In a highly anticipated debut at Konzerthaus Wien, Liviu Holender assumed the pivotal role of Jesus in Johann Sebastian Bach's Matthäus-Passion. This performance, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst and featuring the Vienna Philharmonics, garnered praise from critics who lauded Holender's nuanced portrayal.
The Oberösterreichische Nachrichten noted, "Liviu Holender (Bariton) überzeugte als zwischen Verzweiflung und missionarischer Sendung pendelnder Jesus, der einmal nicht als Holzschnitt von Gottes Sohn auftrat," highlighting Holender's ability to transcend traditional depictions of Jesus and bring forth a character marked by a compelling blend of despair and missionary purpose.
Holender's warm baritone voice left a lasting impression. "Der Standard" commented that he gifted Jesus with his "wohlig-warmen Bariton," emphasizing the richness and comfort in his vocal delivery. "Wiener Zeitung" also praised Holender as a "mild tönender Jesus," acknowledging the subtlety and grace in his performance.
Critics from "Der Kurier" were equally impressed, stating that Liviu Holender "überzeugte mit seinem wohlklingenden Bariton als Jesus," underlining the convincing quality of his voice. "Die Presse" further recognized his superb diction and clarity, solidifying the sentiment that his engagement was a result of his exceptional talent, as Wilhelm Sinkovicz noted; "Den Christus sang Liviu Holender. Mit wohltönendem, nobel geführtem, in allen Lagen firmem Bassbariton. Dank famoser Wortdeutlichkeit stand rasch fest, dieser junge Sänger verdankt das Engagement seinem Können."
Joined by the Vienna Philharmonics and an accomplished ensemble cast, including Julian Prégardien, Christina Landshamer, Anna Lucia Richter, Martin Mitterrutzner, and Ludwig Mittelhammer Holender's portrayal added depth and emotion to Bach's Matthäus-Passion. The performance
marked a significant milestone in his career.
In summary, Liviu Holender's debut as Jesus in Bach's Matthäus-Passion at Konzerthaus Wien was met with critical acclaim. His ability to convey the emotional complexity of the
character, complemented by the stellar performance of the Vienna Philharmonics and the ensemble, ensured that this rendition of the iconic masterpiece was truly unforgettable.