At the concerts of the Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the objective is to get to know some highly talented young musicians. And of course that’s the case this time as well. In addition, however, another musical discovery can be made at this concert: a violin concerto by Felix Mendelssohn. Admittedly not the famous one in E minor, completed in 1844, generally thought of as the composer’s only contribution to the genre, but rather an early work: in 1822 Mendelssohn– at the time just 13 years old! – composed a concerto for violin and strings in D minor, which never, however, appeared in print during the composer’s lifetime. Compared to his later work in the same genre, this violin concerto is even more strongly rooted in the classical tradition, but nonetheless constitutes a wonderful example of the phenomenal compositional talent of Mendelssohn, who in his day was considered a musical prodigy.
The soloist in this work, which is played extremely rarely and which was first “resurrected” only in 1951 by no less a personage than Yehudi Menuhin, is the violinist Carolin Widmann, who is internationally acclaimed for her pioneering spirit. Her interpretation of the D minor concerto will be framed by works by a composer whom Mendelssohn revered like hardly anyone else: Johann Sebastian Bach, whose Fifth Brandenburg Concerto will be performed, as well as other works. The scholars of the Karajan Academy will be musically directed by Carolin Widmann (Mendelssohn) and Raphael Alpermann (Bach); as conductor and harpsichordist (Akademie für Alte Musik, Concerto Melante, Berliner Barock Solisten), he is well-versed in historically informed performance practice.