Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Photoptosis
Witold Lutosławski, Symphony No. 1
Johannes Brahms, Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73
Considered one of the world’s most virtuosic orchestras, Berliner Philharmoniker’s home is the unconventional, innovative and amazingly acoustic Berlin Philharmonie. Pioneering, in 2008, its own virtual on-demand concert venue, Digital Concert Hall, the orchestra added two International Classical Music Awards to its formidable array of accolades in 2021: label of the year and best symphonic music recording of the year.
Tracing its signature deep and rich sound back to Wilhelm Furtwängler, the Berlin Philharmonic's fame and sound evolved with each of its charismatic principal conductors, ranging from Karajan, and Abbado to Rattle. Kirill Petrenko, the first two-time winner of “Conductor of the Year” at International Opera Awards (2014 and 2021), took the helm in 2019.
The evening’s programme faithfully reflects the maestro’s ambition to expand the orchestra’s repertoire by giving prominence to rarely performed or overlooked symphonic works: juxtaposing Brahms’ joyous pastorale, and Zimmermann’s sonic study anticipating the core concepts of post-modernism, with Lutoslawski’s avant-gardism.
The orchestra was rhythmically alert and appropriately lean under the direction of Petrenko, who understood how to pace the work to achieve the maximum emotional reaction. Everything about their performance was authentic and fresh, as if the work were freshly minted. Chris Garlick, 2021
Orchestra in which every player has the virtuosity and, more tellingly and as required, the attitude of a soloist. The Guardian