Discover Germany, Issue 41, August2016

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Bern City Special

Classical harmony meets artistic creativity The CAMERATA BERN is renowned as one of the prime ensembles among chamber orchestras in Europe. The orchestra stands out for its subtle and perfectly homogeneous sound, its freshness and mastery of style – and its innovative yet classical interpretations. The CAMERATA BERN embodies the values of a classical chamber orchestra as well as its own distinct artistic autonomy. The orchestra understands the classical tradition as blending both creative energy and education, and its programmes – from baroque to contemporary – open up music lovers’ ears and minds. “The CAMERATA BERN strives to enhance the kinship between the historically informed performance practice on period instruments and the music of our time,” explains director Louis Dupras. “Unlike other chamber orchestras, the CAMERATA BERN creates music without a conductor. The musicians thus communicate on a chamber music level with each other,” describes Dupras. Founded in 1962, the CAMERATA BERN has developed into an internationally

acclaimed chamber orchestra uniting top level musicians inspired by the idea of performing within a self-conducted ensemble. Its members are gifted soloists and chamber musicians and under its artistic director, the violinist Antje Weithaas, as well as guest concertmasters Erich Höbarth, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Carolin Widmann, Kolja Blacher and others, the CAMERATA BERN performs a broad repertoire. Since 2005, the orchestra has

greatly extended its range of repertoire and concert formats, from Brahms’ symphonic Violin Concerto, to dance and theatre performances, lunchtime concerts and live-streaming, Haydn’s opera L’isola disabitata to over 100 education ventures for children. One highlight of the 16/17 season is Mozart bewegt (Mozart moves) this fall, a choreographed staging of Mozart’s Requiem. Left: The CAMERATA BERN. Photo: © Gerardo Garciacano, CAMERATA BERN Right: The CAMERATA BERN with artistic director Antje Weithaas. Photo: © Giorgia Bertazzi, CAMERATA BERN

Cleaning the body with a bblubb Shaped like a crystal or a bear, the small Swiss soap manufacturer bblubb, based in Bern, makes small pieces of soap artwork. Founder Simone Mosimann uses only natural ingredients and many of the products have a Bern tourism quality seal. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: BBLUBB

One of bblubb’s special soaps is formed like a Bernese bear, the city’s symbol. The 12-centimetre-high brown bear is made of plant-based glycerine soap. “The idea to order handmade bear forms came over night,” says Simone Mosimann about her most successful products often bought as souvenir. Not the only product inspired by the region: another – a glycerine soap without pigmentation – is shaped like a rock crystal, so typical for the area. Mosimann aims to sell these soaps as souvenirs in duty-free shops in the near future. Furthermore, bblubb fabricates individual soap batches for companies. Simone Mosimann started to make soaps by pure coincidence. When studying pedagogics many years ago, she worked 28 | Issue 41 | August 2016

part time in a shop that sold raw materials for cosmetic products. “Using these ingredients to make soaps became a hobby,” she says. Years later, now that her children have grown up, she started a business venture manufacturing soaps. Something a bit different in Mosimann’s shop is the ‘kon-kret’ stool – built together with a family member – that also has a Bern tourism quality seal for being ‘typical Bernese’. The stools are handmade from ash wood from the very mystical Elfenau in Bern and concrete. Like the soaps, the concrete stool bears witness to Simone Mosimann’s creativity.


Top: Crystal and bear soaps. Right: The ‘kon-kret’ stool.