Concert

Programme guide

“I am not looking for a beautiful sound. I am looking for an appropriate sound.”: Behind Krystian Zimerman’s sober position lies a relentlessly uncompromising search for the truth hidden in the music. This unwillingness to compromise means that the legendary pianist agrees to the release of recordings only in exceptional cases. All the more fortunate that his interpretation of Johannes Brahms’s First Piano Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle is available in the Digital Concert Hall. The recording gives a glimpse of how Zimerman’s search for truth is fulfilled. In his performance there is much to admire: the way it floats poetically, then is spirited and forceful, but is always infused with the dark introspection of late Romanticism. But all these qualities are not for there for their own sake: they are not imposed upon the work, but they reflect its versatility, its sound world, and its spiritual core.

Like Brahms’s Piano Concerto, the work which opened the concert, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 80, is in D minor, whereby the melancholy key stands in appealing contrast to the often almost exuberant dynamic of the work. The finale is particularly noteworthy with its quirky shifting from pressing forward to decelerating.

No less original is Le Silence des Sirènes which the Korean composer Unsuk Chin wrote for the soprano Barbara Hannigan who in this concert shows herself to be the ideal interpreter, bringing out all the wit, the tonal beauty, and the play on words and sounds in this work to perfection.

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