Noah Bendix-Balgley (photo: Sebastian Hänel)

Chamber Music

From the Duo concertante to the “Trout Quintet”

The members of the Berliner Philharmoniker are not only gifted orchestral players, but also passionate chamber musicians. To begin the Chamber Music Prism concert series, soloists from the orchestra, together with the pianist Yannick Rafalimanana, present Franz Schubert’s light-hearted and playful Trout Quintet. Plus, in a variety of instrumental groupings, music by Penderecki, Debussy and Hindemith.

Noah Bendix-Balgley violin

Matthew McDonald double bass

Yannick Rafalimanana piano

Bruno Delepelaire cello

Máté Szűcs viola

Krzysztof Penderecki

Duo concertante for Violin and Double bass

Noah Bendix-Balgley violin, Matthew McDonald double bass

Paul Hindemith

Sonata for double bass and piano

Matthew McDonald double bass, Yannick Rafalimanana piano

Claude Debussy

Piano Trio in G major

Noah Bendix-Balgley violin, Bruno Delepelaire cello, Yannick Rafalimanana piano

Franz Schubert

Piano Quintet in A- major, D 667 Trout

Noah Bendix-Balgley violin, Máté Szűcs viola, Bruno Delepelaire cello, Matthew McDonald double bass, Yannick Rafalimanana piano

Dates and Tickets

Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 20:00

Chamber Music Hall | Introduction: 19:00

Serie Q


“Chamber music”, says Krzysztof Penderecki, “is the most difficult of all. Composing an oratorio is not a problem for me. I just sit down with some paper and write, but with chamber music, where every note has to be in the right place, you can’t gloss over anything. Everything is [...] of equal importance.” The Polish composer, born in Debica in 1933, described his own move to the genre of chamber music from the early 1990s as a retreat “into intimacy”. It is no surprise that since then, he has struck a previously unaccustomed lyrical tone in his works for small ensembles.

The Duo concertante for violin and double bass composed by Penderecki for Anne-Sophie Mutter opens this philharmonic chamber concert – played by the 1st concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Noah Bendix-Balgley, and Matthew McDonald, the orchestra’s 1st principal bass. This is followed by Hindemith’s Sonata for double bass and piano, a work which the soloist of the often ridiculed deep string instrument comes up with all kinds of technical refinements such as harmonics, rich ornamentation and charming pizzicato with the double bass and piano merging to form an artistic whole. (The piano part is played by the French pianist Yannick Rafalimanana.)

No less impressive is Claude Debussy’s Piano Trio in G major. Written in 1880, it is regarded as an early work of an up-and-coming talent who had yet to find his own musical language. The evening rounds off with Schubert’s well-known Trout Quintet with the addition of Máté Szűcs, 1st principal viola with the Philharmoniker. The character of the music, serene and free from conflict, is accentuated in the eponymous variation movement by virtue of the fact that Schubert unceremoniously omits the dramatic disruption of the third verse of the song, both in the theme and in the variations themselves.

Noah Bendix-Balgley (photo: Sebastian Hänel)