1 CD - LC 13781 - (p) 2006

DIE EDITION - Berliner Philharmoniker - Im that der Zeit

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Suite (Ouverture) Nr. 1 in C major, BWV 1066

25' 13"
- Ouvertüre: Grave - Vivace - Grave 6' 22"
- Courante 2' 47"
- Gavotte I und II 3' 37"
- Forlane 1' 13"
- Menuett I und II 4' 11"
- Bourrée I und II 2' 39"
- Passepied I und II 4' 24"

0' 24" 8
Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Strings in D minor (Reconstruction after Concerto BWV 1060)
13' 44"
- Allegro
4' 58"
- Adagio
5' 14"
- Allegro 3' 32"
0' 25" 12
Suite (Ouverture) Nr. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
23' 45"
- Ouvertüre (ohne Bezeichnung) - Vite 11' 03"
- Air 5' 01"
- Gavotte I und II 4' 02"
- Bourrée
1' 10"
- Gigue 2' 29"
0' 21" 18

Albrecht Mayer, Oboe
Thomas Zehetmair, Violin

Berliner Philharmoniker
Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Luogo e data di registrazione
Philharmonie, Berlin - 5 ottobre 2002
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Wilhelm Schlemm / Ekkehard Stoffregen (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg)
Prima Edizione CD
RBB Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg - LC 13781 - (1 cd) - 64' 02" - (p) 2006 - DDD
Prima Edizione LP

Historian and Revolutionary - Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Herbert von Karajan would never have dreamt of it - he knew, by the way, exactly how to prevent such a thing from happening, both in Salzburg and Berlin: an insubordinate cellist from the Wiener Symphoniker proclaiming a revolution in sound on gut strings, who yet, in all seriousness, is valued and esteemed today by both the Berliner and Wiener Philharmoniker as one of the most important authorities on conducting. A "berserker" who gives his all and lets his hair down on the podium, yet is also a cool-headed scholar, curious, diligent and precise; one who symply has to know, who has to go back to the sources. With a name that sounds as though it might have come from a poetry album by the eccentric Austrian writer Herzmanovsky-Orlando: Johann Nicolaus de la Fontaine und d'Harnoncourt-Unverzagt. An Austrian born in Berlin on 6 December 1929, who has lived in Graz, Vienna and Zurich, the product of a wondrous mélange of Lorraine and Luxembourg "ancienne noblesse" and the house of Habsburg. It has often been asserted that the 20th century was the era of the all-powerful conductor, lord of melody and big money, culminating in personalities as contrasted as the brooding Furtwängler, the choleric Toscanini, the aesthete Karajan and the entertainer Bernstein. Yet these were all re-creative artists, who served the music and strove to infuse their performances with life. Even Nikolaus Harnoncourt would not say anything different about himself. But this would be a gross understatement. A cellist who for years stoically earned his daily bread in the Wiener Symphoniker and only came late to conducting, he really did get something moving, indeed helping to instigate a revolution from which the chronically ailing industry as a whole has profited: the re-evaluation of pre-Classical music. A public that had grown tired of the Romantics and was unsettled by inaccessible contemporary works now recognized this repertoire as a treasure offering the same sort of delighl in novelty that previous generations had found in the latest developments of their own time.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt cannot help this situation, but he has profited from it. It has made him into a reigning luminary and one of the conductors who produce the most, and most important, recordings. In the process, he has always managed to ensure that the composer clearly takes precedence over the cult of alleged podium lion-tamers. Harnoncourt, the anti-star, ranks among the most influential conductors of the second half of the 20th century.
Recalling the modest, spare-time beginnings of Concentus Musicus and its principals playing on rustled-up old instruments in Vienna at the end of the 1950s, this may seem almost unimaginable. What started out as a labour of protest in a small niche has grown into an all-engulfing wave. But now that the trend for gut strings, archival truffle hunts, vibrato-less string playing and exaggerated dynamic swells has reached its apogee, the movement's figurehead has already long since moved on: to Offenbach and Strauß, Schubert and Schumann, Verdi and Bruckner, even Wagner.
Since the advent of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, we hear Mozart and Haydn differently; we get excited about Monteverdi, understand Handel, and have learned to love Bach deeply. No less gladly, we have been following the conductor for years now into the dens of the supposedly conservative orchestral lions in Berlin, Vienna and Amsterdam.
It was Claudio Abbado who smoothed Harnoncourt’s way to the Berliner Philharrnoniker. In autumn 1991 he arrived with a symphonic Mozart programme - that was also an Amadeus anniversary year. While Abbado’s domain tended more to opera and masses, Harnoncourt revealed to the orchestra wholly unsuspected worlds of sound. They rehearsed a great deal, both parties eagerly, and this initial encounter developed into a long and fruitful working relationship, culminating every year when Harnoncourt returns to the Berliners, usually for several appearances. And not necessarily with Classical works: his Bach concertos (like the one recorded here) are always an enlightened, adventurous pleasure that leaves curiosity satished. Harnoncourt attends to his love of the Romantics with performances of Mendelssohn and Schumann, conducts a Brahms cycle, and takes special care over Schulnert: during the course of several seasons presenting a complete symphony cycle, selected masses, even a concert performance of the opera Alfonso und Estrella.
A number of CDs bear witness to these Berlin digressions - thpugh for the intellectual universalist Harnoncourt they have long since ceased to warrant that label. One of the first, a sampling of Strauß waltzes and polkas with the Berliners, also served as a delicious foretaste of his ascent of the Classical (media) Mount Olympus, the rostrum of the Wiener Philharrnoniker for its New Year's Concert. And in March 2000, the Berliner Philharmoniker had already honoured him with its highest distinction, the Hans von Bülow Medal.

Manuel Brug
Translation: Richard Evidon

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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