The reviews described the first concert of the new Philharmonie “Late Night” series with Simon Rattle as a “nocturnal pleasure” and a “complete success”. A total of three times this season, the conductor and members of the Berliner Philharmoniker present mostly newer music which both surprises and intensifies the intimate atmosphere of these events.
“Music becomes language, language becomes music” – could be the title of our second late-night concert. It is framed by the Aventures, with which György Ligeti caused a stir in the early 1960s. The three singers provided by the composer, accompanied by seven instrumentalists, actually only sing occasionally. Instead, there is a mixture of breathing, hissing, screaming, whispering, groaning, laughing and humming: a fireworks display of human emotions and attitudes, almost completely without words, and not without irony.
In his Sequenza VIII, Luciano Berio follows a similar path. But here it is a violin that speaks emphatically to us. It is as if we meet a man whose language we do not understand, but who, because of his expressiveness, grants us an insight into his inner life. The soloist is Andreas Buschatz, a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker since September 2005 and concertmaster of the orchestra since last year.
Unsuk Chin’s Akrostichon-Wortspiel is also about the virtuoso and playful use of language. The piece is based on Michael Ende’s Neverending Story and Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. The texts are jumbled colourfully together by Unsuk Chin, resulting in intriguing art idioms, such as “rebnaspat dela spat dela / baleme neprom / ret tu e eslamein”.