Daniel Barenboim has conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Europakonzert more often than any other guest conductor. The 2023/24 season sees a meeting of two Philharmoniker greats in Georgia: the orchestra’s honorary conductor and the local-born Artist in Residence Lisa Bathiashvili. The setting for the concert is the amphitheatre of the former princely residence in Tsinandali, where a classical music festival has been held since 2019.
Joseph Joachim, the great violinist, composer and conductor, played an important role in the history of the violin concerto in the 19th century. He not only advised Max Bruch and Antonín Dvořák on matters of playing technique, but also Johannes Brahms. Joachim premiered Brahms’s only violin concerto in 1879 under the direction of the composer. The central feature of the work is the equal status of the orchestra and solo part, whose virtuosity is always integrated into the almost symphonic structure. The main theme of the finale reveals the composer’s familiarity with the folk music of Hungary – Joachim’s homeland.
The striking fate motif of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has become a recognisable symbol of all classical music. The work also perfectly epitomises the characteristics and innovations of Beethoven’s symphonic music: the minuet customary in Haydn and Mozart is replaced by a scherzo, and the compelling dramaturgy moves unequivocally towards the finale. Beethoven composed the transition from the third to the last movement for this purpose and designed it as a central turning point by changing from C minor to the triumphant C major. The finale’s theme resonates with music from the time of the French Revolution.