In the end, it is a triumph for Kirill Petrenko, who has officially taken up his position as chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. The audience applauds standing, the maestro comes alone again on the stage of the Philharmonic, after his acclaimed orchestra is already ceded. But simply the 47-year-old Russian did not make it on his debut. The expectations of the Rattle successor had risen with each of his Berlin concert on, they reached recently regions that can make dizzy. Even the musicians were, according to information from the orchestra leader Andreas Bader before the beginning of the Petrenko era "calmly euphoric".
For the new boss is only one work for its launch in question: Beethoven's ninth. "It contains everything that distinguishes us human beings, both positive and negative," Petrenko explains, thus outlining the essence of his music making: the search for deep insights, for a wide sense of feeling in music. His relentless accuracy challenges both orchestra and listener.
Before Beethoven, who often plays host to the state, he confronts his audience with Alban Berg's 1934 premiered "Lulu-Suite", the symphonic extract of the unfinished opera. A music that can dazzle, like the swarmed and at the same time dreaded title character, or can turn its strict sound architecture outwards.
There is risk in this music making, also unreasonable
Here Petrenko achieves a wealth of expression that makes these opposites forget. Its clarity opens auditory canals, leads down into the depths, without even appreciating the half-silk aspects of the drama of a single glance. In doing so, he moves more freely than before on the podium, which will now be his artistic home. He prances and even takes small conducting breaks. The fact that he is not so shy at all, as often derived from his demonstrative flood of floodlights, has long been known by the musicians. Whether the new boss, who never stops to edit interpretations, but also really can let go the reins, still has to prove himself in the future.
Beethoven's ninth meets sensitized, even hungry listeners after the "Lulu Suite". Petrenko opens with great dynamic leaps on a human drama that moves – a lot of light, even more dark, in between the music like a pendulum, hypnotic circling. One thing this Beethoven is certainly not: all too easily comprehensible and broken down on a message that would be twitterfähig. But there is a risk in this music making, also unreasonable. That's why the Berliner Philharmoniker have opted for Kirill Petrenko and against all too easy triumphs. It's exciting times are breaking.