With the poignant violin concerto titled Dem Andenken eines Engels [to the memory of an angel], Alban Berg overcame his rigid dodecaphonic style. It took him only four months to compose this work and reveal a man who was deeply affected by the death of a young girl and trying to give expression to his emotions.
Veronika Eberle was even younger than Manon when she made her debut in an overflowing Festpielhaus in Salzburg: only just 16, she performed the Beethoven violin concerto accompanied by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmonic... Talk about a magnificent start! Fifteen years later, her star is shining on the international firmament, and belongs to the world’s top talent.
The young girl in Dem Andenken eines Engels was Manon Gropius, the daughter of Alma Mahler and Berg’s good friend Walter Gropius. She was barely 18 when she died of polio. Berg sketched a gripping musical portrait of her: first as a young girl, full of love of life and spirit, and then in her sick bed, suffering and on her way to death and eternal rest.
The virtuoso violin part, which is constantly in dialogue with the orchestra, gives Manon an everlasting voice: it is her voice that we hear through the violin. At the end of the work, we hear a Bach chorale, a verse of which Berg cited in his score: “Es ist genug! Herr, wenn es Dir gefällt, so spanne mich doch aus!” (“It is enough, Lord, if it please you, grant me release”). Manon must find a final resting place.
Die Zauberharfe. Ouvertüre C-Dur D 644 “Rosamunde”
Konzert für Violine und Orchester “Dem Andenken eines Engels”
soloist: Veronika Eberle, violin
ℹ️ CONCERT WITHOUT INTERMISSION (75')
Wolfgang is a smartphone app for live classical music. While the orchestra is playing, Wolfgang tells you what is happening ‐ at the very moment ‐ in the music.download the wolfgang app
A portrait of Alban Berg, made by the BBC featuring Helene Berg, Pierre Boulez, Willi Reich, Alfred Kalmu and Jascha Horenstein, amongst others.watch the documentary
The story of the nearly disastrous premiere of Berg's concerto - and a live recording of Louis Krasner who commissioned the piece.read and listen
veronika plays berg
Enjoy Veronika's performance of Berg's concerto with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.watch the concert