The Berliner Philharmoniker's 1999 Europakonzert — Krakow

With Bernard Haitink, Christine Schäfer and Emanuel Ax

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Christine Schäfer — Soprano

Emanuel Ax — Pianist

Berliner Philharmoniker

Bernard Haitink — Conductor

Program notes

Mozart, Chopin, Schumann: in Krakow, Bernard Haitink sets the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on fire.

The Europakonzert has been a tradition for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra since 1991: the musicians commemorate the anniversary of the creation of the orchestra on May 1st, 1882 with a concert in a different European city each time. The greatest conductors have succeeded one another in honouring this prestigious formation: Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Mariss Janssons, Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle and Pierre Boulez (the concerts of the last three are available at

In 1999 it was the turn of the Dutch maestro Bernard Haitink to direct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra of which he is also an honorary member. We see them in the splendid baroque church of Notre-Dame in Cracow, Poland. Poland was an obvious choice on the occasion of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the death of Frédéric Chopin.

After Christine Schäfer whose crystalline voice beautifully interpreted Mozart, the American pianist Emanuel Ax paid tribute to the Polish composer by performing an inspired Second Concerto. Then, in a particularly impassioned performance, Bernard Haitink led the musicians into an electric Spring Symphony.

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