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Live on Saturday: Simon Rattle conducts Beethoven’s »Pastoral« Symphony

A musical day in the country

Appropriately for the beginning of spring, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle present their interpretation of Beethoven’s “Pastoral” in this concert. Also with a programmatic title, Dutilleuxʼs Violin Concerto LʼArbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams), performed here with Leonidas Kavakos as the soloist.

To set the mood for the webcast, here is an excerpt from yesterday’s performance.

Beethoven described his Sixth Symphony as “more an expression of feeling than painting” even though the “Pastoral” Symphony dates from before the time of a dogged distinction between absolute and programme music. Even more astonishing than Beethoven’s labelling this a musical day in the country is its genesis: he composed the “Pastoral” contemporaneously with his Fifth Symphony and presented both for the first time on 22 December 1808 – what a programme! – along with the Fourth Piano Concerto, parts of the C major Mass, and the Choral Fantasy.

The contrast between absolute and programme music is also exhibited in this concert’s first half: the Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra by Witold Lutosławski stands alongside Henri Dutilleux’s Violin Concerto, the title of which – L’Arbre des songes – is ripe for programmatic interpretation. Marie-Pierre Langlamet (harp) and Jonathan Kelly (oboe), both members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, are the soloists in the Lutosławski Double Concerto; the solo part in L’Arbre des songes  is taken by artist in residence Leonidas Kavakos.

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle Conductor
Leonidas Kavakos Violin
Jonathan Kelly Oboe
Marie-Pierre Langlamet Harfe

Witold Lutosławski: Double Concerto for oboe, harp and string orchestra
Henri Dutilleux: L’Arbre des songes, Concerto for violin and orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major “Pastoral”

In the interval: Leonidas Kavakos in conversation with Matthew McDonald

Live webcast on Sat, 20 Apr 2013, 8 p.m. (Berlin time)
> New York: 2 p.m.   > Tokyo: Sun 21 Apr, 3 a.m.

Go to concert