Before the concert, some guests enjoyed a three-course “themed candlelight dinner”. Several years ago I experienced a similar and somewhat disappointing dinner in Salzburg, so I opted for the concert only. The Palace is easily accessible via U-Bahn and it’s the site of a popular Christmas market November 27 through December 26 which I’m sure to visit.
Charlottenburg Palace History
Charlottenburg is Berlin’s last remaining palace. The Palace Complex covers several blocks along the banks of the Spree River, and it’s surrounded by a beautiful baroque garden.
“Originally a petite summer retreat, it grew into an exquisite baroque palace with opulent private apartments, richly festooned festival halls, collections of precious porcelain, and paintings by French 18th century masters.”
Soon after his coronation, King Frederick and Queen Sophie Charlotte decided to expand their Lützenburg residence. When Charlotte died, Frederick renamed the residence Charlottenburg Palace, extended it even more, built a magnificent dome, and added an “elongated building named the Great Orangery”.
Today Charlottenburg is a working palace and one of Berlin’s most “grandiose event venues”. It’s a great place for concerts.
The Berlin Residence Orchestra
In 2006, the Berlin Residence Orchestra began performing classical music concerts staged in the Great Orangery. Several chamber music ensembles formed within the orchestra.,Concerts feature composers like Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi and the atmosphere transports the audiences into the past, when kings listened to the same music.
The chamber orchestra consisted of a harpsichord, cello, bass, flute, violin, and four violas. There were flute, viola, and cello solos and operatic solos and duos. For a while in the beginning, the commentator gave some narrative in English as well as German – it was obvious he really didn’t care for it. Later, he spoke German only, so I missed the nuances and jokes that made other people laugh…. Oh well, the music was beautiful…
The program included works of well-known classical composers and some – kings and friends of kings – I’d never heard of:
- Frederick The Great
- Georg Friedrich Handel
- Jean-Baptiste Lully – friend of Frederick I and Queen Sophie Charlotte
- Antonio Vivaldi
- Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- Christoph Willibald Gluck
- Riccardo Broschi
- Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Anna Fedotova Concertmaster
Russian Anna Fedotova studied at the Far East Art Academy in her hometown of Vladivostok and later at Moscow’s Gnessin Academy. She’s participated in Salzburg masterclasses and is a “laureate of several competitions in many countries”. Fedotova co-founded the Tango Ensemble Coamorous” and has toured with the group throughout Europe.
Alexandra Rossmann Musical Director
Alexandra Rossmann was born in Minsk Belarus, where she studied piano and became a piano teacher and accompanist. She performed at international festivals and made her début at the Minsk Philharmonic at the age of 17. Rossmann later moved to Germany and studied at the Musikhochschule Munich. She now lives in Potsdam and teaches piano.
Sara Gouzy Soprano
French soprano Sara Gouzy completed her piano studies at the Conservatoire de Toulouse. She studied voice at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler” Berlin and attended masterclasses in France and Germany. In 2012 Gouzy participated in a joint project of the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler” and Berlin’s Komische Oper (Comic Opera). Since 2013 Gouzy is a scholarship holder of the association “Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now” and soloist at the Berlin Residence Concerts.
Georg Arssenij Bochow Countertenor
The German-Russian countertenor Georg Arssenij Bochow began his career as a chorister in the Berlin Staats- und Domchor and received Canada’s Saint Nicolas Award from the Royal School of Church Music. He began vocal studies at the “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin in 2011 and has taken masterclasses. He appeared with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the world première of Evan Gardner’s “Die Unterhändlerin”.
This is the first time I’ve experienced a countertenor in such close quarters – a most unusual voice!