(photo: Junge Deutsche Philharmonie)

The Junge Deutsche Philharmonie with Jonathan Nott and Michelle Breedt

Musical visions of death dominate this concert with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and Jonathan Nott. Gustav Mahler’s partly expressive, partly elegiac Kindertotenlieder are among the most harrowing vocal works in the repertoire. In his last symphony, Shostakovich grapples with the end of his own life: desperate and wild. Maurice Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales provide an elegant and witty contrast.

Junge Deutsche Philharmonie

Jonathan Nott Conductor

Michelle Breedt Mezzo-Soprano

At the Invitation of the Berliner Philharmoniker

Maurice Ravel

Valses nobles et sentimentales (Version for orchestra)

Gustav Mahler


Michelle Breedt Mezzo-Soprano


Symphony No. 15 in A major

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 12 Mar 2017, 11:00

Philharmonie | Introduction: 10:00


The musical partnership between the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the Berliner Philharmoniker is long-standing: the orchestra made up of music students aged 18 to 28 has played for many years now at concerts of the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation. This time, conducted by Jonathan Nott, they will present the ingenious Valses nobles et sentimentales, with which Maurice Ravel declared he was intent on “writing a set of Schubertian waltzes”: elegant works in which the French composer found what he had always been searching for when composing, namely “the delightful and always new pleasure of a useless occupation”. Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder are based on Friedrich Rückert’s collection of poems of the same name. It forms a stark contrast to the Ravel work and is structured as chamber music; here, mezzosoprano Michelle Breedt, who is sought after around the world, will sing the vocal part.

The concert concludes with Dmitri Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony, a work that seems to circle around death and life’s dark sides. The work was acclaimed at its premiere on 8 January 1972 in the great concert hall of the Moscow Conservatory; evidently, most reviewers took at face value the grotesque and optimistic inflection of the first movement, as they did the highly emotional tone of the subsequent funeral march. That the finale is introduced with the Fate leitmotif from Wagner’s Walküre, before in a monumental Passacaglia we hear the “violence motif” from the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, long fallen into disrepute, also did not raise any questions at the official level …

(photo: Junge Deutsche Philharmonie)

Michelle Breedt (photo: promo)