Visiting Orchestras / London III

London Symphony Orchestra

Sir Simon Rattle, conductor

First Berlin performance of the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle

A very special premiere: This will be the first concert at the Philharmonie by the London Symphony Orchestra with their Music Director Sir Simon Rattle after his move from the Spree to the Thames. They will perform music by Hans Abrahamsen and Olivier Messiaen.

South stand in grazing light

South stand in grazing light

© Willem gr. Darrelmann

Past Dates

It’s a premiere: For the first time since his farewell to the Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle will perform in Berlin with his new orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra. The programme he has chosen may indeed be seen as homage to and reminiscence of his years in Berlin and their lasting innovations. Hans Abrahamsen’s work “let me tell you” was composed for Barbara Hannigan and the Berliner Philharmoniker, and performed by these artists on 20 December 2013. In 2016, the composer received the Grawemeyer Award for this work, which is an annually granted recognition of pioneering artistic and scientific achievements. The text is based on Paul Griffith’s eponymous novella; in the words allotted to her by Shakespeare in “Hamlet”, Ophelia tells her own story.

Griffiths made a name for himself not just as a writer of novellas and librettos but also as a critic and writer. He wrote mainly about New Music, including a book about Olivier Messiaen. He remarked on the composer’s final work, “Éclairs sur l’Au-Delà”: “The only signs of age in this last piece are in its wisdom – of which its orchestral virtuosity and its breadth of reference provide material evidence – and perhaps also in its audacity in bringing together an ensemble of 128 players.” In 2004, Sir Simon Rattle performed and recorded this one-hour-long gigantic legacy with its monolithic and tumultuous, fluid and floating, powerful and delicate sound visions together with the Philharmoniker. What will these “meditations on the beyond and about the Heavenly Jerusalem” (Yvonne Loriod) sound like now, 15 years later and with other musical partners?

Concert Programme

Hans Abrahamsen (*1952)
let me tell you
for soprano and orchestra (2013)
Text based on the novella let me tell you by Paul Griffith

Olivier Messiaen (1908 – 1992)
Éclairs sur L’Au-Delà (Lightning Over the Beyond …)
for full orchestra (1992)
Commissioned for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event