CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Saturday, February 25, 2012 | 8 PM

Berliner Philharmoniker

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
In 1894, Mahler took the stage with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first performance of his new “Resurrection” Symphony. Today, under Sir Simon Rattle, this illustrious orchestra’s Mahler is “incisive and impassioned” (The New York Times). On this concert, they are joined by the Westminster Symphonic Choir and soloists to perform the grand, dramatic symphony premiered over a century ago.

Performers

  • Berliner Philharmoniker
    Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director and Conductor
  • Camilla Tilling, Soprano
  • Bernarda Fink, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Westminster Symphonic Choir
    Joe Miller, Conductor

Program

  • WOLF "Frühlingschor" from Manuel Venegas
  • WOLF "Elfenlied"
  • WOLF "Der Feuerreiter"
  • MAHLER Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"

Bios

  • Berliner Philharmoniker


    The Berliner Philharmoniker, founded in 1882 as a self-governing body, has long been considered one of the world's finest orchestras. Hans von Bülow, Arthur Nikisch, and Wilhelm Furtwängler were the principal conductors who each left their distinctive mark in the early decades. In 1955, Herbert von Karajan became artistic director and, in the ensuing years, worked with the orchestra to develop a unique tonal quality and performing style that made the Berliner Philharmoniker famous all over the world. Claudio Abbado, chief conductor from 1990 to 2002, devised a new type of program characterized primarily by contemporary works, an increased number of chamber recitals, and concert performances of operas. Sir Simon Rattle took the helm in September 2002.

    The orchestra's change of status to a charitable foundation (the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker) has created new opportunities and ensured its economic future. Central to this support is the orchestra's Education Program, which was set up at the time of Mr. Rattle's appointment and which is intended to ensure that the orchestra reaches a broader-and above all, younger-audience. In November 2007, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Mr. Rattle were appointed international Goodwill Ambassadors for UNICEF. Thanks to the support of its long-time partner Deutsche Bank, the Berliner Philharmoniker was enabled to start an innovative project in January 2009: the Digital Concert Hall, which broadcasts the orchestra's concerts worldwide live via the internet.


    Sir Simon Rattle


    Born in Liverpool in 1955, Sir Simon Rattle has been chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonie since September 2002. He was 25 when, following his studies at London's Royal Academy of Music, he began his close association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), initially as principal conductor and artistic adviser, then-up until the 1998 season-as its musical director. His tireless work and visionary artistic projects helped to turn the CBSO into one of the world's top-ranking orchestras.

    In the concert hall and opera house, Mr. Rattle's extensive repertoire covers compositions that range from the Baroque era to contemporary music. Rattle is also principal guest conductor of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and works with leading orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic. Even before taking up his post as principal conductor, Mr. Rattle had already collaborated regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker for 15 years. Of the many recordings he has made with the orchestra, several have received prestigious awards. All of these releases were recorded live at the Philharmonie.

    One of Mr. Rattle's special passions is to bring the work and music of the Berliner Philharmoniker to young people of the most diverse social and cultural backgrounds. To that end, he has established the Education Program, which enables the orchestra to pursue new approaches to promulgating its music. Knighted by the Queen of England in 1994, Mr. Rattle was awarded many prizes for his commitment to outreach work: 2009 brought him the Spanish Premio Don Juan de Borbón de la Música, the Gloria Artis gold medal from the Polish Ministry of Culture Warsaw, and the German Federal Cross of Merit. In June 2010, Mr. Rattle was awarded a knighthood in the French Legion of Honor.

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  • Camilla Tilling


    Camilla Tilling hails from Linköping, in Sweden. She studied at the University of Gothenburg and at London's Royal College of Music. She has appeared in many leading opera houses in Europe and the US as well as at the Glyndebourne, Drottningholm, and Aix-en-Provence festivals. Among the conductors with whom she has worked are Marc Minkowski, Antonio Pappano, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Emmanuelle Haïm, and Semyon Bychkov. Her operatic repertory extends from Handel and Mozart to Rossini, Verdi, and Strauss, and also includes roles by Debussy and Britten. Among the international concert halls and recital rooms where she has appeared are Royal Albert Hall for The BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall in London, and Carnegie Hall. Ms. Tilling made her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in mid-December 2007, when she took part in performances of Handel's Messiah under the direction of William Christie. Her most recent encounter with the orchestra was in April 2010, when she sang in concerts of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

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  • Bernarda Fink


    Bernarda Fink was born to a Slovenian family in Buenos Aires, where she received her musical education at the Instituto Superior de Arte, which is part of the renowned Teatro Colón. In 1985, she moved to Europe. With a repertory that extends from early Baroque to the 20th century, she performs regularly in opera, concert, and recital at the world's major venues, as well as at prominent festivals in Europe, Japan, Australia, and the US. Leading symphony orchestras and many early-music ensembles have invited her to participate in their concerts. She has performed with leading conductors, including Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Muti, Sir Simon Rattle, and Franz Welser-Möst. She first appeared with the Berliner Philharmoniker in January 1995 under the direction of René Jacobs in a concert performance of Monteverdi's Orfeo. Since then, Ms. Fink has been making regular guest appearances in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Most recently, she sang in February 2009 under Sir Simon Rattle's baton in Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri. In February 2006, the Austrian chancellor honored her with the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art.

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  • Westminster Symphonic Choir


    The Westminster Symphonic Choir has recorded and performed with major orchestras under virtually every internationally acclaimed conductor of the past 77 years. Recognized as one of the world's leading choral ensembles, the choir has sung more than 350 performances with the New York Philharmonic alone.

    The ensemble's 2011-2012 season began with a performance with the New York Philharmonic and Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, which was recorded for broadcast on PBS's Great Performances. The choir also performed Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem with The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in November and Handel's Messiah with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Peter Schreier in December. The men of the choir will perform Varèse's Nocturnal and Busoni's Piano Concerto, Op. 39, with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jacques Lacombe, and the women will perform a new work by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo with the Westminster Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Amanda Quist.

    Recent seasons have included performances with the Dresden Staatskapelle conducted by Daniel Harding, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by David Robertson, the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Pierre Boulez, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons.

    Westminster Choir College is a division of Rider University's Westminster College of the Arts, which has campuses in Princeton and Lawrenceville, New Jersey. A professional college of music with a unique choral emphasis, Westminster prepares students at the undergraduate and graduate levels for careers in teaching, sacred music, and performance.


    Joe Miller


    Joe Miller is conductor of two of America's most renowned choral ensembles-the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. As director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, he also oversees an extensive choral program that includes eight ensembles.

    His recordings with the Westminster Choir have garnered critical praise. His recordings include Flower of Beauty and Noël, a collection of French Christmas music recorded at New York's Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine with renowned mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore. His 2011-2012 season with the Westminster Choir includes a concert tour of the South, several national radio broadcasts, and an annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA.

    Mr. Miller is also founder and conductor of the Westminster Chamber Choir, a program that offers professional-level choral and vocal artists the opportunity to explore challenging works for two weeks each summer on the Westminster campus in Princeton. He leads the annual Westminster Choral Festival, which welcomes singers and conductors to study and perform a major choral work with orchestra.

    In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, this season he will participate in residencies at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and Temple University.  He will also conduct the Texas All-State Choir, the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Southern Division High School Honor Choir, and the Oklahoma All-State Collegiate Choir. He will also serve as headliner for the Georgia ACDA Conference.

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Audio

Mahler Symphony No.2 In C Minor "Resurrection" (II. Andante Moderato)
Berliner Philharmoniker; Bernard Haitink, Conductor
Decca

At a Glance

“Never again will I attain such depths and heights ... One can create only once or twice in a lifetime works on such a grand subject.” Thus commented Gustav Mahler to a friend about his Second Symphony some six years after its 1895 premiere in Berlin. The most dramatic, indeed cinematic, of his symphonies, it remained his favorite throughout his career.

Nicknamed—though not by Mahler—”Resurrection” because its finale incorporates words from the “Resurrection Ode” by the 18th-century German poet Friedrich Klopstock, this work was the first in which Mahler tried to answer through symphonic means the big questions that tormented him throughout his life. Conductor Bruno Walter, a close friend of the composer, remembered Mahler’s musing over them in his presence: “From where do we come? To where does our road take us? ... What is the object of toil and sorrow? ... Will the meaning of life be finally revealed by death?” In each of his symphonies from the Second on, Mahler wrestled with these cosmic questions, arriving at different answers. In the Second, he provisionally embraced the Christian promise of resurrection.

We also hear the magnificent songwriter Hugo Wolf in an unusual guise: music scored for the larger forces of chorus and orchestra rather than for single voice and piano. Born in the same year as Mahler, Wolf was his friend and classmate at the Vienna Conservatory. The two composers continued to have cordial relations, but in 1897 as his mental status deteriorated, Wolf—obsessed with becoming an opera composer—began fantasizing that he had been appointed music director of the Vienna Court Opera instead of Mahler, the actual holder of that position. The three choral-orchestral works on this program exemplify his desire to break into the larger orchestral forms Mahler had mastered.
Program Notes

Texts and Translations

Hugo Wolf songs
Mahler Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, "Resurrection" 


Watch

 

Jeremy Geffen introduces Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"

The Carnegie Hall presentations of the Berliner Philharmoniker are made possible by a leadership gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.
Duff and Phelps 115 x 31
The Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is sponsored by Duff & Phelps.

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