Clarin (Federico Monjeau), 1993
Alban Berg: LULU at the Colón: One of the most worthy and precious productions in its history
Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires
(...) One of the primary challenges for the conductor in a work such as LULU consists of his ability to clarify musical parentheses in such a manner that the text is clear and supported without the rhythm of the work being superceded. Stefan Lano could be observed in rehearsals as he sang, note for note, the various passages which confused the singers and orchestra. He solved the many problems with mastery: perfect choice of tempi, dramatic rhythmic articulation, well-structured dynamic of tempo modulation, variety of texture and balance in clarifying main and subsidiary voices. All of this worked out to the most minute of details which resulted in an outstanding achievement by the Colón orchestra.
But there is another aspect of this experience with LULU which has moved us deeply: something which is not merely of aesthetic nature, but whose historical importance goes beyond the history of this opera. One has not forgotten that the fate of the opera has not been assimilated to the fate of the author. To the history and experience of LULU, we associate the names Berg, Adomo, Cerha, Boulez, Lano and many others. Now, the Teatro Colón is part of this history as it has presented one of the most worthy and precious productions in its history.
Other comparisons are possible: to the wonderful interpretation of Ferdinand Leitner in 1965, we must now add the outstanding work of Stefan Lano with the Colón orchestra which has obviously been brought to a heretofore unheard of level of performance by Lano. We cannot have asked for a more promising and successful season opening.
The thankful Colón public applauded the ensemble and conductor, Stefan Lano, whose mother died on the day of the first performance. All the more impressive: his equanimity and mastery of this complex score at a time of personal loss.