The Creation. June 2007. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. Soloists: Thomas Quasthoff, Klara Ek, Marcel Reijans. Conductor: Helmut Rilling.
I have always had mixed opinions on Thomas Quasthoff as an artist. While I deeply admire his achievements, I generally finde his interpretations too emotional and sentimental, especially in Schubert and Mahler, which are cornerstones in Quasthoff´s repertoire.
In this Creation, however, he displayed none of these tendencies, providing a very much to the point reading displaying his very beautiful voice which has considerably more ring to the lower registry than I´expected.
Accompanied by the fine young Swedish soprano Klara Ek and the conductor Helmut Rilling, who genuinely extracted enthusiasm from the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra playing, as always, on modern instruments.
After the concert, the music director of Tivoli, Nikolaj Koppel interviewed Rilling and Quasthoff on stage. Among other things, both artists agreed that period vs. no period performance was not an important issue: The important thing was making the music come alive. A statement with which I very much agree. Directly asked, Thomas Quasthoff furthermore stated he had no intentions of doing more operatic roles.