Mariss Jansons, a close friend of the Berliner Philharmoniker, will present an extraordinarily colourful programme with Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé” and Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 2; Frank-Peter Zimmermann is the soloist. In different ways the works convey a shared message: namely, that unconditional modernity and sensuous magic in sound are by no means mutually exclusive.
Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Violin Concerto No. 2 in C sharp minor
Frank Peter Zimmermann Violin
Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2
In his Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Béla Bartók succeeded in weaving a dense network of relationships between tone colours; continuous transitions are juxtaposed with direct contrasts. The arrangement of the instrumentalists, targeting spatial sound effects, emphasises the great significance of the orchestral sound: the score states that the strings, split into two quintets, are to be placed to the left and right of the podium so that the two groups converge in the contrabasses at the extreme end of the semicircle, while the middle of the podium is reserved for the percussion. Mariss Jansons has selected Bartók’s “masterpiece” (Paul Sacher) for his guest appearance with the Berliner Philharmoniker, as well as the Second Suite from Maurice Ravel’s “Symphonie choréographique” Daphnis et Chloé, which Igor Stravinsky called “one of the most beautiful products of all French music”.
Between these two works, Frank Peter Zimmermann will take on Dmitri Shostakovich’s highly original First Violin Concerto – a work whose premiere had to be delayed because shortly before its completion the Soviet Central Committee pronounced a de facto ban on instrumental music in concert. While the Soviet premiere on 29 October 1955 in Leningrad with dedicatee David Oistrach was kept under wraps, the American first performance with the same soloist in New York’s Carnegie Hall two months later was a sensation: Dimitri Mitropoulos, who conducted the New York Philharmonic, reacted to the seemingly endless applause by holding the score up to the cheering audience …