HK Gruber writes about his trumpet concerto Aerial, premiered in 1999 in London: “The concerto offers two aerial views, firstly an imaginary landscape beneath the Northern Lights bearing an inscription from Emily Dickinson’s poem Wild Nights: ‘Done with the compass – Done with the chart!’ In part this refers to the pure invention that can be conjured up through the skills of a great trumpeter. [...] The second and larger of the two aerial views, entitled Gone Dancing, has a view as if from another planet – our world is empty of human life, but a lone sign bears the words ‘Gone Dancing’.”
This subtle and virtuoso composition is performed in the Philharmonie with the soloist of the premiere, Håkan Hardenberger – veritably a “great trumpeter”.
Andris Nelsons – a welcome guest of the Berliner Philharmoniker since his highly acclaimed debut in 2010 – conducts Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony in the second half of the concert. Mahler complained that the composition, first performed in 1904 in Cologne, was a “cursed work” that “no one understands”. Today, however, the Fifth Symphony is among the most frequently played works by Mahler.