Mariss Jansons conducts Sibelius, Weber and Bartók

Three composers, three distinct musical languages: that’s on offer on this programme with Mariss Jansons. Thus in Jean Sibelius’s First Symphony, his characteristic Nordic idiom is already unmistakeable.Weber's first Clarinet Concerto, in turn, combines stupendous virtuosity and Romantic cantilena. And finally Béla Bartók with The Miraculous Mandarin: a rare fusion of uncompromising modernity and sensuousness of sound.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Mariss Jansons Conductor

Andreas Ottensamer Clarinet

Jean Sibelius

Symphony No. 1 in E minor op. 39

Carl Maria von Weber

Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor op. 73

Andreas Ottensamer Clarinet

Béla Bartók

Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin Sz 73

Dates and Tickets

sales information

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 8 p.m.

Philharmonie | Introduction: 7:00 pm

Serie A

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 8 p.m.

Philharmonie | Introduction: 7:00 pm

Serie M


Mariss Jansons has been a regular guest of the Berliner Philharmoniker since 1976, but in fact he already conducted them five years earlier: during the Karajan Conducting Competition, which he won then in his late twenties. Just recently the Latvian conductor raved in an interview with the Berliner Morgenpost: “I love this orchestra. The musicians are not only absolutely fantastic instrumentalists – they are truly passionate. Their artistic dedication is unbelievable. It is a joy for me every time I make music with the top-class orchestra.” For his next Philharmonic concerts, Mariss Jansons has selected a programme that takes an expansive journey through three centuries of music history.

For his next concerts with the orchestra, Mariss Jansons has selected a programme that encompasses different eras of music history. This musical journey through time starts with the Clarinet Concerto in F minor, which Weber wrote in 1811 for Heinrich Joseph Baermann, clarinetist with the Munich court orchestra. He had a clarinet of the latest design, and it was this that provided the composer with the inspiration for this brilliant concerto. However, even the melancholy yet elegant first movement goes much further than mere virtuoso musical display: the music develops an inner drama that derives its power from the juxtaposition of bravura figures and elegiac tranquility. With its Romantic musical language, the atmospheric Adagio already hints at the Freischütz, while in contrast, the lively Rondo which follows makes for a dashing finale. The soloist is Andreas Ottensamer, principal clarinetist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Jean Sibelius’s E minor symphony, which Mariss Jansons has also programmed, was composed 88 years after Weber’s musical stroke of genius – a first symphony in which the Finnish composer formally oriented himself towards the models of the genre, but in so doing found his way to a highly individual national romantic inflection (not for nothing did Armas Järnefelt, Sibelius’s brother-in-law, summarise: “He transformed everything that reached his ear into ‘Sibelius’”).

The evening will conclude with the suite from the expressionist dance pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin, which Béla Bartók, as an ostentatious renunciation of the aestheticism of traditional ballets, intended to reflect “the repulsiveness of the civilized world”. The premiere, which took place at the Cologne Opera on 27 November 1926 conducted by Jenő Szenkár, turned out to be a scandal which even prompted a political intervention: the conductor was summoned to the office of Konrad Adenauer, then the mayor, who banned Bartók’s piece from the schedule …

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