Programme Guide

In the 2010/2011 season, the Philharmoniker family grew to include a regular visitor: Leif Ove Andsnes who, as Pianist in Residence, worked together with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker in chamber music concerts and also appeared as a soloist. This concert from March 2011 was the highlight. Together with conductor Bernard Haitink, Andsnes performed Johannes Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto, considered by many pianists and music lovers as the epitome of heavyweight late Romantic warhorses. However, among the thundering on the keyboard, an exquisite, sometimes delicate, sometimes pastoral tone emerges. How well Andsnes uncovered these deeper layers in the performance documented here is shown in a comment by American National Public Radio, according to which, the soloist played the work “with a combination of authority and humility,” which “allowed the music's architecture to build”.

At the beginning of the concert, the orchestra and the audience remembered the victims of the earthquake and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan a few days previously. To that end, in a change of programme, they played Witold Lutosławski’s elegiac Funeral Music for string orchestra, originally composed in memory of Béla Bartók. Lutosławski’s Fourth Symphony from 1992 which followed, is a work of retrospection, in which Lutosławski – two years before his death – reviews once more all the techniques of his long, productive life as a composer. This multiform symphony was performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker in this concert for the first time.

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