Programme Guide

When Made in Berlin – violinist Ray Chen and three members of the Berliner Philharmoniker – perform works by Mozart and Ravel, two composers with kindred spirits meet. Ravel aimed for music that was “complex but not complicated” – he regarded Mozart as his great role model. The French composer’s only string quartet is characterised by wonderfully delicate melodic arches and echoes of Spanish folk music. From Mozart himself comes the C minor String Quartet K. 546, consisting of a slow introduction and a masterfully conceived fugue.

Hugo Wolf, who is otherwise known primarily as a composer of lieder, strikes a note of lilting elegance in his Italian Serenade, which opens the programme. The encore will also feature the Composer in Residence of the Made in Berlin ensemble: Stephan Koncz, cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker, is an exceptionally creative arranger of well-known melodies.

Ray Chen’s international breakthrough came in 2009 when he won the Queen Elisabeth Competition, which was founded at the suggestion of violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. Ysaÿe was the concertmaster of the forerunner ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker and later appeared in numerous concerts as a soloist with the orchestra. His Sonata for Two Violins presented in this programme is not only peppered with numerous technically breathtakingly difficult passages, but also achieves an astonishing sonority.


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