31/10/2009

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle

Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Eva Vogel

  • Hans Krása
    Symphony for mezzo-soprano and small orchestra (00:20:22)

    Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Eva Vogel Contralto

  • Arnold Schoenberg
    Chamber Symphony No. 1 (00:24:10)

  • Johannes Brahms
    Symphony No. 2 (00:44:40)

The Berliner Philharmoniker’s USA tour is on the horizon: from 11 November the orchestra and Simon Rattle will make guest appearances in several cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Two of the works to be performed before the American public can be heard in this concert: Brahms’s Second Symphony and Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1. The performance of all Brahms’s symphonies was a project central to the foregoing season. German weekly Die Zeit noted with satisfaction that Rattle succeeded in combining “the scale of Furtwängler with Karajan’s beauty of tone”. Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony embodies a decisive rejection of the melodious sound of the late-Romantic period, a work on the threshold between tonal and atonal music. Although this “emancipation of dissonance” disturbed audiences at the time, it did, however, open up music to previously unimagined worlds of expression. The concert opens with the Symphony for mezzo-soprano and small orchestra by Hans Krása, the first time this composer has been included in a concert by the Philharmoniker. Krása, who was born in Prague in 1899, only achieved bitter posthumous fame in the 1980s as the composer of the children’s opera Brundibár, which was performed over fifty times in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the Nazi era. Hans Krása was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.

EMI Sir Simon Rattle appears by kind permission of EMI Classics.