Berlin-based Orchestras

Berliner Philharmoniker

Peter Eötvös, conductor
Home Match I

Eötvös, Xenakis and Varèse will take their audience on a journey to Andalusia, America and into the history of Kabbala. The soloist: the outstanding violin player Isabelle Faust.

Condensation trail of an airplane

Condensation trail of an airplane

Photo anonymous, USA, 1950s

Past Dates

Introduction 45 minutes before the concert

4 September 2019, 16:30
Parlando – Rubato
Premiere of the new book by Peter Eötvös
Talk with Péter Eötvös and László F. Földényi
Collegium Hungaricum Berlin

Edgard Varèse, the French-Italian composer who lived both in Paris and Berlin, had been living in the US for several years when he wrote his tone poem “Amériques”. He had not yet given up his hope and faith in the land of boundless opportunities. In the “Amériques”, the dissolution of boundaries is the name of the game. The original version, which will be conducted by Peter Eötvös, demands a 140-strong orchestra, including a siren, a ship’s horn, a wind machine and lions’ roars. The border between art and the city, both landmarks of modern life, is deliberately transcended. Varèse composed a vision, powerful in its effect, clearly structured in its form and progression. He created a New World of the imagination, with sounds of reality streaming in.

Peter Eötvös was also guided by his fascination with a different, foreign world when he composed his third violin concerto, a work commissioned by the Foundation Berliner Philharmoniker and Granada Festival, Orchestre de Paris and the BBC Proms. The Alhambra, this magnificent testimony of Spanish-Moorish architecture, the landscape of Andalucia, the light in its skies – all this, the composer explains, is reflected in his work. His predilection for cryptograms led him to initially tie his imagination to the notes of G (for Granada) and the notes that correspond with letters in the word Alhambra, to develop this melodious and virtuoso work from them. The mandolin is a constant companion to the soloist. The concert is similar, says Eötvös, to a tour of the Alhambra and the ideas that it inspired.

The programme is arranged in the form of a great orchestral crescendo. It begins with the sounds of strings. The secret of the far-away place, Jerusalem, and the infernal-divine legends that twine about this holy city inspired the thoughts of Varése’s pupil Iannis Xenakis when he composed “Shaar” for the Testimonium-Festival in Israel in the year 1982.

Concert Programme

Peter Eötvös (*1944)
Concert for violin and orchestra No. 3 (2018)
Joint commission by Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, Granada Festival, Orchestre de Paris and BBC Proms
German Premiere

Iannis Xenakis (1922 – 2001)
for large string orchestra (1983)

Edgard Varèse (1883 – 1965)
Amériques (1st version 1918–1922, rev. 1927)

A Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation event in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin