Berliner Philharmoniker

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Chamber Music

PLEA - What is evil? (In German Language)

Ferdinand von Schirach Lecture and Reading

Albrecht Mayer Oboe

Naoko Shimizu Viola

Markus Becker Piano

August Klughardt

Schilflieder (Reed Songs), five fantasy pieces after poems by Lenau for piano, oboe and viola (Selection)

Gotthard Odermatt

les couleurs de l’eau for oboe and piano German Première

Francis Poulenc

Sonata for obe and piano À la mémoire de Serge Prokofieff (2nd and 3rd Movement)

Dates and Tickets

Wed, 05 Feb 2014 8 p.m.

Philharmonie Foyer

Non-subscription concert chamber music


The stories Ferdinand von Schirach deals with when working as criminal defence lawyer and which he includes in his books in an alienated and literarily condensed way, are horrifying and bizarre at the same time. In them, the lawyer, who practices in Berlin and made his triumphal writer’s debut in 2009, writes laconically about the abyss that gapes beyond apparently everyday things, whereby according to von Schirach it’s precisely the most absurd scenes in his books that truly happened just that way. Sudden extreme acts of violence, for instance, or completely unexpected events that suddenly change everything all at once: “They met on a date. Two years later they got married, and that was eight years ago. Things could have gone well. But then the thing in the hotel sauna happened …” Schirach is convinced that one can commit a crime and act blamelessly. After all, the legal term “culpability” does not accord with our moral sense. This paradox can be found in almost all of von Schirach’s stories. Occasionally, however, they touch on sarcasm and slapstick – for instance, when a gangster’s dog is his downfall, eating the key to a Berlin train station locker where a money coffer is hidden that the gangster is supposed to deliver. In his lecture “Was ist das Böse?” (What is evil?), Ferdinand von Schirach will trace the tense relationship between law and moral feeling and read from his books. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker provide for the musical part of the evening.


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