Saturday, June 22, 2024

Waldbühne, Olympiapark, Glockenturmstraße 1, Berlin

When the Berliner Philharmoniker appears at the Waldbühne you know its current season is over, if not before delivering a pulsating Night on Bare Mountain, hedonistic revelling only ended by the arrival of dawn, regretfully it seemed on this occasion. Yuja Wang gave a scintillating account of Prokofiev’s concentrated if incident-packed First Piano Concerto, technically effortless for her, if prone to gloss over characterisations, although there was much to relish with BP/KP’s accompaniment. Wang offered two encores, something repetitive and uninteresting, enough to be by Philip Glass, so maybe it was, and a delicate/shapely/sensitive rendition of a Chopin Waltz* that, following the interval, married nicely to Ravel’s Pavane, particularly poignant here. Of the remaining Ravel pieces, the Daphnis Second Suite was pictorial and sensual, if occasionally precipitative, ending excitingly with a bacchanalian feast, and it was left to Boléro to raise the marquee’s lid under which sit the musicians, duly achieved at a middling pace (fourteen minutes) and crescendo-ing like clockwork. Further encores: a stomping entr’acte from Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and the regular, all join in, Berliner Luft by Paul Lincke.

  1. Modest Mussorgsky Night on Bald Mountain (arr. by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)
  2. Sergei Prokofiev Concerto No.1 for Piano and Orchestra in D-flat, Op.10
  3. Maurice Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
  4. Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No.2
  5. Boléro

*C-sharp minor, Opus 64/2

The extract played by BP/KP begins at 17:35. (Paris/Rostropovich performance is from 2006.)