Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Robin Ticciati, conductor
Bartók | Beethoven
The start of the fourth season with Robin Ticciati: The Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin presents a programme in which the Béla Bartók’s “Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra” meets Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony – both works were already very successful works during the composers’ lifetime.
Since 2017, Robin Ticciati has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. For the opening of their fourth season together, he will work with the orchestra on a Beethoven symphony for the first time. He chose the Fourth, which takes its specific “human tone” and its urge for freedom from the opera “Fidelio”, especially the dungeon scenes.
Bartók’s Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra was originally composed as a chamber music sonata, before the composer created the version featuring an orchestra. In the Basler Zeitung newspaper, Bartók explained his ideas: “I had intended to write a piece for piano and percussion for years. Over time, I became more and more convinced that a piano confronted with percussive instruments would not generate a satisfactory balance. Accordingly, the plan was changed in as much as there are now two pianos opposed to the percussion … The two percussive voices now take an equal position in relation to the two piano voices. The role of the percussion is diverse: In many instances, it merely adds a colour nuance to the sound of the piano, in others, it enhances important accents; at times, the percussion provides contrapuntal motifs against the piano voice and frequently it is particularly the timpani and the xylophone that play themes in the main voice”.
On the occasion of the 1943 world premiere in the USA, Béla Bartók and his second wife were the glamorous centre of attention.