Programme Guide

There are many prejudices about the music of the 20th century – for example, that it is always complicated or ponderous, or in the worst case, both. In this concert, the Berliner Philharmoniker, conductor Iván Fischer and the violinist Lisa Batiashvili prove the opposite to be the case in spirited works by Stravinsky and Prokofiev. First, however, there was a moment of reflection, as the Berliner Philharmoniker remembered a close friend. The composer Hans Werner Henze, who had been associated with the orchestra for many years, died on 27 October. Henze had entrusted the Philharmoniker with the premieres of many of his works. In his honour, Olaf Maninger played his Epitaph for solo cello, which the composer had written in memory of his composer friend Paul Dessau, who died in 1979.

The programme proper began with Stravinksy’s Jeu de cartes: a sparkling score, full of irony and surprising accents. There is also grotesque humour in Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, and at no time is one aware that it was composed in 1917 – during the chaos of war and revolutionary unrest. The fact that Lisa Bathiashvili perfectly conveyed the exuberance of this music was confirmed by the Berliner Morgenpost: “Lisa Batiashvili captured everything on her violin that Sergei Prokofiev had expressed in the score of his First Violin Concerto: adventure, joy, high spirits, and lust for life.”

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