Berlin-based Orchestras

Staatskapelle Berlin / Daniel Barenboim

… aus dem Samen eine Pflanze entstehen lassen …
The music of Pierre Boulez – explained, played and conducted by Daniel Barenboim

Past Dates

Berlin was the setting of their first encounter. For a concert scheduled for June 12, 1964, artistic director Wolfgang Stresemann engaged two young artists who appeared now with the Berlin Philharmonic for the first time, and who were moreover as yet unacquainted with one another: Pierre Boulez (39) as conductor, and Daniel Barenboim (21) as pianist. On the program were Boulez’s Doubles for orchestra, Schönberg’s Begleitmusik für eine Lichtspielszene (Music to Accompany a Film Scene), Stravinsky’s Four Études, and Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. I. For the orchestra, all were unknown works. As a consequence, rehearsal time was insufficient. The guest artists came to grips with the situation. “That was the beginning of a close musical collaboration, the beginning of a close and for me important personal and artistic friendship” (Daniel Barenboim).

Emblematic of this friendship has been the piece Notations, a series of early piano works by Boulez which the composer long believed to be lost forever. When they were returned to him by former schoolmate Serge Nigg, he reworked them gradually into orchestral pieces that ultimately became far more expansive than the originals. Daniel Barenboim has rehearsed and performed them with all of the orchestras for which he has served as principal conductor: the Orchestre de Paris, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Staatskapelle Berlin. The final concert of musikfest berlin 10 is a celebration “pour Pierre,” one arranged by good friends.

Concert Programme

Pierre Boulez [born 1925]

Dérive 1
for six instruments [1984]

Dérive 2
for eleven instruments [1988/ 2006]

Notations I–IV, VII
for piano [1945]

Notations I–IV, VII
for orchestra [1978–84, 1997]

An event of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in cooperation with musikfest berlin | Berliner Festspiele