Berliner Philharmoniker

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Chamber Music

Artist in Residence: Christian Tetzlaff and string players of the Berliner Philharmoniker

Violinist Christian Tetzlaff, Artist in Residence 2014/2015, will start the new concert season together with the Philharmonic string players Thomas Timm, Máté Szűcs, Naoko Shimizu and Bruno Delepelaire. The programme for their chamber music evening includes string quintets by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Johannes Brahms, as well as duos for two violins by Béla Bartók inspired by Hungarian folklore.

Christian Tetzlaff Violin

Thomas Timm Violin

Máté Szűcs Viola

Naoko Shimizu Viola

Bruno Delepelaire Cello

Felix Mendelssohn

String Quintet No. 2 in B flat major

Béla Bartók

Duets for two violins Sz 98 (Selection)

Johannes Brahms

String Quintet No. 2 in G major

Dates and Tickets

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 8 p.m.

Philharmonie Foyer

Introduction: 7:00 pm

Watch video recording

A recording of the concert is available online at our Digital Concert Hall.


The first movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s Second String Quintet begins in a spirited and ardent way: with an impulsive violin solo that offers the first violinist an opportunity to present his virtuoso proficiency above the other instruments’ tremolo. This is not surprising, since the large-scale work with an orchestral manner was written for the Leipzig concertmaster Ferdinand David, who requested a work “in Stilo moltissimo concertissimo” from Mendelssohn.

In this chamber concert with artist in residence Christian Tetzlaff and four string players from the Berlin Philharmonic, Mendelssohn’s String Quintet No. 2 will be followed by the G major Quintet op. 111 by Johannes Brahms. Its opening movement also begins with an almost orchestral soundscape of tremolo sound, whereby here not the violin but the cello is in the foreground. Brahms touches here on the polka mazur Frauenherz by Josef Strauss, very popular at the time; finally, “waltz motives and fragments wiggle out of every part of the Allegro like little lizards glancing curiously, slipping gracefully back to their hiding places as soon as you try to catch them” (Max Kalbeck). The first violin – with music that reminds one of Johann Strauss’s waltz Wein, Weib und Gesang – spreads the happiness of Vienna’s Prater, while the Finale with Csárdás sounds owes a lot to a typically “Hungarian” tone colour. The evening will conclude with several pieces from Béla Bartók’s 44 Duos for two violins, in which the Hungarian composer integrated the results of his musical folklore research.

Christian Tetzlaff

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