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Anniversary concert “50 years of the Berlin Philharmonie”

Gala Concert: 50 years of the Philharmonie – Spatial Sounds

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle

Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Mitsuko Uchida

  • Giovanni Gabrieli
    Canzon septimi et octavi toni a 12 (1597) (00:04:07)

  • Greeting words (00:20:49)

    Klaus Wowereit Governing Mayor of Berlin, Manfred Erhardt Chairman of the Friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker e. V., Martin Hoffmann General Manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation

  • Wolfgang Rihm
    IN-SCHRIFT-II Première (00:18:40)

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (00:18:53)

  • Ludwig van Beethoven
    Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor · Kurtág: ... quasi una fantasia ... for piano and instruments dispersed in space (00:20:30)

    Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Mitsuko Uchida Piano, Duncan Ward Rehearsal Conductor

  • Hector Berlioz
    Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale (00:32:56)

  • free

    The opening of the Berlin Philharmonie in 1963 - recollections of Rudolf Weinsheimer (00:08:30)

It is well known that the nature of musical space has had, and still has, great importance for many composers of the 20th and 21st century – György Ligeti for one commented that he had always sought to “suggest space”. The Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, dedicate this gala concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Philharmonie to the theme of “space music”, including a new work written specifically for the occasion by Wolfgang Rihm.

As early as the 16th century, composers of the Venetian School created highly diverse “space music” based on the principle of polychoral writing, exploiting the two opposing organ galleries of San Marco, as is impressively documented by the works of Giovanni Gabrieli. Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis also creates the impression for the listener of near and distant music, with the music that seems to come from afar representing a long past chapter in music history.

Similarly shrouded sounds are provided by the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata quasi una fantasia op. 27 No. 2, known as the Moonlight Sonata, performed by Mitsuko Uchida, while György Kurtág’s spatial composition ...quasi una fantasia... played by the students of the Orchestra Academy together with the pianist, also requires spatially distributed instrument groups in addition to the piano. Hector Berlioz was yet another composer who knew how to use remote instruments skillfully and create imaginary spatial scenes. His monumental Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale op. 15 concludes this concert to celebrate the architect Hans Scharoun’s most significant creation.

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