Berliner Philharmoniker

Season 2014/2015

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Berliner Philharmoniker

Fourth concert in the Brahms/Schumann cycle with Simon Rattle

Simon Rattle’s performance of all the symphonies by Brahms and Schumann culminates with this concert. Schumann’s Fourth Symphony, heard here in an early version from 1841, merits particular attention. This version is played relatively rarely, but for Simon Rattle it is far superior to the established late version because of its enhanced “lightness, grace and beauty”.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Sir Simon Rattle Conductor

Robert Schumann

Symphony No. 4 in D minor (First Version from 1841)

Johannes Brahms

Symphony No. 4 in E minor

Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation in co-operation with Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin

Dates and Tickets Introduction one hour before the concert begins.

Sun, 21 Sep 2014 8 p.m.

Philharmonie

43 to 132 €

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 8 p.m.

Philharmonie

Non-subscription concert

43 to 132 €

In Cinemas

This programme will be broadcast live in European cinemas.

Programme

Already in the second half of the 1850s, Johannes Brahms collaborated on publishing Robert Schumann’s posthumous works. He championed the original versions of both the Andante with Variations op. 46 and the D minor Symphony – Schumann had fundamentally revised the symphony, originally composed and premiered in 1841, ten years subsequently and had it printed as “No. 4”. Brahms preferred the first version, primarily because of its more transparent sound, and brought about – much to the displeasure of Schumann’s widow Clara – a separate edition of that composition. It differs from the later version in its instrumentation, quicker tempi and the shorter introduction to the finale. Wrapping up the philharmonic Schumann / Brahms cycle, Sir Simon Rattle too decided in favour of the rarely heard first version of the D minor Symphony. He explains his vote for the early version of the work saying that Schumann in 1851 did indeed “use in principle exactly the same material, the same notes,” but transformed “a symphony full of lightness, grace and beauty into a symphony of gloom, delusion and compulsion.”

On the second half of the programme is Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, composed in 1884–85, about which even before the premiere Hans von Bülow enthusiastically reported to his Berlin concert agent Hermann Wolff: “No. 4 mammoth, quite idiosyncratic, very new, iron individuality. Breathes an unparalleled energy from a to z.” Joseph Joachim noted on the occasion of the first Berlin performance on 1 February 1886: “The downright gripping pull of the whole thing, the denseness of the concoction, the wonderfully convoluted growth of the motives, even more than the abundance and beauty of individual passages have really had a profound effect on me so that I almost believe that the E minor is my favourite among the four symphonies.”

Sir Simon Rattle

Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings

Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings

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Live in Cinemas

Live in Cinemas

Experience this concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker live in a cinema near you

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All programmes may also be found at: Berliner BühnenGo to berlin-buehnen.de