26 September 2012

Best available Berlin Phil

Tickets for the Berlin Philharmonic here in Berlin are not nearly as difficult as I’d expected. If we were here another week we could be hearing them in their home concert hall playing Beethoven (for this read popular) and Wagner under Haitink. Sadly they are on tour this week. A free lunchtime concert was the fall back.

Nikolaus Römisch played cello and Kyoko Hosono played piano in Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata for cello and piano in G minor. This is a popular event! They counted entries by giving you a token on entry that you promptly dropped in a box. I’m told there were 1,500. I could believe it. They were sitting on steps, on the floor, arrayed over balconies, standing, even walking around discretely. Some were eve seated. It’s not the best environment for a classical work, but it was fairly well respected and we enjoyed it. Certainly the price was right. This is a work in 4 movements in G minor, variously modulating from 3 to 4 flats and ending with the last movement in one sharp, G major. The time signature also moved around over the movements. I got a triplet feel of 12/8 as the most prominent, but there were passages in 3/4, 4/4 ad 3/2 . Apparently Rachmaninov disliked it being called a cello sonata due to the equality of the two parts, and both Megan and I noticed the way melodies would pass between the instruments. I was noticing the rich capabilities of piano as it rippled and variously supported a cello line, but then cello also provided arpeggiated backings at other times.

Nice to have heard at least one concert at the Berlin Phil and a noble presentation it was. Just not so involving as a seat in a quiet hall with 120 musos blasting away. And also nice to feel the village atmosphere that Berlin is renowned for. I hadn’t believed this description, given its population of ~3.5 million, but then I ran into Reuben Lewis and Ronny Farella in the audience. It’s a small world after all. Nikolaus Römisch (cello), Kyoko Hosono (piano) performed Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata for cello and piano in G minor as a lunchtime concert in the foyer of the Berlin Philharmonie.

No comments: