Romanticism was not only an epoch of sensibility, but also of radical concepts. No work shows this more clearly than Hector Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique. It portrays a drug-induced frenzy, a murder of passion, an execution and a witch’s Sabbath. No less exciting is Berlioz’ sound world: excessive, glaring, brutal – and then again enchantingly graceful. Paavo Järvi also conducts the world premiere of a horn concerto by Hans Abrahamsen. The soloist is Stefan Dohr.
Three particularly close and long-term friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker meet in this concert: the conductor Daniel Harding, the violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and the baritone Christian Gerhaher. The programme includes Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, which combines tender cantabile from the soloist with vigorous symphonic power. Gustav Mahler’s songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, on the other hand, impress with their Romantic, folk-like tone, unfiltered melancholy and subtle humour.
Christian Thielemann, an outstanding interpreter of Strauss, dedicates an entire concert to the composer – with two discoveries and a crowd pleaser. The evening opens with the extremely charming Sonatina for 16 Winds No. 1, followed by the equally sonorous and expressive Three Hymns, op. 71 (soloist: Anja Kampe). The finale of the concert is an instrumental suite from Strauss’s bittersweet opera Der Rosenkavalier: dramatic, melancholic, humorous but always overwhelmingly beautiful.
Jerusalem-born Amihai Grosz has been 1st principal viola with the Berliner Philharmoniker since 2010. In this film portrait from the Berliner Philharmoniker and their instruments series, we see him as the section leader in his orchestra, as a soloist in Philharmoniker concerts, as a chamber musician, and in activities with his family. The young artist also talks about the remarkably warm sound of his instrument, which was made in the 16th century.