At this concert there is a reunion of a special kind: the composer Brett Dean, a former member of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, will make music with his former colleagues. Besides his ensemble work “Recollections”, chamber music by Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, György Kurtág and Bohuslav Martinů will be played in different instrumental combinations. Another guest on this concert is soprano Sophie Klußmann.
Christophe Horak Violin, Rachel Schmidt Violin, Micha Afkham Viola, Richard Duven Cello, Peter Riegelbauer Double Bass, Alexander Bader Clarinet, Markus Weidmann Bassoon, Stefan de Leval Jezierski Horn
Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann (arr. for octet by Detlev Glanert)
Hommage à R. Sch. for clarinet, viola and piano op. 15d
Sechs Gesänge op. 107 (transcr. for soprano and string quartet by Aribert Reimann)
Recollections for instrumental ensemble
Le Raid merveilleux
Introduction: 7:00 pm
The Scharoun Ensemble Berlin, founded in 1983, has been one of Germany’s most high-profile chamber music groups for more than 30 years. In this season, the musicians have invited illustrious guests to join their concert in the Chamber Music Hall, headed up by Brett Dean, the Australian composer and violist, who was a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1985 to 1999 and also part of the Scharoun Ensemble. On this programme a work composed and conducted by him: Recollections for 14 instruments, “chamber music in a class of its own”, the Kölner Rundschau writes, in which a quotation from Clara Schumann sounds at the end as if from the distant past.
The concert begins with Detlev Glanter’s octet arrangement of Johannes Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Schumann: a stirring piece whose desperate characters remind one of Gustav Mahler’s late work. This is followed by György Kurtag’s Hommage à R. Sch. op. 15d, the first movement of which is reminiscent of – in the Hungarian composer’s words – “Kapellmeister Kreisler of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Schumann with his remarkably figurative gesticulating.” Like Kurtág, Aribert Reimann also felt a strong affinity to Schumann’s oeuvre; due to his experience as a brilliant accompanist of Lieder, in his arrangement for soprano and string quartet of Sechs Gesänge op. 107 he succeeded in laying bare qualities of expression that remained hidden in the original piano setting.
Bohuslav Martinů composed his neoclassical ensemble piece Le Raid merveilleux (The Amazing Flight) as a “ballet mécanique” without people; the work’s belated stage premiere in Martinů’s birthplace Polička in 1994 retraced the failed Atlantic flight of Charles Nungesser and François Coli using photographs, spotlights and subtitles: the curtain came down over the endless vastnesses of the oceans to the sounds of a moving threnody in the strings. The Scharoun Ensemble Berlin will present Martinů’s rarely heard music as a concert work.