Soothingly homogeneous sounds
Christoph-Mathias Mueller and the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester open the Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker 2011
Although this is a festival of chamber music, the opening programme was performed by the Göttinger Symphonieorchester, sounding soothingly homogeneous and conducted with great sensitivity by Christoph-Mathias Mueller. To call such unpretentious and sophisticated musicians a provincial orchestra would be an insult. To begin with, the guests from Göttingen played the "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" by Wagner's friend, and later father-in-law, Franz Liszt. For the evening concert, they continued to accompany pianist Kirill Gerstein, who called up the sheet music for the piano part of Liszt's "Danse Macabre – Paraphrase on Dies Irae" on an iPad display. The virtual pages were turned by operating a foot pedal with Bluetooth connection.
An up-to-date method and a spectacular musician. One of his early influences, jazz, has instilled in him the kind of rhythmic power which is of great benefit to his playing Liszt as well as to his interpretation of Maurice Ravel's "Piano Concerto for the Left Hand". Gerstein performed both pieces with phenomenal drive, while meeting the purist's expectations by always keeping a certain subtlety present for a classical sound. An ideal interpreter, in whose performance of piano basher and keyboard sorcerer Liszt we discover a multitude of unexpected shades and nuances.
(01 Aug 2011 - Hamburger Abendblatt - Tom R. Schulz)
Haydn would have been pleased…..
Christoph-Mathias Mueller with the Mendelssohn Kammerorchester Leipzig in a guest performance at the Wiener Musikverein.
It's not the instruments that matter – what is much more important is to know what to do with them. This is how the Leipzig Mendelssohn Kammerorchester could be described in one sentence. For their sound is closer to the original than that of many ensembles who make use of historic instruments. … This also applies precisely to the Symphony in C "Il Distratto", for which in every respect conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller provided an interpretation that would likely have found even Haydn's full approval. Even the swiftest runs in the Prestissimo never deteriorate to a sloppy glissando, the Menuet remains at a danceable pace, and the Adagio is a delightfully calm contrast, never in the least boring. All of this combined with the optimally reproduced sound pattern of the era of Viennese Classic deserved nothing short of the gales of applause it received.
(Dominik Lepuschitz - European News Agency)
"Tonal at times, and sometimes bitonal“
Christoph-Mathias Mueller and the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester gave a most convincing performance with a varied repertoire. One of Christoph-Mathias Mueller's qualities definitely is that he has spirit. This strong point of his ensured that there were some ingenious diversions during the opening concert of "Linien – ein Festival für Neue Musik". The entire event, which took place in Göttingen at the end of August, was an ambitious and exciting affair. ... In all of this, and especially during "The Seasons“ und "Atlas Eclipticalis" by John Cage, Mueller proved to be a conductor whose competence and relaxed style made the not exactly middle-of-the-road matter approachable to the audience – and who has made the musicians enthusiastic about it, too.
In May, 2010, the Orchestra played fish in a very different kettle, which is worth mentioning also to give an example of its diversity. ... at the Göttingen International Händel Festival, where in direct comparison to renowned original-sound ensembles, the GSO's performance was anything but pale. Together with vocal soloists Elisabeth Scholl, William Berger und Ingeborg Danz, the Orchestra presented Händel's highly entertaining cantata "Apollo e Dafne" and the famous "Stabat Mater" by Pergolesi. Christoph-Mathias Mueller took care of diversity in the articulation of all orchestral groups, even the double basses, giving the music tonicity and a richness in nuances. A man of spirit, an excellent motivator.
(Das Orchester – November 2010)
"Lots of scope for musical development"
Christoph-Mathias Mueller navigated his Symphony Orchestra safely through the calculated muddle of Ives' orchestral idiom in "Three Places in New England". Additionally, he made reference to this compositional quality in a captivating, accessible introduction, thus turning his initial words into music directly afterwards.
(Göttinger Tageblatt – 26 Oct 2010)
"An encounter where everybody is a winner"
One person shall receive special praise, and deservedly so: the GSO's Principal Conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller, artistic director of the evening, has accepted the challenge of the Stadtsportbund's gala concert "Sport meets Music", making him the actual star of the event. The Swiss conductor, who is soaked with perspiration at the end, manages to get an audience of 900, including the Lord Mayor, to hum along to the Prisoners' Chorus from Verdi's Nabucco.
(Göttinger Tageblatt-Spezial – 28 Sept 2010)
"At the end of the path – how musical lives were completed"
Especially touching was soprano vocalist Simone Kermes' interpretation of Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs". Conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller together with his orchestra impressively gave each item in the colourful range of works its own particular shine.
(Konzert of the GSO in Lamspringe – 14 Sept 2010)
"A feast not because of the music alone"
Under the direction of Christoph-Mathias Mueller, the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester in its performance of Robert Schumann's Fourth Symphony proves to be an excellent sound-producing body in all instrument groups.
(HNA – 13 Sept 2010)
"When music serenely rises to great heights"
Christoph-Mathias Mueller stirred up the dramatic fire in Robert Schumanns Fourth Symphony, gave the lyrical moments the right space to develop without haste and made sure there were contrasts present to provide enough tension.
(Göttinger Tageblatt – 10 Sept 2010)
"A fresh breeze on the river Leine“
Since 2005, Swiss conductor Christoph-Mathias Mueller has successfully headed the Göttinger Symphonie Orchester … No question, Principal Conductor Mueller has raised a fresh breeze, has improved standards: "Something that characterizes this orchestra is its openness towards new ideas ..."
(Das Orchester – July 2010)