Concert

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 died on 27 October. For many years, he was closely connected to the orchestra and had entrusted the Philharmoniker with the premiere of many of his works. In honour of Henze, Olaf Maninger performed his Epitaph für Violoncello solo, which the composer wrote in 1979 in memory of his composer friend Paul Dessau who had 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: “In the Philharmonie, Lisa Batiashvili revealed herself to almost be a ballerina on the violin. Her fingers unerringly danced, flew and sprang about her Stradivarius. And in doing so, she achieved everything Prokofiev embedded in the score of his First Violin Concerto: adventure, joy, high spirits, and lust for life.”

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