The Philharmonic Salon has been a Berlin institution for a long time. Three times per season on two consecutive Sundays at four in the afternoon, Götz Teutsch, former principal cellist of the Berliner Philharmoniker and programme supervisor of the concert series in the chamber music hall, invites his audiences to an entertaining exploration of great personalities or exciting events from musical and intellectual history. His concept is to bring to life the intellectual atmosphere inhabited by the featured personality using compositions, extracts from letters and literary and philosophical texts. This season, in addition to the pianist Cordelia Höfer, the baritone Dietrich Henschel, the Minetti Quartett, the Concerto Melante ands member of the Berliner Philharmoniker, Götz Teutsch’s guests include well-known actors and readers such as Udo Samel, Thomas Wittmann and Gerd Wameling.
Two giants ...
In the first Salon of the 2014/2015 season, two giants of German cultural history meet: Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Their meeting in 1812 in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice is legendary, as are the anecdotes that are told about the meeting of these two great minds. In her epistolary novel Goethe's Correspondence with a Child, Bettina von Arnim, who knew and deeply revered both men, presents her own, poetic perspective on this historic event which makes clear that these two very different Titans, despite their mutual admiration, remained strangers to each other. But also other authors such as Beethoven's biographer Romain Rolland and of course the two main characters have their say in this concert.
... and an enterprising concert agent
Götz Teutsch dedicates the second salon to the industrious and enterprising Berlin concert agent Hermann Wolff, who the Berliner Philharmoniker have much to thank for. He was not only instrumental in the founding of the orchestra, but he also engaged musically outstanding chief conductors for his Philharmonic subscription concerts. This time, the focus is the era of Artur Nikisch. The successor to Hans von Bülow, Nikisch brought a new, romantic playing style to the orchestra and enriched Wolff's legendary Sunday dinners with his wit and humour.
“L'Art et l'Amour”
The last salon takes us to a very different epoch: to the Baroque world of the court of Versailles at the time of Madame de Pompadour. Like almost no other woman of her day, she united beauty, intelligence, wit and fashionable elegance. She was the first commoner who, as the mistress of Louis XV, had great influence on political and cultural life. However, this success came at a price. Despite external splendour and luxury, she felt more and more an inner emptiness and meaninglessness over the years. But this salon also recognises her role as a patron of the arts, and tells of the famous Versailles appearance of the little Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in January 1764, the year of Pompadour’s death. She died only a few months after the visit of the prodigy.