- This concert hall is a legend, a stroke of genius in terms of acoustics. Every year it lures the best orchestras in the world to Amsterdam. On July 16, 2014, the luminously sensual sound of the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn under the baton of its music director Ruben Gazarian filled the Amsterdam Concertgebouw—with two works for string orchestra that celebrate the fascinating variety of sounds and power of expression that this complement of instruments is capable of producing.
- Benjamin Britten succeeds in his Simple Symphony in a simple but witty way: He quotes and develops his own first attempts at composition, which had been sitting in his drawer for years. He assigns fanciful titles like “Playful Pizzicato” and “Sentimental Saraband” to the four movements, and he parades a whole catalog of tone colors of strings.
- The Serenade op. 28, composed in 1880, is Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s loving homage to the great Mozart, who established the genre. “It is warmed by feeling and, as I hope, of real value,” the composer said about his work. Derived from the Italian adjective sereno, the genre promises a melodic language akin to a clear, bright sky (especially at night). It comes in handy for “One Night in Amsterdam – WKO Live at Concertgebouw.”
- A fascinating document in sound, a precious and authentic acoustic snapshot enriching the multi-faceted discography of the WKO and Ruben Gazarian.
(A production of the WKO Heilbronn ©2015 // For sale only at the orchestra’s subscription concerts in Heilbronn or by order from firstname.lastname@example.org)
In November 2015, Ruben Gazarian conducted a concert series of the WKO Heilbronn and Vesselina Kasarova. The program with the star singer was presented within the subscription series in Heilbronn and also in Osnabrück, Braunschweig, Erlangen, and Ludwigsburg.
- “Just as much Vesselina Kasarova charges her rendition of Vitellia’s recitative and aria from La clemenza di Tito with drama, conductor Ruben Gazarian charges his Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn with tension. There everything is concise and powerful, and the finale from Luigi Boccherini’s symphony ‘La Casa del Diavolo’ makes the spirits of hell dance in a really devilish manner.”
- (Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung)
- “The interpretation of two operatic overtures by Mozart and Rossini demonstrated in an impressive manner in what an appropriate, differentiated, and also perceptive manner this Swabian ensemble is capable of presenting works of distinguished composer of different eras. The vigorous Ruben Gazarian, who has been successfully leading his “Württembergers” as their artistic director through international concert halls since 2002, warrants it. (…) The musicians and their energetic conductor Gazarian with his wide repertory of gestures have understood to transmit the melancholic character (of Mozart’s G minor symphony) with its moments of resignation convincingly. (…) The subsequent Andante made a deep impression. Especially in the highly dramatic finale, the orchestra succeeded in making this, one of the most significant works of symphonic literature, accessible to the Erlangen audience through joy of play, intensity, expressiveness, and originality.”
- (Erlanger Nachrichten)
- “The instrumentalists from Württemberg, with their delicate blend of sounds and subtle dynamic shades, are Kasarova’s congenial partners. In Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 in G minor, conductor Ruben Gazarian juxtaposes to great effect the brusque eruptions of the finale with the Landler-like coziness in the trio of the minuet. Lots of applause.”
- (Braunschweiger Zeitung)
Just a few months after their first CD production, the second disc of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt has been released in early November 2015. In contrast to its predecessor, this new album is a compilation focusing on one composer only: Bohuslav Martinů. You will find more detailed comments on the CD’s content under “Discography.” Again, the label ARS-Produktion released the recording as a hybrid CD/SACD with high-quality multichannel sound. The review on the web portal HighResolutionAudio.net is here.
Ende Mai veröffentlichte das niederländische Label „Challenge Classics“ die neue CD des Geigers Linus Roth mit dem Württembergischen Kammerorchester Heilbronn und seinem Chefdirigenten. Unter dem Titel „Wartime Consolations“ sind auf dem Tonträger Werke von Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Mieczyslaw Weinberg und Dmitri Schostakowitsch vereint. Dies ist die dritte CD-Neuerscheinung binnen eines Monats mit Ruben Gazarian als Dirigent. Auch diese Aufnahme erscheint als hochwertige Hybrid CD/SACD mit einer Mehrkanal-Fassung.
Hier geht es zu den Rezensionen:
A Voice for the Arts (Voix-des-Arts)
On April 17, 2015, the label “Berlin Classics” released the second album of the ECHO laureate Felix Klieser. Unlike his first CD, his second is dedicated to the music of the classical era: Joseph and Michael Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For this recording, the exceptional horn player has found the perfect musical complement in the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (Württemberg Chamber Orchestra) Heilbronn conducted by Ruben Gazarian. “We have worked together with much intensity and passion but also with lots of fun and delight in music. I most cordially invite you to share this joy with me,” Felix Klieser says.
Immediately after conducting the opening night of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Heilbronn, Ruben Gazarian flew to Poland to give his debut with the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra. The program included works of Richard Strauss, Sergei Prokofiev and Kurt Weill; the russian piano virtuoso Andrei Korobeinikov was the soloist. Gazarian’s collaboration with the orchestra was such a resounding success that he was promptly invited back for the 2016-17 season.
- A remarkable new departure has deepened the long-standing fruitful collaboration between the Württembergisches Kammerorchester (Württemberg Chamber Orchestra) Heilbronn and the municipal Heilbronner Theater: For the first time ever, these two organizations launched an original production in a joint venture with the Musikhochschule (Music Academy) Stuttgart, and for starters, they chose one of the most frequently performed works from the operatic repertory: Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Mozart’s ingenious creation saw its Heilbronn premiere on April 4, 2015. The audience acclaimed all participants with standing ovations.
- Likewise, all critics praised the production unanimously: “The guarantor of this orchestral delectation is placed in the pit: the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn under the baton of its music director Ruben Gazarian. Already the overture turns into a masterpiece of precision, so delicate, ethereal, and enormously lively in its quick runs… The standard for this night is set, and it is set high.” (Heilbronner Stimme); “Ruben Gazarian turns out to be… a naturally born Mozart conductor who knows, above all, how to instill a flexible legato and clear intonation into the string section. This becomes evident already in the overture, bristling with vigor… As a conductor, Gazarian has, in any case, a knack for the orchestration abounding in minute details.” (Der neue Merker) “And how Gazarian here guides his musicians through the score, on the waves of the sea and of love, and how the young singers get supported throughout this marathon for six voices…” (Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung) “Singing and acting were perfectly supported by the Württembergisches Kammerorchester, whose initial weightless sound seemed to grow to that of a full-bodied symphony orchestra in the course of the evening, and precisely coordinated by Ruben Gazarian.” (Bachtrack.com).
- The opera will be performed on a total of nine nights, remaining on the playbill of the Heilbronner Theater until the end of July 2015.
Cast and crew of the Heilbronn production of Cosi fan tutte right before the opening night.
Photo: Thomas Braun
The new music director of the Georgisches Kammerorchester (Georgian Chamber Orchestra) Ingolstadt, Ruben Gazarian, celebrated a highly acclaimed debut in the first subscription concert of the season on January 15, 2015. The conductor and his musicians dedicated the concert, under the motto “Swiss Made,” to the four Swiss composers Paul Juon, Fabian Müller, Ernest Bloch, and Arthur Honegger. They were joined by violonist Kamilla Schatz and cellist Pi-Phin Chien. “Such programs have to be possible, even more so as they allow the GKO to gain recognition beyond our region… Gazarian and the orchestra could not have left a more distinctive mark on their debut—in every respect.” (Donaukurier) A recording of the concert will be released on CD in May 2015 (Ars Produktion)—“already now, an enriching document.” (Donaukurier)
On November 4, 2014, the program for the new season of the Georgian Chamber Orchestra, which begins January 2015, was presented in the Ingolstadt Audi Forum. The exceptionally high media attention with numerous representatives from print, television and internet was due to the changeover of the artistic leadership: As previously reported, Ruben Gazarian will commence his position as principal conductor of the GCO Ingolstadt in the upcoming season. Therefore, one of the most important topics of the press conference was the new program direction, presented personally by the designated principal conductor, as well as the planned recording activities of the orchestra. The online version of the GCO brochure for the 2015 concert season can be downloaded here: www.gko-in.de.
At the beginning of October, the WCO, led by its principal conductor, made four appearances at the “Niedersächsische Musiktage” Music Festival. Together with the soloists of this concerts – Veronika Eberle (violin) and Nils Mönkemeyer (viola) – they performed works of Mozart and Dvořák. The concerts sparked a unanimously positive echo everywhere, not only with the audience but also with the critics. The live recording of one of the performances will be broadcasted 7th of December 2014 at 11am on Radio NDR Kultur.
For the first time in its over 50 year history, the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn performed “Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta” by Béla Bartók. This masterpiece was combined with two brilliant creations of the First Viennese School: Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 595 (with soloist Sebastian Knauer) and the “Jupiter”-Symphony. The reviewer from the “Heilbronner Stimme” hailed the evening as a “glorious moment of the Classic Modernism”. The “Augsburger Allgemeine” spoke of the same program performance in the second WCO subscription series in Ulm likewise with the highest of praises: “With a crystalline temperament, the orchestra, inspired by its omnipresent conductor, steered Mozart’s last symphony to concertante Olympus. How… Gazarian incorporated the pulsating fugato of the “Allegro molto” into the well-awakened overall sound is a mastery of dynamic arrangement.” Read more from the reviews in the link „Press“.
For Ruben Gazarian and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn, the final concerts of the 2013-14 season turned into triumphs. A standing ovation acclaimed the orchestra and its principal conductor at the famed Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Likewise, the audience at Eberbach Abbey, where Gazarian and his orchestra appeared a few days later in the course of the Rheingau Music Festival, broke into applause that did not seem to end. The orchestra and its artistic director departed for their summer break after performing works by Rossini, Albéniz, Rodrigo and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” symphony.
From the beginning of 2015, Ruben Gazarian will assume artistic leadership of the Georgian Chamber Orchestra (Georgisches Kammerorchester) in Ingolstadt, Germany. Simultaneously, he will retain the same position at the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra (Württembergisches Kammerorchester) Heilbronn, whose director he has been for twelve years. He was appointed to the helm in Ingolstadt in response to the unanimous preferences of the orchestra, its management and the city’s cultural officers. “I am looking forward to this intriguing task and my future collaboration with the musicians of the Georgisches Kammerorchester, to whom I am already now, after some appearances as a guest conductor, connected in a very warm relationship”, Gazarian said at the official announcement.
In early March, Ruben Gazarian returned from a concert series with the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion (ISORL), which doubles as the resident orchestra of the Israeli Opera Tel Aviv. The programs included works by Haim Permont (a world premiere), Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Khachaturian. On each of the four nights, the conductor was enthusiastically acclaimed by audience and orchestra alike. After the Camerata Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the ISORL has been already the third Israeli orchestra with which Gazarian had his highly successful debut within the last year.
Just in time for Christmas 2013, “Bayer Records” announces the release of a new CD with Ruben Gazarian, the pianist Vardan Mamikonian and the Wuerttemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. Titled Ruben Gazarian …back to the roots: Armenian Classic, the recording departs from standard symphonic repertoire to explore the music of Gazarian’s homeland. The composers Eduard Mirzoyan, Tigran Mansurjan, Aram Khachaturian and Arno Babajanian represent 20th century Armenian music at its finest. The CD includes the world premiere recording of Tigran Mansurjan’s “Fantasy” for Piano and Orchestra.