Brahms / Schumann / Berlin-based orchestras
In honour of Peter Eötvös
When conductor Otto Klemperer suggested to Arnold Schönberg in 1937 he compose an orchestral version of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto in G Minor Op. 25, he didn’t need to make the suggestion twice. As Schönberg later stated in telegram style: “1. I like the work. 2. It is only rarely played. 3. It is always badly played, because the better the pianist is the louder he plays, which means the strings can’t be heard.” Following the successful first performance of his orchestration of Brahms’ Piano Quartet Op. 25, Schönberg joked that he had made his contribution serving as a birth assistant for the “Fifth Symphony” by the composer he admired. He countered critical remarks from purists by stating: “My intentions: to strictly adhere to Brahms’ style and not to go further than he himself would have gone were he still alive.” Schönberg’s Brahms’ adaptation comes at the end of this concert with which Musikfest Berlin and the Berliner Philharmoniker congratulate composer and conductor Peter Eötvös on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The international music world is indebted to the Hungarian composer, conductor and tirelessly helpful mentor of young composers and interpreters for excellent works, concerts and initiatives. The programme kicks off with Wolfgang Rihm’s “In-Schrift II”, which he composed for the 50-year celebration of the Berliner Philharmonie and which reflects on the exceptional acoustics of Hans Scharoun’s concert hall from a compositional point of view. At the centre of the concert is Eötvös’ violin concert, “DoReMi”, conducted by the guest of honour himself. The composer personally selected Patricia Kopatchinskaja to interpret the solo part.