Daniil Trifonov, the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence in the 2018/2019 season, is the soloist in three concertante works in this first of a total of seven concerts by the Karajan Academy. Spanning almost 250 years, the programme opens with Johann Sebastian Bach’s D minor Piano Concerto, written at the beginning of the 1730s. If, in the past, there were doubts for various reasons about the authenticity of the composition, Albert Schweitzer once allayed them with the question: “Who but Bach could have written such a work?” Daniil Trifonov enters new territory with his performance of the solo part in Alfred Schnittke’s 1979 Concerto for Piano and Strings. The highly emotional music of this approximately 20-minute composition resembles a night-time apparition and flashes stylistic memories of the era of the First Viennese School through a distorting mirror.
A composition by Igor Stravinsky arbitrates between these two very different works: the Concerto in E flat Dumbarton Oaks, premiered in 1938, a playful piece for chamber orchestra which the composer intended as a musical homage to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. An exciting and wide-ranging concert, it is highly recommended for anyone wishing to experience Daniil Trifonov and the Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker at close hand right at the beginning of the season.