Colourful and multi-faceted

Magnus Lindberg is a contemporary composer who writes in highly sensuous timbres. “It is not about making a manifesto. Music is something which is about emotion! It is an experience” – says the composer, whose new violin concerto will be presented by Daniel Harding and Frank Peter Zimmermann. Just as haunting is Pierre Boulez’s colourful and multi-faceted Mémoriale|, heard here with Emmanuel Pahud as soloist. The evening ends with Robert Schumann’s Second Symphony.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Daniel Harding Conductor

Frank Peter Zimmermann Violin

Emmanuel Pahud Flute

Hector Berlioz

Ouverture du Corsaire

Magnus Lindberg

Violin Concerto No. 2 commissioned Berliner Philharmoniker gemeinsam mit dem London Philharmonic Orchestra, dem New York Philharmonic, dem Schwedischen Rundfunk-Symphonieorchester und Radio France German Première

Frank Peter Zimmermann Violin

Pierre Boulez

Mémoriale (... explosante-fixe ... Originel) for flute and eight instruments

Emmanuel Pahud Flute

Robert Schumann

Symphony No. 2 in C major

Dates and Tickets

Thu, 21 Jan 2016 8 p.m.

Philharmonie | Introduction: 7:00 pm

Serie I

Fri, 22 Jan 2016 8 p.m.

Philharmonie | Introduction: 7:00 pm

Serie K


Hector Berlioz declared he read Lord Byron’s The Corsair in the confessional box of St Peter’s Basilica. It is a tale in verse which describes the fate of the disillusioned Conrad, a misanthropic pirate lord who declares war on the whole world and is devoted in love only to his wife. Berlioz’s character overture op. 21, however, owes only its title (Le Corsaire) to the poem oscillating between adventure and world-weariness – though the music, in which after a fanfare “with wild abandon” a triumphal theme is continually increased during the course of the movement, could by all means be brought in line with the figure of a pirate captain.

Daniel Harding, who began his career as Sir Simon Rattle’s assistant with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before assisting Claudio Abbado with the Berliner Philharmoniker, has placed Berlioz’s spirited overture at the beginning of these Philharmonic concerts – an ideal “opener”, followed by an exciting premiere of Magnus Lindberg’s new violin concerto. That’s because Lindberg is considered among the most virtuoso orchestral composers of the present day: “It is not about making a manifesto. Music is something which is about emotion! It is an experience.” The soloist is violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, who has many contemporary works in his repertoire: “As violinist I would like to bring to life the new ideas that a composer from our time has brought forth.”

After the interval, Daniel Harding will conduct the Boulez classic Mémoriale (... explosante-fixe ... Originel) for flute and eight instruments, in which the soundscape broken like a prism into the most varied instrumental colours leads to silence at the end. The programme ends with Robert Schumann’s Second Symphony, a piece which consistently heads for its triumphant Finale. The successful premiere took place on 5 November 1847: “In this work,” the journalist Alfred Dörffel wrote in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, “the composer reached a new high point in his oeuvre.”