Many music lovers will remember the dramatic circumstances the last time Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was performed by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. After welding work had set fire to the roof of the Philharmonie, resulting in its temporary closure, a hangar at Berlin’s Tempelhof airport was used as an alternative venue. Despite the unfavourable conditions, it was a thrilling interpretation. The Berliner Zeitung wrote: “Even given the acoustic difficulties of the hangar, it became clear how much the Symphonie fantastique suits Rattle, how he not only gets to the heart of its more bizarre aspects but also manages to combine them.” It will be all the more exciting to experience this interpretation with the acoustics in the Philharmonie. This opening concert of the 2009/10 season starts, however, with two other works. First, Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – a sequence of virtuoso variations based on a rondo by Purcell, which gives the different sections of the orchestra the opportunity to shine. And a première, with a work by Kaija Saariaho, promisingly entitled Laterna Magica, which brings together two themes central to this Finnish composer’s œuvre: the creation of magical moments and the rendering of light audible.
28 Aug 2009
Opening of the 2009/2010 season
SIR SIMON RATTLE
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, op. 34 (19 min.)
Laterna Magica (première) (24 min.)
Symphonie fantastique, op. 14 (57 min.)
Sir Simon Rattle in conversation with Claus Spahn (18 min.)