(photo: Heribert Schindler)


Christmas organ matinee

The sounds of organ and brass show music from its most festive side. Both are to be heard in this matinee when the Cologne cathedral organist Winfried Bönig and the Brass Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker present music by Richard Strauss and Joseph Messner plus Giuseppe Verdi's Overture to La forza del destino. In addition, Winfried Bönig sets the mood for Christmas with music for the season by Johann Sebastian Bach, Gaston Litaize and Sigfrid Karg-Elert.

Winfried Bönig organ

Blechbläserensemble der Berliner Philharmoniker

Organ & Brass

Richard Strauss

Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens (arr. for organ and brass by Johannes M. Michel)

Johann Sebastian Bach

Sinfonia pastorale from the Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 (arr. for organ by Sigfrid Karg-Elert)

Giuseppe Verdi

Overture to La forza del destino (arr. for organ and brass by Johannes M. Michel)

Gaston Litaize

Variations sur un Noël angevin

Sigfrid Karg-Elert

Choral Improvisation “In dulci jubilo”, op. 75 No. 2

Joseph Messner

Symphonic Festival Music for Brass and Organ, op. 45a

Dates and Tickets

Sun, 01 Dec 2019, 11:00

Philharmonie | Introduction: 10:15


Winfried Bönig would never have imagined it, but when the telephone rang and he was asked to interview on the banks of the Rhine, the Bamberger did suspect what was to come: an offer to become cathedral organist in Cologne. A dream job for him, but not the only one: Winfried Bönig also has a doctorate in musicology, is a professor at Cologne’s conservatory and one of Germany’s best-known concert organists. At his second concert in the Philharmonie Berlin, Winfried Bönig will present a festive pre-Christmas programme together with the brass players of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Richard Strauss was one of the central personalities in European music history, making it all the more unfortunate that the composer stayed well clear of the organ. And yet his music sounds ravishingly good on the “queen of the instruments”, as can be heard in his Festival Procession, here in an arrangement for organ and large brass ensemble. In the further course of the concert an extremely charming arrangement from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio will be performed, as well as the overture to Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La forza del destino. In the highly virtuoso and very colourful Variations sur un Noël angevin (Variations on a Christmas Carol) by the Frenchman Gaston Litaize, Winfried Bönig will pull out all the stops to show what the organ in the Philharmonie Berlin can do. The concert will end with Symphonic Festive Music by Austrian composer Joseph Messner, who seems to reconcile opera and the church with sweeping gestures in a heroically triumphant style.

(photo: Heribert Schindler)

Winfried Bönig (photo: Kölner Dommusik)