|The Dresden Music for the Advent Period concerts have been broadcast on German|
ZDF since the year 2000.
The Music for the Advent Period concert from the Dresden's beautifully restored Frauenkirche, broadcast by German ZDF on the First Sunday of Advent, has for years now been a wonderful beginning of the Christmas music season on television. The concert today was no exception, even without Chief Conductor Christian Thielemann this year conducting his fine Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden.
|Markus Poschner made his debut with the Staatskapelle Dresden.|
Due to the sudden illness of Franz Welser-Möst, who was scheduled to conduct the Advent concert this year, the Generalmusikdirektor of the Bremen Philharmonic, Markus Poschner, was the "master of ceremonies", and he did it very well, indeed.
American mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato - one of the most sought after mezzos in the world - gave a commanding rendition of Pietro Mascagni's Ave Maria, and I also enjoyed the singing of German tenor Klaus Florian Vogt.
|Soprano Julia Lezhneva in front of the Staatskapelle Dresden.|
However, for me the young Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva (she is only 23!) was the "star" of the evening. I had never heard her before, but listening to her singing Tu virginum corona and Alleluia from Mozart's Exultate, Jubilate, made it easy to understand why she has been blessed with so much critical acclaim despite of her young age.
|Julia Lezhneva sings like an angel!|
And it is not only the beauty of Julia Lezhneva's voice, but her entire personality that mesmerizes audiences. She sings - and even looks - like a little angel, without the slightest trace of diva behaviour, which is so common among many of her older, more well known colleagues. One can only hope that she stays this way!
The Kammerchor der Frauenkirche Dresden (The Frauenkirche chamber chorus) also deserves high marks. Their sensitive singing and beautiful phrasing greatly contributed to the success of the evening.
Here is a video for those who are not familiar with the captivating voice of Julia Lezhneva: