Memorial Concert Review.


Berlin Philharmonic concert:

  • Saturday, January 25th, 2014.

The Berlin Philharmonic dedicated this concert to their former chief conductor, the late Claudio Abbado, who died at the age of 80 on January 20th.

I often listened to amazing performances of music as directed by Mr. Abbado. At first I heard him with this orchestra; and later there have been wonderful performances by other orchestras that Mr. Abbado formed, such as the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

This memorial concert was conducted by Zubin Mehta, who was Mr. Abbado’s friend for 50 years. On the program was the following music:

  • Anton Webern: Six Pieces for Orchestra Op. 6b.
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto #5, in E-Flat Major, with Rudolf Buchbinder as piano soloist.

The program began with a moment of silence; the audience was asked not to applause after the end of the “Adagietto”.

The Six Pieces by Webern are somewhat minimalist in my view. Individual instruments are featured, such as the Harp, trumpet, oboe, or flute; on occasion this music features the entire percussion section or the Brass.

The Beethoven piano concerto was beautifully played by both the soloist and the orchestra; I noticed that in all the selections Mr. Mehta did not use any score. (Yea… experience shows–). The second movement was really outstanding, and Mr. Buchbinder looked as though he was thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to play with such an outstanding group of musicians. There was repeated, thunderous applause at the end of the concerto.

The concert ended with Richard Strauss’ “Ein Heldenleben” (A Hero’s life).

Here is the Adagietto from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony Nº 5. IV, conducted by the late Claudio Abbado, leading the Lucerne Festival Orchestra:


And next, here is the Anton Webern Six Pieces for large Orchestra op 6 (1909,) conducted by Zubin Mehta:

Finally, here is Rudolf Buchbinder playing Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 4:



Tags: Berlin Philharmonic concert, review, January 25, Abbado memorial concert, Mehta, Buchbiner Beethoven concert #5.