“In ‘The Man Without Qualities’ Musil commented on the zeitgeist of the early 20th century to the effect that: “some spotted new ideas, and others, knowing they would have to move out, really ‘lived’ in the old building one last time. Strauss does it with a huge orchestral apparatus.” (Helmut Lachenmann)
The composer Helmut Lachenmann, who like no other moulded the instrumental language of our time, reveals in this comment his deep admiration for Richard Strauss, man of the fin de siècle, and the link between the two composers also becomes apparent. Richard Strauss features on this evening’s concert programme with his “Four Final Songs” for soprano and orchestra, which was composed a year before his death in 1948 – yet another of his works that explore the possibilities of the late Romantic orchestral apparatus with great expertise and artistry in orchestration. 36 years later, Helmut Lachenmann devoted himself to a musical form that was certainly called into question after 1945 and developed a contemporary redefinition of the genre – the piano concerto. Fragments of material are subjected to a permanent metamorphosis in “Ausklang”, his work piano and orchestra. Max Reger, too, showed in particular in his organ compositions how one could redefine “old forms and genres” – such as choral preludes, fantasies and fugues – that had already been confined to the annals of history.
With this programme and the renowned soloists Genia Kühmeier (soprano), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano) and Christian Schmitt (organ), the Bamberger Symphoniker under Jonathan Nott are once again guests at Musikfest Berlin.