The shooting star of the classical music scene is happy to be in Berlin. Jakub Jozef Orlinski, countertenor from Warsaw, flirts discreetly with the audience and seems to want to burst out laughing at the great applause he receives. Such show elements of his appearance remain within the framework of the casual.
His nature combines extraordinary looseness with charm. Because the singer also knows how to model, has won awards as a breakdancer and has retained his form, as later shown on the edge of the encores.
The chamber music hall is sold out to the roof, a rare sight. And Orlinski’s counter voice, darkly colored with radiant high notes, sounds compelling in all registers, coloraturas and slurs. His early fame as a musician in opera and concerts is based on his art of phrasing as a baroque specialist.
The fact that the evening leaves the impression of perfection is due to the singer’s art as much as to his partner and compatriot Michal Biel. This highly motivated accompanist is a piano poet who has endless colors and nuances at his disposal. And with his beautiful musical speech he is always precise in his singing.
The program mixes Baroque England by Henry Purcell, preferably from stage music, with Polish songs. “Warsaw will always be my home,” says Orlinski, who lives a lot in New York. It is important to him to bring this music from his homeland into the world, where it is almost unknown.
Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, for example, who draws romantic pictures of nature with remarkably independent piano accompaniment, belongs to the Polish national musical tradition. It is up to the singer to listen to the pianist closely.
The interaction of the two musicians fascinates. Stanislaw Moniuszko, who is regarded as the father of the Polish national opera, takes us further back into the 19th century with sensitive songs in the Schumann sound (“You lonely bitter tear”). Puschkin translations are set to music by Henryk Czyz, a Penderecki promoter as a conductor and traditional as a composer. “The Last Time”, a lament, ends in a wistful pianissimo, which the two interpreters celebrate. The enthusiastic audience is dumb in amazement. “Music for a while”: An evening full of miracles.