Programme Guide

In addition to chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, Herbert Blomstedt and Tugan Sokhiev were scheduled to conduct symphony concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, which was cancelled due to the corona crisis. The orchestra maintains a close artistic relationship with both. Blomstedt has been associated with the Philharmoniker through regular guest appearances since 1976, and Sokhiev since 2010.

The two conductors are also ideal protagonists of our Easter@Philharmonie Festival because their respective repertoire preferences complement each other wonderfully: while Blomstedt, who is now 92 years old, has concentrated on the First Viennese School and Anton Bruckner in his Philharmoniker concerts – he performed the Mass in F Minor and Symphonies Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 8 with the orchestra – the programme on evenings under the direction of Sokhiev included music from the Russian and French repertoires. In this way, the music director of the Bolshoi Theatre also highlighted the exciting relationship between these two musical nations through his choice of programme.

This focus is also reflected in the archive recordings selected for the third episode: Sokhiev conducts an excerpt from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and the finale of Maurice Ravel’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto with pianist Hélène Grimaud. The episode concludes with Modest Mussorgsky’s powerful and poetic Pictures at an Exhibition, originally written for piano, in a superb orchestral version by Ravel.

Herbert Blomstedt is represented by the Scherzo from the Second Symphony of his Swedish compatriot Wilhelm Stenhammar along with movements from Mozart’s 22nd Piano Concerto and Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony. This time, too, members of the orchestra meet for chamber music performances in the Philharmonie: Noah Bendix-Balgley and Daishin Kashimoto, both first concert masters of the Philharmoniker, play a movement from Prokofiev’s Sonata for Two Violins, while colleagues from the brass section perform arrangements of Bruckner works.

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