Solemn sacred sounds, affirmative fanfares and rousing big bands: the brass instruments play an exposed role in the most diverse of musical genres. Probably in no other instrument group is the sonic variety so great, since the family of instruments combines sound producers of highly varied character. First, there’s the trumpet: because of its penetrating radiance, it advanced early on to the ideal instrument of representation. The sound of the trombone has a completely different character—Felix Mendelssohn is supposed to have said that it is too sacred for frequent use.
There are two additional important representatives, namely on the one hand the French horn, about which Richard Strauss enthused that it always has “a particularly luminous effect”. Yet to be mentioned: the youngest member of the brass family, the tuba. As the “double bass of harmony” (Berlioz), it provides a powerful and sonorous bass foundation. “The effect of a large number of bass tubas in a large military band is beyond imagination,” the French composer wrote.
The brass from the Berliner Philharmoniker will encounter those from the Karajan Academy at this concert conducted by the Berlin Philharmonic’s principal hornist Stefan Dohr. They will perform works by, among others, Paul Dukas, Claude Debussy, Henri Tomasi, Leonard Bernstein and Vito Žuraj, who in 2016 won the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize awarded by the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation.