrated loudly and into the late hours in the streets of Evian. Pleasant disturbance for me, and quickly forgiven by my fair-play German cellist colleague, whose favorite team seems to be the current world champion, an information I will have to check once back in Berlin.
The first part of the project is a chamber concert, with a beautiful program around the warm and elegant voice of Karine Deshayes.
The two first days are dedicated to the rehearsals for this first concert, and since only two pieces include a viola, I reconnect with my Mediterranean roots and enjoy the pool, the sun, and a few rounds of boule in the evenings with my colleagues, acknowledging the fact that nothing is better than a relaxed and tanned musician to produce a good rehearsal.
A serious practising before the rehearsal? All right, also helps...
The hall, called La Grange au Lac, deserves a word. An entirely wooden construction very nicely decorated and perfectly organized to welcome musicians, TV and radio teams. That kind of hall with its warm and refined sound is a pure joy for a chamber orchestra. The friendly invitation from the Quatuor Modigliani to the reception in a breathtaking luxurious hotel after the concert nicely completes the feeling of having a privileged life in music.
On the next day, the rest of the orchestra arrives and we start rehearsals for the second concert, with the young and excellent French conductor Fabien Gabel.
With his relaxed behavior and accurate conducting, he contributes to the universal impression that sometimes life can be just beautiful and easy...