On 27 and 28 January Dimitri Kitaenko is conducting again the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin. The concerts start with Sergei Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto from 1900, the first work he was able to write after a silence of almost three years due to the failure of his First Symphony. Only hypnosis sessions with Dr Nicolai Dahl, well known for the treatment of depressions, had Rachmaninov given back his self-confidence. Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son is the soloist in this grand piano concerto.

The second work is Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, first performed in 1878 by the orchestra of the Moscow Conservatoire under the direction of Nikolaï Rubinstein. Tchaikovsky was not present at the first performance, thus provoking incomprehension and criticism from the audience. One week after the concert at which Tchaikovsky’s patron Nadjeschda von Meck had been present, the composer wrote to her: “The last winter, when I composed the Fourth Symphony, I was strongly melancholic. The symphony is a response to what I felt at that time, but no more than kind of an echo. How could it be brought in clear and certain text sequences? I do not know it and cannot do it. I have also already forgotten a lot, and what has remained is only a general recollection of the passion and the lugubrious side of what I experienced… (…) The introduction is the seed of the whole symphony, the main idea on which everything depends… This is the fate, this fatal power hindering the longing for luck to reach its goal and jealously ensuring that welfare and peace never become complete. They float like a sword of Damocles about the head and incessantly poison the soul.” And regarding the fourth movement he said: “If you find no joy in yourself, search it with other people! Look at how bright and cheerful people are. Enjoy and share their joy!”