Horns, Glo­ri­ous Horns

From brass in­stru­ments to or­ches­tral ar­range­ments, this year’s Musikfest is a cel­e­bra­tion of the Ro­man­tic era seen through the eyes of Robert Schu­mann. Lau­ren Oyler is ready for the con­cert to be­gin.

Where Berlin - - ENTERTAINMENT -

“It is a cel­e­bra­tion of Ber­lin’s com­mit­ment to arts and cul­ture.”

De­spite be­ing a mas­ter of the Ro­man­tic pi­ano, com­poser and critic Robert Schu­mann once said that no in­stru­ment can rep­re­sent the soul of the or­ches­tra as per­fectly as the horn. At the time of his writ­ing, the in­stru­ment was un­der­go­ing a tech­ni­cal evo­lu­tion: the nat­u­ral horn had just been fit­ted with valves, gain­ing three and a half oc­taves of con­tin­u­ous play­ing, a devel­op­ment that trig­gered dis­putes between the pro-valve com­posers, such as Schu­mann him­self, and the no-valve nos­tal­gics, like Brahms. With the aim of both re­open­ing the de­bate and ex­press­ing Schu­mann’s po­etic de­sires, this year’s edi­tion of Musikfest Ber­lin has filled its pro­gram­ming with the brass in­stru­ment in all its forms and vari­a­tions.

Part of the an­nual Ber­liner Festspiele fes­ti­val, Musikfest Ber­lin brings the best in­ter­na­tional or­ches­tras and performers to the Phil­har­monie and the Kam­mer­musik­saal for three weeks of clas­si­cal per­fec­tion. Cre­ated in West Ber­lin in 1951, the Ber­liner Festspiele has always been an im­por­tant cel­e­bra­tion of the arts, but took on new sig­nif­i­cance af­ter the Wall came down in 1989, when its pres­ence be­came a sym­bol of the city’s re­uni­fied com­mit­ment to arts and cul­ture.

This year, the pow­er­ful sound of 25 or­ches­tras, en­sem­bles, and soloists will be ring­ing out through­out the fes­ti­val with mu­sic by Schu­mann and other Ro­man­tic- era com­posers, such as Ber­lin-born Felix Men­delssohn-Bartholdy, Jo­hannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, and Gus­tav Mahler, with­out for­get­ting to in­clude one of the com­posers who most

in­spired Schu­mann: Jo­hann Se­bas­tian Bach. For a po­etic Schu­mann- Bach com­bi­na­tion, head to the Kam­mer­musik­saal on 21 Septem­ber to lis­ten to the 12 cel­lists of the Ber­liner Phil­har­moniker in­ter­pret the cello ar­range­ments of Bach’s 6th Bran­den­burg Con­certo, fol­lowed by Schu­mann’s in­tro­spec­tive Wald­szenen. And to ex­pe­ri­ence the horn in all its no-valve glory, buy a ticket to the 15 Septem­ber con­cert, fea­tur­ing four alphorns (the ones used by moun­tain dwellers in Switzer­land). The even­ing will star the SWR Sin­fonieorchetser Baden- Baden und Freiburg in­ter­pret­ing Ge­org Friedrich Haas’s con­tem­po­rary Con­certo Grosso n. 1 to­gether with Haas’s mod­ern ar­range­ment for alphorns from Bruck­ner’s 8th Sym­phony.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Germany

© PressReader. All rights reserved.