Beethoven cycle 1 / Uchida · Rattle
Sir Simon Rattle
Mitsuko Uchida, Barbara Hannigan
Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major (00:42:10)
Mitsuko Uchida Piano
Mysteries of the Macabre (version for coloratura soprano and orchestra) (00:11:04)
Barbara Hannigan Soprano
Symphony No. 1 (00:43:52)
Mitsuko Uchida in conversation with Gerhard Forck (00:11:29)
It is one of the highest accolades the Berliner Philharmoniker can award: to invite a soloist to perform a complete cycle of works with the orchestra. In the case of Mitsuko Uchida, this is not wholly unexpected: as “Pianist in Residence” she regularly performed in the Philharmonie last season. For the next four concert evenings, all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos are included in the programme – none of which Mitsuko Uchida has performed with the Philharmoniker before. This evening it is the turn of Concerto No. 1.
In this series of performances, Beethoven’s piano concertos will be combined with the symphonies of Sibelius. For a long time, Sibelius’s works were regarded as the expression of a suspiciously traditional compositional style. Today, however, as it is now generally accepted that great music can reveal itself in a variety of forms, we can approach this austerely beautiful music with unbiased ears. Opening this series, the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle perform his First Symphony, a work typical of the late-Romantic era, whose expressiveness is likely to have been inspired by Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” which was composed only a few years earlier.
The Beethoven-Sibelius cycle has yet another facet: works by Hungarian composers, which together form one of the themes of the current season. Ligeti’s atmosphères is one of the pieces to be performed at this concert, which also became famous outside classical circles through the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.