More about this playlist

Jakub Hrůša, chief conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, thrilled audiences at his first performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2018 and 2019 with tone poems by Dvořák, Bartók, Berlioz and Janáček. In the process, he proved to be a keen storyteller with a distinctive sense of musical dramaturgy. The playlist that the Czech compiled from our concert archive to mark his third guest conducting appearance with the Philharmoniker also features symphonic poems: Daniel Barenboim conducts Richard Strauss’s capricious Till Eulenspiegel and Claudio Abbado conducts Claude Debussy’s sonorous La Mer. Narrative music drama is also the common thread in the suite from Janáček’s opera From the House of the Dead, here arranged by Hrůša’s teacher Jiří Bělohlávek, Wagner’s Ring without Words as performed by Lorin Maazel, and the St Matthew Passion staged by Peter Sellars and conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

From the core symphonic repertoire, Hrůša has chosen Beethoven’s rhythmically energetic Seventh with Kirill Petrenko, which finds a counterpart in Bruckner’s expansive and song-like Seventh in Sergiu Celibdache’s interpretation. The playlist also includes Kirill Petrenko’s performance of Josef Suk’s “Asrael” Symphony. The Czech composer wrote this haunting work while in deep mourning: his father-in-law Antonín Dvořák and his daughter, Suk’s wife Ottilie, had died within a few months of each other.

This selection is complemented by two major concertos: Krystian Zimmermann can be heard in Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, and violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann in Alban Berg’s concerto dedicated “To the memory of an angel”.

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