Radek Baborak, who was principal horn player with the Berliner Philharmoniker for almost a decade, returns to the Philharmonie in this concert, but this time as soloist in the Horn Concerto by Russian composer Reinhold Glière. The evening’s conductor, Dmitrij Kitajenko, has been associated with the Berliner Philharmoniker since he won the first Herbert von Karajan competition in 1969.
Glière is one of the less frequently played composers, as is also demonstrated by the Berliner Philharmoniker who, before this concert, had last performed one of his works in 1948. He is best known today as Prokofiev’s and Khachaturian’s teacher – as well as for his Horn Concerto, in which a nostalgic tone conjuring up Western Romanticism is charmingly blended with Russian folk songs.
In the second half of the concert, we encounter in Alexander Scriabin one of the most eccentric composers in music history. Driven by messianic fervour, with his highly idiosyncratic music he sought no less than to transform mankind into “nobler beings”. His tendency towards the transcendental can be heard, for example, in his Third Symphony – a philosophically laden piece of programme music in which the composer sings a hymn to the freedom of the spirit.