Antonello Manacorda (photo: Nikolaj Lund)

Antonello Manacorda and Christian Gerhaher

Whether Vienna, New York or Paris, Antonello Manacorda is at home in the great opera houses. As chief conductor of the Kammerakademie Potsdam, he has made award-winning recordings, including the complete Schubert symphonies. Rarely has this composer’s music sounded “leaner, more logical, more exhilarating”, Der Spiegel wrote. Thus it is obvious that Manacorda would also programme a Schubert symphony for his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker: the melodious, ambiguous “Unfinished”. A further highlight will be Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder, with baritone Christian Gerhaher as soloist.

Berliner Philharmoniker

Antonello Manacorda conductor

Christian Gerhaher baritone

Ludwig van Beethoven

Coriolan, overture in C minor, op. 62

Gustav Mahler

Rückert-Lieder

Christian Gerhaher baritone

Arnold Schoenberg

Chamber Symphony No. 2 in E flat minor for Small Orchestra, op. 38

Franz Schubert

Symphony No. 7 in B minor, D 759 “Unfinished”

Dates and Tickets

Thu, 05 May 2022, 20:00

Philharmonie | Introduction: 19:15

Series D

Biographies

Antonello Manacorda

Antonello Manacorda became acquainted with much of the orchestral repertoire from the perspective of being concertmaster in Claudio Abbado's Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Simon Rattle eventually recommended that he train as a conductor under the legendary Finn Jorma Panula in Helsinki. Today, Manacorda can be seen just as often at the conductor’s desk of the world’s foremost opera houses as of the leading symphony orchestras: with precise gestures and concentrated body language, the musician, who was born into an Italian-French family, understands how to convincingly transfer the joy of detail of historically informed performance practice to large orchestras. “Being a conductor,” he says, “is an amazing job. It has so much more to do with your own person than most other professions. Anyone can beat time.” With the Kammerakademie Potsdam, whose artistic director Antonello Manacorda has been since 2010, he has produced a whole series of award-winning recordings – including a complete recording of the Schubert symphonies which, according to Der Spiegel, have rarely sounded “leaner, more logical, more delightful”. More recently, Manacorda has made spectacular debuts, such as at the Salzburg Festival, the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Le nozze di Figaro), Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (Der Freischütz) and the Staatsoper in Berlin (Ariadne auf Naxos). He now appears with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time.

Christian Gerhaher

“I can’t listen to Schubert, write emails on the side and think I can understand the beauty of this music. I need time, peace and concentration.” For Christian Gerhaher, who has delighted Berlin audiences in performances of Robert Schumann’s Paradise and the Peri, Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew and St John Passions and Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, among others, and was the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Artist in Residence in the 2013/14 season, there is something existential about music: “Music by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert,” he says, “is not merely entertainment, any more than music by the Velvet Underground or The Cure. It’s about death, loss and loneliness, about the absence of the perfect ideal, about problematic states of mind and shortcomings that I find interesting, and not necessarily because of their relevance to my life. Music often creates the distress that makes you long for consolation – and then, wonderfully, it can provide it.” International critics agree that no other baritone is currently able to combine existential profundity and vocal beauty as well as the singer born in Straubing in Bavaria – with a beguiling mixture of rich low notes and captivating head notes. Of course, Gerhaher is one of the most sought-after singers in his field. He has enjoyed a close artistic partnership with the Berliner Philharmoniker for almost 20 years.

Antonello Manacorda (photo: Nikolaj Lund)

Christian Gerhaher (photo: Gregor Hohenberg)

Introductory

Be well prepared for the concert with our introductory lectures!

In conversation

Antonello Manacorda about his debut