Kammermusik des Konzerthausorchesters
Our principal English horn player Iria Folgado comes from the Galicia region in the very north-west of Spain. She is looking forward to the Espresso Concert on February 14 with a special focus - chamber music from the so-called "celtic fringe" of Europe:
"Ecos de Breogán is a musical journey across the Atlantic. I will be playing chamber music for oboe and cor anglais composed in the British Isles in the first third of the 20th century and pieces by the Galician composer Fernando Buide Del Real with a string quartet. There is an Irish legend about the title of the concerto, which is also the title of my debut album: Breogán was a Celtic king of Galicia who built a high tower in Brigantia, today the city of A Coruña. From the top of this tower of Hercules, his son Íth caught a glimpse of the British Isles, to which he set out to found a new country. The music of the project is influenced by Celtic folklore and culture, in which these nations are anchored. Last December, I was giving an Ecos de Breogán concert right in the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña – and now, we take this music to Gendarmenmarkt."
Dramaturge Dietmar Hiller recommends the concerts of the Konzerthausorchester with the Dutch baroque specialist Ton Koopman on February 17 & 18:
"For me as an organist, Ton Koopman is one of my personal idols. I listen with lasting admiration to his complete recordings of the organ works of Bach, Buxtehude and Sweelinck, his exemplary Bach cantata production from 1994 - 2005, his brilliant harpsichord playing, especially in Bach and Handel, or his rousing recordings of the symphonies of Haydn and Mozart with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, with which he also brought the great oratorio works of Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart to life.
And so I am particularly pleased that the maestro, who will celebrate his 80th birthday this year, feels so understood by our orchestra in his intentions that, after the first joint concerts in 2022, he is now accepting a re-invitation from the orchestra - and will present a fascinating and confusing game about chaos and order in music and life with works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Jean-Féry Rebel. The soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto in E flat major KV 271 is the young Russian pianist Alexandra Dovgan (born in 2007)."
If you play or have played an instrument, it occupies a special place in your personal musical cosmos: For Dörthe Behnke from our event management team, it's the piano. Eleven days of Tribute to Elisabeth Leonskaja are a celebration for her. She is particularly looking forward to the solo recital in the Große Saal on February 25:
"They are and were often played: Beethoven's last three piano sonatas. I am now very much looking forward to Elisabeth Leonskaja's interpretations. It will be a very special moment for me when the 'grande dame' of the piano immerses herself in the keys with her great warmth and affection, her pronounced joie de vivre and authenticity. How does such a great pianist with her long life's experience span the arc here? How does she get to the heart of the matter in the last sonata? I am very curious!
I generally love piano recitals in our Great Hall: a grand piano alone on a large stage offers the pianist a lot of space and at the same time creates a very intimate concert atmosphere. Then you can also let your gaze wander a little through the beautiful hall and fly over the chandeliers, busts of composers and the ornately decorated ceiling: I'm looking forward to that too!"
Dramaturge Andreas Hitscher, who was in charge of our tribute to the great pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, was of course the first person we asked about his favourite concert during those weeks:
"Of course I'm looking forward to the 'battle axes' that are part of the eleven great days that the Konzerthaus is dedicating to Elisabeth Leonskaja in February and March: both Brahms concertos and the last three Beethoven sonatas.
But especially the 'little pieces', which she will play on February 28 in the Werner-Otto-Saal: Fine Drawings by Schönberg and Webern, plus the sonata by Alban Berg, still much closer to Romanticism than to the Second Viennese School. In general, there is a lot of poetry and tradition in the compositions of the three that can be heard here. I know that Elisabeth Leonskaja has been playing this music since her studies. I haven't heard her play it yet. Exciting!
And then, written not so long before those pieces, perhaps a contrast, certainly a rarity! Or when was the last time you heard a melodrama? Richard Strauss - by the way, I read (looking worriedly out of the window) that he would have recommended Schönberg to shovel snow rather than compose - has taken a sad story as his model here. All the more reason - I'm sure - for the pianist and her long-time confidante Corinna Kirchhoff to touch our hearts.
Speaking of which: Elisabeth Leonskaja and a brand new film about her tell of the heart behind and in the music: Premiere is on February 27, same time, same place."
Johannes Jahnel, our concertmaster of the second violins and member of the Konzerthaus Quartet, is particularly looking forward to a concert on February 29:
"Making music together in the Konzerthaus Quartet is a musical highlight for me every time. And this time in February it will be even more of a highlight, as we have the great honour and pleasure of performing the Schumann Piano Quintet together with Elisabeth Leonskaja. How much I am looking forward to this collaboration! I love Ms Leonskaja's depth of sound and her inspiring musicality and charisma. Complemented by a theatrical first half with the string quartet by Giuseppe Verdi and the Italian Serenade by Hugo Wolf, it will certainly be a very special concert evening."