»It is a strange, colossal work of a depth, power and artistic erudition that only few works have!« the press reported after the premiere of Beethoven’s Second Symphony. What we perceive today as cheerful, melodic and close to Mozart, had an effect that took some time to get accustomed to. As the conductor, Karin Canelakis invites us to listen to the details – those surprising moments, for instance, with which the composer ingeniously cuts off his audience’s listening habits. Luciano Berio approached his eleven Folk Songs like a collector who transforms his chance finds from nature into a still life. He took a folk song from Armenia, then one from Auvergne; some songs he composed anew based on traditional poems from Sicily and Sardinia, or took from a volume of folkloric songs from the USA. As varied as the sources are, they all develop a strange magic when garbed in his delicate and atmospheric instrumentation. Rinat Shaham is making her debut with the Gürzenich Orchestra with the Folk Songs.