Chamber Music Day on Sunday, 22 August forms the centrepiece of our Welcome Back Week: six concerts give us the opportunity to hear very different ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker and to experience the diversity of the orchestra’s music-making.
A day dedicated to chamber music
At 13:00, brass players of the Berliner Philharmoniker and organist Sebastian Heindl get things started with Festive organ and brass sounds. After that we experience the Philharmonic String Quartet and pianist Haiou Zhang get things started with a classic of the chamber music repertoire: Dvořák’s Romantic Piano Quintet in A major. Thanks to its captivating melodies and folk-influenced dance rhythms, it is one of the Czech composer’s most frequently performed chamber music works.
This is followed by another favourite piece of chamber music: the famous Octet in F major by Franz Schubert, performed by the Philharmonic Octet Berlin. Dance-like, light-hearted and lively in conception, it is difficult to believe when listening that Schubert was in the midst of a serious life crisis when he wrote this composition.
Classics of the repertoire and chamber music rarities
The scholarship holders of the Karajan Academy are also keen chamber musicians. They present a programme ranging from Antonio Vivaldi’s festive Concerto in C major for two trumpets and a movement from Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quintet in C minor, to Joseph Haydn’s Piano Trio in A major in the version for violin, cello and harp, and Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen, which will be presented in a new, surprising sound in an arrangement for brass quintet.
Four principal wind players of the Berliner Philharmoniker, flautist Emmanuel Pahud, oboist Jonathan Kelly, clarinettist Wenzel Fuchs and horn player Stefan Dohr, together with other members of the orchestra, present a surprise with two rarities for larger wind chamber music ensembles: Charles Gounod’s Petite Symphonie and Joachim Raff’s Sinfonietta, two works full of cheerfulness and captivating charm, which highlight the distinctive, nuanced sound of the Philharmoniker’s winds.
The Philharmonic String Quintet transports us to the elegant atmosphere of a Viennese coffee house. Joseph Lanner’s galops, Carl Maria von Weber’s Andante and rondo ungarese and Pablo Sarasate’s Navarra come across as light and entertaining, but at the same time they are pieces that impress with their virtuosity.
The finale of our chamber music day is a performance by the 12 Cellists. Founded almost 50 years ago, the formation is one of the most internationally successful chamber music ensembles – thanks to the warm, brilliant and nuanced sound that has become the group’s trademark.
Tickets cost 10 euros per person for each concert on Chamber Music Day.