Programme Guide

Riccardo Chailly should have made his debut at the Berliner Philharmoniker’s annual end-of-season Waldbühne Concert on 2 July 2011, but the day in question was the coldest and wettest in the city since records had begun, with the result that an open-air concert was out of the question. The sailors among the musicians would hardly have batted an eyelid at such wind and rain, but as horn player Klaus Wallendorf made clear in his brief address to the audience, the more valuable instruments could not be exposed to these climatic conditions. The concert was postponed, therefore, until 23 August.

Chailly, who has conducted the orchestra on frequent occasions since 1980, had chosen a varied programme which he described as “beyond the typical Philharmonic repertory”. The concert opened with Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2, a work familiar, at least in part, to a wider audience from Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut. If the Waltz No. 2 effectively became the film’s main theme, then this was due to Chailly himself: “Kubrick had heard my recording and insisted on having this Waltz for the soundtrack since it was a perfect match for the decadent melancholy that he wanted to depict in the film.”

An example of “genuine” film music – a suite from Nino Rota’s soundtrack to Fellini’s classic La strada – served as a link to the Italian part of the programme, spiriting the Berlin audience away to the fountains and parks of Rome as immortalized by Ottorino Respighi in his delicate tone poems.

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