Programme Guide

The theme of identities is the focus of the 2022/23 season. Against this background, the philharmonic ensemble – consisting of the sisters Cornelia and Julia Gartemann, Christoph von der Nahmer and Solène Kermarrec, plus the pianist Özgür Aydin – embarks here on a search for the “I” in three works.

Bedřich Smetana’s chamber music is closely intertwined with his biography: his deafness prompted him to compose two string quartets, and his piano trio performed here was written immediately after the death of his four-year-old daughter. A downward chromatic melody is heard right at the beginning, symbolic of his pain. Idyllic passages of reminiscence are contrasted with an anguished final movement that leads into a funeral march.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was initially known for his operas, and later for the Hollywood soundtracks he composed during his exile in America. As a universally admired child prodigy and in his middle creative period, he wrote chamber music that impresses the listener with its mastery of form and engaging melodicism. The piano quintet, which alternates between melancholy and exuberance, begins with “spiritedly blossoming expression”, as the markings put it. The dramatist of later film scores announces himself here in an emphatic narrative tone.

Before that, we hear excerpts from the most famous opera of French symbolism: Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. The love between the title couple is forbidden and doomed from the start. Debussy’s delicately woven structures come into their own in this arrangement for the intimate piano trio.

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