It’s wonderful to hear a Stradivarius in concert. Even more wonderful, however, to experience an entire string ensemble of them. The Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists Berlin regularly make this possible with a programme that in a variety of ways shows to best advantage the unique instruments’ radiance.
Lamentations of Jeremiah, Part I (arr. for two antiphonally set string quintets by Matthew Hunter)
Divertimento in D major K. 136
String Sextet from Capriccio
Serenade for strings in C major
Introduction: 2:00 pm
They’re brilliant, have a beautiful tone and are somewhat capricious: the violins, violas and celli made by the legendary luthier Antonio Stradivari are considered the best (and by now also the most expensive) string instruments in the world. It’s wonderful to hear a Stradivarius in concert. And even more wonderful to experience an entire string ensemble of them. The Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists Berlin regularly make this possible. Every two years, the ensemble borrows the valuable instruments from various collectors: two complete quartets and three additional violins join forces for a short time to form what is presumably the largest Stradivarius ensemble in the world.
The musicians, all members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, then put together a repertoire that shows to best advantage the instruments’ unique radiance in a variety of ways. That does not mean, however, that only music from Stradivarius’s time may be played. Quite the contrary: the unearthly, spheric sound of renaissance music suits the instruments just as does the rougher tone of modern compositions. This evening’s programme ranges from Thomas Tallis’s Lamentations of Jeremiah from the 16th century to a divertimento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Piotr Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C for Strings to Richard Strauss. One particular highlight is the string sextet from Strauss’s opera Capriccio, to be performed on the Habisreutinger Foundation’s sextet of Stradivaris.