Maurizio Pollini has by now been a musical partner and indeed friend of the Berliner Philharmoniker for many decades. And Christian Thielemann has also been closely associated with the orchestra since his Philharmonic debut in 1996. The grandseigneur among the pianists of our time and the acting chief conductor of the Dresdner Staatskapelle have already repeatedly proven that they get along swimmingly as artists – not least on the podium of the Berlin Philharmonie.
In December 2012, together with the Berliner Philharmoniker, they gave a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major K. 467 that was acclaimed equally by press and audience. And this sets the course for a reunion with Thielemann and Pollini in the Berlin Philharmonie. This time, the artists placed Frédéric Chopin’s First Piano Concerto on the programme, a work that has accompanied the pianist since the beginning of his career, when he played it at the final concert of the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 1960 after winning first prize.
The Berlin composer Aribert Reimann has never made a secret of his admiration for the music of Robert Schumann. Reimann’s Seven Fragments for Orchestra from 1988 are dedicated “in memoriam Robert Schumann” and can be seen as compositional meditations about the Romantic whose person and music Reimann so admires. Schumann himself can be heard in these three concerts with the overture to his only opera Genoveva, composed in 1847-49. The composer wrote the overture even before writing the libretto based on dramas by Friedrich Hebbel and Ludwig Tieck. In it, he already presents all the themes of the figures acting in his opera in free sonata form.
With four symphonic interludes from Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo, premiered at the Semperoper in 1924, Christian Thielemann also brings a musical greeting from Dresden to his home town of Berlin, thus concluding a concert whose programme is just as exquisite and multi-faceted as its interpreters!