François-Xavier Roth success in Berlin Philharmonic debut
François-Xavier Roth made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in a typically eclectic and adventurous programme, offering a diverse cross-section of three centuries of French music, ranging from 17th century Lully, extracts from his music to Le bourgeois gentilhomme, to 20th century Varèse, who earned a name for himself in particular by emancipating noise in music; his Ionisation (1933) for 13 percussionists (playing 41 instruments and 2 sirens!) was a highly effective opening to the concert, which by running directly into the Lully, jumped back three hundred years in time.
Anna Caterina Antonacci sang a delicate and beautifully shaded account of Berlioz' Les nuits d'été, a comparative rarity in Berlin, last performed by the orchestra 40 years ago. Debussy's recently rediscovered Première Suite (recorded by François-Xavier Roth with Les Siècles) and Ravel's swirling La Valse completed the programme.
The concert on 1 December was streamed live in the orchestra's Digital Concert hall - a recording will be available to view soon.