A flawless solo recital by Nicolas Altstaedt

Date created: 01.08.2023.

Charismatic cellist Nicolas Altstaedt held a solo recital last night, 31 July in the Rector’s Palace atrium, and his impeccable performance of canonical compositions and contemporary classics drew long-lasting applause and ovations from the Festival audience.

Nicolas Altstaedt's first performance in Dubrovnik began with the short suite Trois strophes sur le nom de Sacher or Three Stanzas on the Name Sacher. The piece composed by the musical perfectionist Dutilleux on the commission of the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich for the seventieth birthday of Paul Sacher, the long-time leader of leader of the Basler Kammerorchester, reveals the letters of Sacher's name in the notation, while the cello’s range is expanded by scordatura, or a different tuning of the instrument which changes its timbre. The poetic virtuosity and impeccable technique of this talented musician, who is equally involved with the conductor's baton as well as with the cellist's bow, was on full display in the Rector’s Palace, with Altstaedt carefully nuancing each composition on the programme with a masterful sensibility, presenting with ease all the complexity of the dynamic music relationships. Altstaedt was at his best in the canonical repertoire; Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor the punctuated rhythms of which brought a melancholic and dark atmosphere. The freshness of Melodie, Jörg Widmann's latest work, was continued by Kodály's Sonata for solo cello, Op.8, a modern cello classic that stands out for its complexity, modality and chromaticism. Unquestionable was finally the pleasure of the Festival audience, who followed each piece with loud applause and repeatedly inviting the musician to bow.

Nicolas Altstaedt will be playing again at the Rectors Palace tomorrow, 2 August where he will perform with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Pavle Zajcev, and the tickets for the concert are available via the festival website or the service, at the box office in the Festival Palace (Od Sigurate 1) every day from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and in front of the DTS building (Vukovarska St) from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.