Overture in C major op. 101 Trumpet Overture
Chorale for orchestra
Prelude and Fugue for organ in E flat major BWV 552, orch. by Arnold Schoenberg
Symphony No. 3
A Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin event in co-operation with the Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin
“Hamburg has Brahms and Düsseldorf Schumann, Bayreuth Wagner, Eutin Carl Maria von Weber, and Kassel has Spohr … but Leipzig – Leipzig has them all!” These words say everything about Leipzig’s importance as a centre of music in the 19th century, not only in Germany. Leipzig also serves as the reference point for the works in this Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin concert under its chief conductor Vladimir Jurowski. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, whose Trumpet Overture starts off the concert, felt a deep affinity with the city and in his role as Kapellmeister of The Gewandhaus Orchestra, he broke new ground.
Not only were many well-known works by his contemporaries premiered under his aegis, the quality of the orchestra also improved immensely under his hand. Upon his initiative, the Leipzig Conservatory of Music was founded – the first institution of higher learning for musicians in what is now Germany. It was also Mendelssohn who ushered the rediscovery of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music into musical history, initiating a discourse with his work that continues today.
Bach held his position in Leipzig as Thomaskantor from 1723 until his death in 1750. And it was Leipzig, or moreover Kurt Masur, chief conductor of The Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1970 to 1997, who commissioned Alfred Schnittke to write a symphony in 1981. Schnittke refers to his Third as “a German symphony”. The music awakens “constant memories of the developmental path of German music from Bach through to today … In addition, there are several tonal insinuations connected to the commission: terms such as earth, Germany, Leipzig ...”