When David Riniker applied to join the Philharmonikerʼs Karajan Academy in 1994, he never imagined that one year later he would be a cellist with the Berliner Philharmoniker. At his audition for the Academy, he was immediately asked to appear the next day for the audition for the open cello position with the orchestra – which he did with success: in 1995, the Swiss-born musician was accepted into the ranks of the Philharmoniker. He has also added to the repertoire for smaller ensembles with his own arrangements, many of which have already been performed in Berliner Philharmoniker chamber music concerts – including this one, in which David Riniker appears with his colleagues Mathieu Dufour (flute), Sarah Willis (horn), Luis Esnaola and Anna Mehlin (violin) and Martin von der Nahmer (viola).
The concert, which includes five of his chamber music arrangements, opens with Clair de Lune, probably Claude Debussy’s most famous piano piece which has already been arranged for large ensemble by – among others – André Caplet, Marius Constant and Leopold Stokowski: an exceedingly poetic work with softly floating sounds, surging arpeggios and almost casually placed single notes. In addition to Debussy’s dance-like Petite Suite, the programme also includes Franz Doppler’s sonorous Alpine scene Souvenir du Rigi, Pietro Mascagni’s languorous Intermezzo sinfonico from the opera Cavalleria rusticana, plus excerpts from Maurice Ravel’s Baroque homage Le Tombeau de Couperin. Another highlight of the evening: the Ravel adaptation Ravel Remixed by Henrik Schwarz.