“Arabella” critics: “word has spread in Vienna that Axel Kober is an excellent conductor”

The State Opera Orchestra under conductor Axel Kober also performed intensively: despite refined, chamber-musical moments, it never lost the big line in this mature score. Enthusiastic applause.

Wiener Zeitung

After his performance of Richard Wagner’s “Ring”, word has spread in Vienna that Axel Kober is an excellent conductor. In the current series of performances of “Arabella” at the Vienna State Opera, there has been an even greater increase in the cooperation with the orchestra. Born in Kronach, he ignites musical magic, makes every emotion audible and works details from the score that are so clearly seldom heard. Some passages sound as if they could not be played more delicately, more breathtakingly, like the first violins at the introduction of Arabella’s aria “Der Richtige”.

Susanne Zobl 

“O that Vienna!” moans the impoverished Countess Adelaide. Vienna has brought the German conductor Axel Kober good luck: with his brilliant “Ring” in January (without a single orchestra rehearsal!) he has conquered the hearts of local opera lovers. They were not disappointed on Saturday either, with the new recording of Richard Strauss’ “Arabella”. The orchestra was the protagonist of the evening. Kober drove it into a controlled frenzy. The pert interjections of the woodwinds and trumpets are wonderfully sculptured. Everything spins, tingles and sparkles in this breathless dance on the precipice. Seldom has one heard the sisters’ intimate duet so rhythmically accentuated.

Charles Gaulhofer
Die Presse

Conductor Axel Kober at the rostrum of the State Opera Orchestra will once again conduct a musically wonderfully balanced, exciting performance – after his invariably positively evaluated debut at the State Opera in the Ring. Kober is recommended as an excellent conductor in the best sense of the word: precise, always alert and extremely sensitive. You can feel that the musicians blossom under his direction and dedicate themselves with passion, skill and love to the music of Richard Strauss. Enthusiastic applause – once again clearly exceeding the usual five minutes.

Manfred A. Schmid
Der Neue Merker

Kober creates the most daring conducting hussar rides with calm, clarity, objectivity, transparency. Without prior orchestra rehearsals! In addition to pure conducting sovereignty (i.e. percussive technique, but also creative sovereignty), one is pleased to note the theatrical instinct, the knowledge of all the laws (and thus prerequisites) of a first-class music-theatre performance. The knowledge of all the things that singers need on stage. He doesn’t cover up a singer, but he turns up the heat when it’s “right time” and singers “can take it”. The sensitive, quiet side of the “Arabella” score, the emotional – and also “emotional”! – is not left out. „Aber der Richtige…” „Und Du wirst mein Gebieter sein…” comes from the stage and from the orchestra pit with a tenderness and intimacy that one suddenly completely ignores linguistic and other “untimeliness” that are smiled at today. For the great Hofmannsthal this was then “today”. So let us take it exactly that way! And: world class on this quite normal repertoire evening the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera!

Marl Masek
Der Neue Merker