Programme Guide

To conclude the online festival The Golden Twenties, Christian Thielemann conducts works by Ferruccio Busoni, Paul Hindemith and Richard Strauss. From Busoni, who performed in numerous Berliner Philharmoniker concerts as a pianist and conductor, comes the Tanz-Walzer from 1921. Following a solemn introduction, the work contains a series of witty episodes which combine elegance with orchestral power.

Like Busoni before him, Hindemith also embarked on an academic career when he took up a professorship at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik in 1927. At that time, the former ʻenfant terribleʼ had already become an internationally renowned composer whose works Wilhelm Furtwängler particularly appreciated. The prelude of the opera Neues vom Tage begins, in the spirit of a Figaro overture for the 20th century, with rapid string figures; after that, more pensive tones can be heard, which are given a slight jazz colouring by two alto saxophones.

Things had become somewhat quieter for Richard Strauss in the 1920s. The time of symphonic poems was over, and his only stage works were operas Intermezzo and Die ägyptische Helena, which are still little known today. Christian Thielemann presented the interludes from Intermezzo in Philharmoniker concerts a few years ago, and now conducts another underrated work from this creative period: the wonderfully sonorous cycle Die Tageszeiten, settings of poems by Joseph von Eichendorff, unusually scored for male choir and orchestra. The programme is completed by orchestral songs by Strauss with the soprano Camilla Nylund, a singer who is especially acclaimed internationally as a Strauss interpreter, such as the title role in Arabella and as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier.

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