A statement of solidarity: the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Europakonzert, which has taken place every year since 1991 on 1 May in alternating European capitals, are a tribute to the diversity of the countries and cultures of this united continent – a message that is more important today than ever before.
In 2023, this highly symbolic concert, which also reminds us that peaceful coexistence cannot be taken for granted, will take place in Barcelona – more precisely: in Antoni Gaudí’s famous Sagrada Família, considered the Catalan master builder’s magnum opus. For this concert, the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko present an all-Mozart programme, introduced by the Symphony in G minor, K. 183 – an emotional musical drama whose expression leaves behind the formal character of Mozart’s earlier works. This is followed by the motet “Exsultate, jubilate”, which provides a distinct contrast. This is probably Mozart’s most famous sacred composition for soprano and is a small concerto for a virtuoso vocal solo, which will be sung by the British soprano Louise Alder.
The main work of the evening is Mozart’s well-known 1779 “Coronation Mass”, which should actually be called “Easter Mass”, as it was intended for this most important festival of the church year. It only became a “Coronation Mass” when it was performed in Frankfurt in 1790 for the coronation of Leopold II as emperor. Magnificent music, presented by a superb ensemble of soloists and the Orfeó Català choir.