Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin II
Marco Blaauw, trumpet
Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Strauss | Saunders | Beethoven
In their second contribution to Musikfest Berlin, Vladimir Jurowski and his Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin will link Beethoven’s symphonic music with a solo concerto that Rebecca Saunders wrote especially for the exceptional trumpet player Marco Blaauw. These two works, separated by around 200 years, will be combined with Richard Strauss’ last orchestral work, written between March and April 1945, and with Beethoven’s Fifth. This combination lends the programme an historical depth that is practically inexhaustible.
Beethoven the constant star: Written 1945, at the end of the Second World War when the National Socialists were still in power, the “Metamorphoses” from 1945 are Richard Strauss’ final orchestral work. Strauss stares in disbelief at how war has barbarised humanity and, full of melancholy, quotes Beethoven’s funeral march from the “Eroica” to recall the destroyed culture of civil society. Rebecca Saunders’ composition “White” (2015 – 2016), written for her long-term collaborator the trumpeter Marco Blaauw, explores the sonic spectrum of the double bell trumpet. Less surprising than Saunders’ work allocation of the colour white to the bright timbre of the solo trumpet is its characterisation as the colour of anger and rage, manifesting itself musically in fast, furious and abruptly interrupted movements of sound. The composition transcends purity of pitch and rhythm to explore a receptive experience reminiscent of the monochrome paintings of Barnett Newmann, Yves Klein or Mark Rothko, whose means are also subordinate to their effect. The colour itself is less visible than its primal energy and physicality. Saunders plays with this effect of synaesthetic immersion in order to create potent contrasts through shifts of perspective and changes of rhythm. Like a solar power plant, Ludwig van Beethoven’s fateful 5th Symphony in C minor provides the irrepressible energy needed to defy all rejection and to continue to keep your gaze fixed firmly on the stars.
Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)
for 23 solo strings (1944/45)
Rebecca Saunders (*1967)
for double bell trumpet solo (2015, rev. 2016)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Three Equali for four trombones WoO 30 (1812)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 5 in C minor op. 67 (1803 – 1807/08)