Programme Guide

“The soul of a poet, the mind of a thinker, the hands of a virtuoso,” was how an American critic succinctly described the qualities of Murray Perahia. As the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Pianist in Residence for the 2011/12 season, he appeared regularly in solo and chamber concerts in Berlin. Robert Schumann’s piano concerto particularly impressively demonstrates Perahia’s standing as one of the great poets among the pianists of our time. The focus here is not on the traditional juxtaposition of clearly contoured themes, but on a lyrical, free narrative tone. Schumann’s Nachtlied for choir and orchestra inhabits a similar world of expression – and in contrast to the popular piano concerto, this piece is a real discovery, full of drama and transcendency.

The concert’s more recent works also have a nocturnal hue. E vó und O King by Luciano Berio are subdued laments; in the first piece, a lullaby is sung to a murdered child, and in the latter, Berio mourns the assassination of Martin Luther King. The concert closes with Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. Infused with delicate melancholy, it culminates in a sunny vision of paradise – and the promise that even the darkest night is always followed by the dawn.

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