(photo: privat)

Chamber Music

But what about the noise ...?

Percussionists, particularly those in the Berliner Philharmoniker, are all-round talents. They have a seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of sound generators – starting with clapping their own hands, to the most varied of drums, cymbals, bells, drumsticks and rattles, to marimbaphone and xylophone. On this evening they will present the enormous versatility of their instruments with works considered milestones of percussion literature.

Percussionists of the Berliner Philharmoniker

But what about the noise ...?

Works by John Cage, Steve Reich and other composers

Dates and Tickets

Programme

These days, a percussionist has a seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of sound generators – starting with clapping his or her own hands, to the most varied of drums, cymbals, bells, drumsticks and rattles, to marimba and xylophone. This has not always been the case. “Until a hundred years ago, percussionists were responsible mainly for sound effects or purely rhythmical additional elements. Only in the 20th century have they carved out an appropriate place for themselves in the orchestra and in chamber music,” explains Raphael Haeger, one of the four percussionists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Over the course of the past century, modern and avant-garde composers discovered percussion instruments as an important source of inspiration for innovative, unusual sounds.

John Cage, for instance, experimented from the 1930s onwards with percussion, which he considered one of the most universal instruments and whose confinement to purely rhythmical processes he used to develop pieces with overlapping, complex rhythmic structures. Steve Reich as well, a founding father of minimal music who originally intended to become a jazz drummer, has bestowed compositions on percussionists that are considered milestones among works for percussion instruments. At this concert under the title But what about the noise...?, the Berlin Philharmonic’s percussionists will present the many-sidedness of their instruments. The title refers to the piece of the same name by John Cage, which he composed in 1985 as a commission from the Arp Foundation to commemorate the 100th birthday of German-French painter, sculptor and poet Hans Arp.

(photo: privat)