“I’ve always had great pleasure in making music with many people”, Ariane Matiakh has related in an interview. The conductor, General Music Director in Halle since the 2019/20 season, grew up with music, as she is the daughter of two opera singers. Already at the age of four she stood on the kitchen table and conducted Wagner operas being broadcast on the radio. Her favourite place was the orchestra pit, from where she was able to observe her parents. Her enjoyment in making music resound together with others ultimately led to her decision to become a conductor. The French native completed her training at the Viennese University of Music with Leopold Hager. A key element for her artistic development was, however, the encounter with Nikolaus Harnoncourt: “I learned from him that you need to have a great deal of respect towards the score, the style and the musicians.” Ariane Matiakh successfully combines knowledge about historical and modern performance practice, which is ideal for the programme that she has compiled for her first performance with the scholars of the Karajan Academy.
The concert begins with two works by Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 82, “The Bear”, one of the composer’s so-called Paris symphonies, and the solo cantata Arianna a Naxos, in which Haydn portrays the psychological drama of Ariadne, who was abandoned by Theseus, in a touching way. The mezzosoprano Elisabeth Kulman will sing the solo part. The Symphony No. 31 in D major was also composed for Paris: 22-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed it for the Concerts spirituels in 1778 during his stay in the French capital, and in so doing completely adapted to the taste of the Parisian audience. With a great deal of success! They will first play the orchestral suite that Gabriel Fauré compiled from his stage music for Maurice Maeterlinck’s drama Pelléas et Mélisande.