Matthew Hunter (photo: Sebastian Hänel)

Chamber Music

Berliner Philharmoniker play on Stradivaris

An extraordinary ensemble on unique instruments: thanks to the generous support of the Stradivari Foundation (Habisreutinger), the Philharmonic Stradivari Sextet Berlin is exclusively equipped with instruments from the Cremonese violin maker. In this concert, the ensemble presents the magnificence of the instruments’ sound with the string sextet from Richard Strauss’ last opera Capriccio, Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and Johannes Brahms’ First String Sextet.

Philharmonisches Stradivari Sextett Berlin:

Christophe Horák violin

Christoph von der Nahmer violin

Matthew Hunter viola

Walter Küssner viola

Stephan Koncz cello

Knut Weber cello

Richard Strauss

String Sextet from Capriccio, op. 85

Arnold Schoenberg

Verklärte Nacht for String Sextet, op. 4

Johannes Brahms

String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, op. 18

Dates and Tickets

Programme

Antonio Stradivari’s creative period came at the heyday of classical violin making in the Italian city of Cremona, and the craft reached a unique apex with the instruments from his workshop. Stradivari broadened the body of the violin and produced new types with fuller and longer curves, resulting in decisive improvements in sound. In the process, he and his sons Francesco and Omobono consistently maintained their high standards, making use only of materials of the best quality. Simply from their appearance – perfectly formed scroll and F holes, delicate wood grain and red-brown colour with a subtle yellowish tinge – most Stradivari violins are artworks of the very highest quality.

Thanks to generous support from the Stradivari Foundation Habisreutinger, the Philharmonic Stradivari Sextet Berlin is equipped exclusively with instruments made by the Cremonese master. At this concert, the unusual ensemble will present the instruments’ splendour in sound with the string sextet from Richard Strauss’s last opera Capriccio – a melancholy conjuring up of timeless beauty, composed in the terrible war years 1941-42. They will then perform Arnold Schoenberg’s string sextet Verklärte Nacht, based on Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name: not programme music, strictly speaking, as the poet himself commented upon hearing the work for the first time: “At first my intention was to follow the motifs of my text in your composition, but very quickly I forgot all about that, I was so fascinated by the music.” The evening rounds off with Johannes Brahms’s String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, op. 18; after its premiere Clara Schumann wrote in her diary: “It was beautiful beyond my expectations.”

Matthew Hunter (photo: Sebastian Hänel)