Simon Rattle and Yefim Bronfman

Simon Rattle and Yefim Bronfman

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle

Yefim Bronfman, Stella Doufexis

  • Richard Wagner
    Prelude to Act I from Tristan und Isolde

  • Jörg Widmann
    New Work for piano and orchestra Première

    Yefim Bronfman Piano

  • Maurice Ravel
    Shéhérazade, Song Cycle for voice and orchestra

    Stella Doufexis Soprano

  • Jean Sibelius
    Symphony No. 5 in E flat major

Many of Jörg Widmann’s works reveal a specific engagement with traditional musical forms, and his new Piano Concerto Trauermarsch – his first work in the genre – is no exception. “I don’t consider what is new a self-contained quality,” says the composer. In these concerts conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, none other than Yefim Bronfman will premiere Widmann’s Piano Concerto. “What keeps me going is the new repertory,” the world-renowned pianist tells the Los Angeles Times. “Learning new pieces and commissioning new works is what I enjoy most.”

German-Greek mezzosoprano Stella Doufexis then performs Maurice Ravel’s sensual Shéhérazade song cycle, based on poems by Tristan Klingsor (alias Léon Leclère), in which the French composer artfully stylizes the exotic sound impressions of specifically “oriental” melodies. The concert begins with the Prelude to Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and ends with Jean Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. The work clearly links to Sibelius’s impressionist tone poems from the same era and boasts an entire palette of brilliant orchestral effects. Despite the success of the premiere, Sibelius revised the work and wrote as he worked on the Finale, “The entire piece ... is a vital heightening towards the end. Triumphant!” In this form, the Fifth quickly became the most popular of Sibelius’s symphonies.

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