Programme Guide

After previous guest appearances in 2005 and 2011, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle had just played for the third time in Taipei. The orchestra is used to a good audience reception and standing ovations, but the enthusiastic response of the audience in Asia is always something very special. On this occasion, the musicians were rewarded with orchids and butterflies flying into the sky, and in return, the Philharmoniker’s multi-talented violist Ulrich Knörzer enthralled the hosts with a speech in Chinese.

The extremely demanding programme showed just how seriously the fans in the Far East are taken. Boulez’s Notations in the version for large orchestra are based on the work for piano of the same name, strongly influenced by the minimalism of Anton Webern, which the composer wrote in 1945. Rattle, who has known and admired the composer since his student days, is one of the most eloquent advocates of the fascinating musical language of the orchestral version. Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7 is perhaps the most popular work of the great late-Romantic composer. Bruckner began composing the Adagio, one of the most profound musical movements of the 19th century, in anticipation of the death of the much admired Richard Wagner. 

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