Group Visit to Berlin 2014

By our Special Correspondent Dermot Kehoe

The 14th Music Group visit to the European mainland took place from June 5th to 11th. There were 7 participants. It was our third time in Berlin.

All 7 met for the Gala dinner on Saturday evening at the Greek Trilogie on Motz Strasse. Afterwards we moved on, but the full history of the night remains to be told.

However 5 survivors moved South the following day and took the Wannsee ferry to Kladow where many hours were spent in a shady Biergarten. Hits of the day were the Currywurst and the invasion of a fleet of old American amphibious  cars!

Mostly we split up for the musical events and with the huge variety available everyone was able to satisfy their own particular tastes. There were no duds reported and there was general agreement that standards were exceptionally high.

The operas seen were Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Komische Oper and Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd at the Deutsche Oper.

Concerts were:

At the Philharmonie:

  • Berlin Philharmonic, Semyon Bychkov
    Richard Strauss Don Quixote, Schubert ‘Great’ C major Symphony
  • Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, Herbert Blomstedt, Richard Goode
    Mozart Piano Concerto no. 25 in C major K503, Bruckner Symphony no. 6

At the Konzerthaus:

  • Konzerthaus Orchestra, Michael Sanderling, Kim Da Sol (piano), Michael Erxleben, Sayako Kusaka (violins)
    Schnittke Concerto Grosso No. 1, Mozart Piano Concerto no. 9 in E flat major K271 (‘Jeunehomme’), Beethoven Symphony No. 1
  • Staatskapelle Berlin, Lahav Shani, Bernarda Fink
    Mahler: Rückert Lieder,  Symphony No. 1
  • Christoph Schoener (Organ recital)
    J. S. Bach Fantasia on Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott BWV 651, Nicolas de Grigny Hymnus Veni creator, J. S. Bach Chromatische Fantasie and Fugue in D minor BWV 903 (arranged for organ by Max Reger), Louis Vierne Symphony no. 3 in F sharp minor op. 28