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Interviews
27 May 2020

Kirill Petrenko in conversation with Philipp Bohnen (11 min.)

Both Claude Debussy’s orchestral study Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune and Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, originally composed for string sextet, are purely instrumental works based on poems. They are quite different contributions to programme music which was so fundamental at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, but which can also be heard as “pure music” – as Schoenberg said about his composition. Kirill Petrenko conducted both pieces – each in a version for chamber orchestra – in a concert of the Berlin Phil Series. In an interview with the Philharmoniker’s violinist Philipp Bohnen, the chief conductor describes the relationship between the score and the musical concept of Debussy and Schoenberg. Kirill Petrenko also talks about the attraction of getting to know the members of his orchestra in performances with small instrumental ensembles, while at the same time expressing his hope of playing in front of an audience and with the entire orchestra again as soon as possible.

The concert