Emanuel Ax (piano) • conductor: Iván Fischer
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8
One of the most significant cultural establishments in the capital of Germany’s federated state of Baden-Württemberg is the Liederhalle (Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle), which houses both a concert hall and a conference centre. It was considered to be one of the most ambitious post-war cultural building projects in Germany: a structure which is set apart by its architectural innovations and brings together architecture and the fine arts. After its completion in 1956, it has regularly hosted some of the world’s leading orchestras, as well as prominent jazz, rock and popular music performers.
The concert will begin with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3, the manuscript of which was discovered by Mendelssohn. Pianist Emmanuel Ax will be playing a true classic: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor – a popular work despite its serious and profound mood. In the closing work, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, the composer struggles with impending doom, but ultimately prescribes happiness as a panacea for all.
Locals and German pilgrims from further afield recall with misty eyes Jimi Hendrix’s performance at the Liederhalle on 19 January 1969. Expanded to include a conference centre in the 1990s, the building was listed as a protected historical in 1987, as a prominent example of 20th century architecture.
There are five rooms available for cultural events (the Beethoven, Mozart, Silcher, Hegel and Schiller Halls), as well as 18 conference rooms. The original Liederhalle was built in 1863–1864, at the initiative of the Stuttgarter Liederkranz (which can be translated as the Stuttgart Wreath of Songs) Association, founded in 1824. It was later expanded to include a concert hall with legendary acoustic properties.
At the peak of its of heyday, it had 14 halls to serve Stuttgart’s arts and culture fans. The big hall could seat 2,500. It was modernised at the turn of the century and rebuilt in the Secessionist style. Due to the bombardments of Stuttgart in 1943–1944, the facilities were almost completely destroyed, with only two of its halls remaining in a relatively functional condition. In 1955–1956, the Neue Liederhalle was built on the site of its predecessor, based on the blueprints of Adolf Abel and Rolf Gutbrod, to ensure that it again became Stuttgart’s most important venue for the city’s cultural and societal events.