A combination of grand symphonic and intimate chamber music, plus famous musical guests and soloists from the orchestra's own ranks, make the Berliner Philharmoniker's concerts in Baden-Baden very special indeed. “In Baden-Baden it’s great for us to be able to do so much chamber music and other things,” said Sir Simon Rattle.
From Johann Sebastian Bach to Ligeti
The musical counterpart to Giacomo Puccini's tragic opera Manon Lescaut is Johann Sebastian Bach's Baroque St John Passion, directed by Peter Sellars. In addition to Mark Padmore (Evangelist) and Roderick Williams (Jesus), the soloists also include Camilla Tilling, Magdalena Kožená, Topi Lehtipuu and Christian Gerhaher. The choral forces are supplied by the Rundfunkchor Berlin, rehearsed by choir master Simon Halsey, and the conductor is Sir Simon Rattle. For the 2014 Easter Festival, the Berliner Philharmoniker have invited Zubin Mehta as guest conductor who has included Richard Strauss' tone poem Ein Heldenleben and Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto in the programme. The soloist is Yefim Bronfman: “It is an overwhelming feeling to play this famous concerto!” Anne-Sophie Mutter presents a no less famous concertante work: Brahms' highly virtuoso Violin Concerto. In this concert, conducted by Rattle, the programme also includes Ligeti's revolutionary atmosphères and Stravinsky's orchestral piece Le Sacre du printemps in addition to Wagner's Lohengrin prelude. Those three works are also in the Philharmonic concert in which Sol Gabetta takes the solo part in Edward Elgar's reverential Cello Concerto. The cellist is particularly fond of this work: “You have to empathize with and be able to express the world of emotions that Elgar experienced in the period at the end of the First World War.”