30 Years of the Scharoun Ensemble, Berlin
Persisches Ballett (Version for chamber ensemble)
Piece for Trumpet and Seven Instruments
Zwischen den Zeilen (Chamber Symphony) comissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation Première
Septet in E flat major
The Scharoun Ensemble Berlin is celebrating its 30th birthday! In 1983, when eight Philharmonic musicians came together to rehearse Franz Schubert’s Octet, they didn’t suspect that it would be the beginning of a success story: after Berlin the Scharoun Ensemble – named after Hans Scharoun, architect of the Berlin Philharmonie – very quickly captured international chamber music stages. Right from the beginning they opted for flexibility – in both the instruments played and in repertoire. The original octet group is reduced or expanded to include other instruments as needed. The works performed range from Baroque compositions to contemporary music. One key focus of their artistic work is the exchange with contemporary composers. And so it goes virtually without saying that at the anniversary celebration there will be a premiere: the English composer Alexander Goehr, born in Berlin in 1932, has been commissioned to write their birthday song. Goehr, a pupil of Olivier Messiaen, is characterised by a sensual, simultaneously meditative and expressive musical language. The ensemble’s stylistic range is also evidenced in the three other items on the programme: Egon Wellesz’s Persian Ballet op. 30 in the version for chamber ensemble from the year 1920 stands out with its musical exoticism, while the Piece for Trumpet and Seven Instruments, which Stefan Wolpe wrote shortly before he died in 1972, features “neo-classical” elements. Ludwig van Beethoven’s Septet, on the other hand, is a true “classic” – and besides Schubert’s Octet a cornerstone of the “Scharounian” repertoire.