Divertimento in F major K. 138
Concerto for two cellos, strings and continuo in G minor RV 531
Fantasy for viola and string orchestra in G minor Op. 94 (orch. Wolfgang Renz)
String Symphony No. 10 in B minor
Serenade for string orchestra in E flat major
Romanian Folk Dances
Antonio Stradivari, whose violins are legendary for their breathtaking brilliance in the upper register, is still the most famous of all instrument makers. He also produced a complete ensemble of stringed instruments in his workshop for the Spanish royal court: six violins, two violas and a cello.
The Philharmonic Stradivari Soloists of Berlin bring together in one ensemble eleven of the master’s instruments – along with two complete quartets, three further violins – probably the world’s largest Stradivari collection heard together in concert. In choosing their repertoire, the musicians (all members of the Berliner Philharmoniker) naturally look for pieces that can show these extraordinary instruments to fullest advantage, for example Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos, Strings and Continuo in G minor, RV 531. Also ideally suited are works like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Divertimento KV 138, composed in 1772 in Salzburg, and Josef Suk’s sunny Serenade for Strings.
When the 18-year-old Suk composed this piece in 1892, he took to heart the advice of his teacher, Antonín Dvořák: “It’s summer. Write something cheerful!” Rounding out the programme is yet another exhilarating work, Béla Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances of 1915 in which he incorporated authentic dance melodies that he had heard in Hungarian-speaking Transylvania.