Into the Night …

Igudesman und Joo

Produced by: avanti media plus
Directed by: Edda Baumann-von Broen und Aljoscha Hofmann
Released: 2017
Runtime: 52 Minutes

Without a doubt the Salzburg Festival is a Mecca for many classical music lovers because of large-scale productions and big names of the world of classical music, nevertheless some perceived the festival as too dignified and ostentatious in the past.

The violinist Aleksey Igudesman and the pianist Hyung-ki Joo take a look behind the scenes a few days before the first premieres and meet old friend and new acquaintances. Lots of musicians of the younger generation appreciate the rather unusual combination of classical music and humour and the virtuous musical sketches of Igudesman and Joo.

At first the both meet her friend Sarah Wedl-Wilson, the vice chancellor of the University Mozarteum Salzburg. Afterwards they meet the good-humoured president of the Salzburg Festival in the Great Festival Hall. Helga Rabl-Stadler gives them a look behind the scenes of the Rock Riding School while they joke together. At the end they even get a vague invitation to participate next year.

Next they pick up Vladimir Jurowski who conducts Alban Bergs “Wozzeck” this year and enquire about the rehearsals. At the spectacular roof terrace of the Festival Hall they talk with Jurowski about Frank Zappa and how it feels to be a conductor’s son. Afterwards they make music with her friend, the soprano singer Asmik Grigorian who sings in “Wozzeck”, in a rehearsal room of the Festival Hall.

In the gourmet restaurant Ikaraus Igudesman & Joo meet their friend, the performance artist and grand child of Charlie Chaplin, Aurelia Thierrée. The French star cook Daniel Bouloud, who’s a super star in the US, cooks Scottish food for the trio. They philosophize about the difficulties of easiness, about timing and humour and the challenge to classify their work.

Well-nourished they walk through the heavy summer rain to the cathedral square where they want to meet their friend Michael Sturminger. This year he directs Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Jedermann” and wants to test the lighting a few days before the premiere. But as the cathedral square is under water Sturminger invites them to the unofficial Festival canteen “Resch&Lieblich”. Even at midnight the restaurant bursts from all seams. There they also meet Peter Lohmeyer, who plays the death in “Jedermann” for the fifth time already.

Zur späten Stunde empfängt sie noch Teodor Currentzis in seinem Salzburger Domizil. Der Dirigent, der als Klassikrebell gilt, hat wenig Muße für Oberflächlichkeit. Stattdessen diskutiert er mit den beiden über Mozarts Leben und die Frage, ob Dirigenten notwendig sind. Als der Regen endlich nachlässt, machen sich Igudesman und Joo müde, aber beeindruckt von den vielen Begegnungen, auf den Weg zurück nach Wien.

Late at night Teodor Currentzis welcomes them on his Salzburg domicile. The conductor, who’s known as rebel in the classical music scene, doesn’t have any interest in superficiality. Instead he talks about Mozarts life and the question whether conductor’s are necessary. When the rain finally lessens, Igudesman & Joo head back to Vienna — tired but impressed by all the encounters.