At this year’s Musikfest Berlin edition – 31st August to 18th September – the music by Pierre Boulez, George Benjamin, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Bernd Alois Zimmermann will be in focus. The emphasis is on pieces that contain ritual and ceremonial musical forms, actions and scenes. The formats presented stretch from electronic music, cantata, concert versions of opera scenes through to performances involving film with live music.
Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim will open the festival, performing Pierre Boulez’ “Rituel”, an imaginary musical ceremony for orchestra in eight groups, inspired by the sound of the Gamelan-orchestra. The opening concert’s character of rite and ceremony finds its correspondence in the finale of the festival. The Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra – founded by Pierre Boulez in 2003 – gathers more than 100 young musicians. At the Musikfest Berlin they will present the full-length prayer ceremony “INORI – Adorations for two dance-mimes and orchestra” by Karlheinz Stockhausen, a musical celebration of creation. A few days before the Karlheinz Stockhausen focus will start with his electronic compositions, the pioneering medium of the 1950s and 1960s and with pieces for piano, historically the classic instrument for pioneering composers from Bach to Schönberg. Besides the piano pieces 1-11 [1952-1969] interpreted by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard you can find among others the electronic music “Telemusic” , “Mantra” for two pianos and ring modulation  and the “Contacts” for electronic sounds, piano and percussion [1958-1960] with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, percussionist Dirk Rothbrust and sound designer Marco Stroppa.
The Ensemble Modern Orchestra, a formation in which Ensemble Modern likes to include their many academists and guests from time to time, will perform one of the great, exceptional works of the late 20th century, seldom performed in international concert halls: “passage/paysage” by Mathias Spahlinger. “This piece”, says Enno Poppe, who will conduct the EMO’s concert, “is one of the works of the century. And it turns out that there is hardly anyone among the younger composers who has not broken into a sweat and felt chills down their backs in the face of this work. With this piece, we had our “Sacre du printemps” – a piece that suspended all previous laws and replaced them with something we were not yet able to understand.”
In a joint initiative with Musikfest Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin will present a restored version of the silent film “J’accuse” by Abel Gance, with additionally composed music by Philippe Schoeller – one hundred years after the end of the First World War, one hundred years after the creation of Abel Gance’s great film. Have a look at the trailer of the film:
Musikfest Berlin 2018
Friday, 31st August 2018 | Doors 18:00 CET | Starts 19:00 CET
Berliner Philharmonie | Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1 | 10785 Berlin