How to wake up a Bach cantata

Peter Konwitschny has put on a staging in Trier of two Bach cantatas,  Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut (BWV199) and Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig (BWV 26).

Here’s how it looks.

bach cantata konwitschny

Anna Magdalena goes shopping in the sales?

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    • According to one of my German flies on the wall, mr K visited the Berlin therapist Dr Hofstängl, specialist in Regietheater, but the result was that Dr H had to put himself under treatment of his collegue Dr Rohrschach, specialist in clinical depressions.

  • Right down there with Fiordiligi’s pointless striptease in Peter Sellars’ ghastly “Così fan tutte”.

  • It seems pretty pointless to attempt to judge a production by a single image. Unless, that is, you’ve all seen the staging?

  • The premiere in Germany is yet to come. For those of you in fear that the cultural heritage is going to be destroyed it will good news that most of the planned performances have been cancelled ( A trailer can be found on youtube: There is a review from the NZZ ( in German language. Konwitschny seems to be a very pessimistic person, neither believing in humans nor in love nor in anything else (based on what I have seen from him so far).

    • … Hmm, if it’s Magdalenas, I think I might stick with Magdalena Kožená and J. E. Gardiner (for “Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut”, the lovely filming in the cathedral in Wales on Gardiner’s DVD of cantatas from 2000 – feels a bit more being on like solid ground, or otherwise not earthbound at all, depending on one’s point of view! That said, I do genuinely enjoy Herr Konwitschny at times, though – the DVD of his “Tristan und Isolde” staging for Munich’s National Theatre can be great fun if one’s in the right frame of mind for it (… granted, it’s really not necessarily for all tastes), and the production itself seems to have been running for years and years, so in its own way it’s almost like it’s a classic now!

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