Isabelle Faust has been one of the world’s leading violinists for many years: “her sound has passion, grit and electricity,” the New York Times wrote, “but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music’s hidden strains of lyricism.” She doesn’t have to think twice when she answers the question what music her “Sleeping Beauty” Stradivarius from 1704 likes the most: “If I had to choose an ideal piece, it would be the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Music that is fleet of foot, radiantly shining, nothing that sounds too earthy. On its best days this violin has an unbelievable brightness, very silvery-golden. The very bright Beethoven sound also suits me very well: it is compatible with my nature and my emotions.”
As guest performer with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Bernard Haitink, Isabelle Faust presents on her “Sleeping Beauty” (known as such because it was first forgotten in an attic for 150 years, and then disappeared again into a vault for a long time before being re-discovered) the “ideal piece”: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. The programme continues with one of the most popular Beethoven symphonies, namely the Pastorale with its famous birdcalls in the second movement; the birds’ names can be found in the manuscript: nightingale (flute), quail (oboe) and cuckoo (clarinet). In purely musical terms this is a virtually freely performed cadenza for three solo instruments; for a short time, the symphony takes on the character of a concertante.