This year’s European Concert takes the Berliner Philharmoniker to Cyprus, more precisely: to the ancient port city of Paphos. Before the city’s Byzantine castle, the orchestra plays works by Carl Maria von Weber and Antonín Dvořák which impress with their lyrical zest and warm colours. The conductor is Mariss Jansons, a close friend of the orchestra for several decades, and the soloist in Weber’s Clarinet Concerto no. 1 is Andreas Ottensamer.
With Kirill Petrenko conducting the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time since the orchestra elected him their future chief conductor two years ago, anticipation and expectations were high. The programme included Mozart’s Haffner Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique and John Adams’ The Wound-Dresser. Petrenko brought out the most subtle of nuances as vividly as a great psychological drama, rightfully receiving standing ovations: “A triumph” (Kulturradio).
This Late Night concert with Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená is delicate, enigmatic and virtuoso. The concert opens with Ravel’s gently flowing songs based on poems by Stéphane Mallarmé. Vocal artistry is in demand, in contrast, in Berio’s Sequenza III. The main work on this evening is Berio’s spherical Laborintus II for voices, instruments and tape.
The Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar was one of the great musical intermediaries between East and West. His work Raga-Mālā links the art of sitar improvisation with the performed playing of a classical concert: an exciting journey into a faraway world. The soloist in this performance is the composer’s daughter Anoushka Shankar; the conductor is Zubin Mehta, who was his friend for many years. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra concludes the evening.