Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra live concert from its Digital Concert Hall.

by admin on August 28, 2009 · 4 comments

in Studio/Tech/Recording News

by Anthony Kershaw

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle Conductor

Benjamin Britten
Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Kaija Saariaho
Laterna Magica
Première of a work commissioned by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker together with the Lucerne Festival

Hector Berlioz
Symphonie fantastique

Deutsche Bank, sponsor of the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall, was kind in offering a free e ticket for the first concert of the season. The gist — live concerts from the regular subscription series from the orchestra’s home, the Philharmonie.

We just began with a very interesting interview with music director, Sir Simon Rattle, with lots of talk about the future of the scheme, the city, the orchestra, etc. Great interview, but I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and help him sort out the horrible placement of the speakers in his office!

Now, the concert. The oboe is giving the A. Back at the interval.

For some reason, the concert has begun with the Berlioz. I’ll report back if the inconstancies are there or in my time management! Also, there were some dropouts on my high bandwidth choice. Not sure if the problem is the BPO/DB servers are overloaded with all the free tickets (over 4000, I believe) or my end.

That said, the Berlioz is going magnificently. I’ve not heard the important oboe part better played in my 45 year acquaintance with this piece (my first live concert, and in long pants!). The six harps, too, certainly make a visual statement. Rattle is using the optional cornet parts to great effect.

The Berlioz is finished. What a fantastic performance. It had everything. Brilliant playing, expressive and flawless solos, but Rattle made the work seem different somehow, more complete. So many times, it becomes an orchestral showpiece. Rattle showed us just how heartbroken Berlioz must have been by Harriet Smithson, the English actress and the subject of the ‘beloved’ and ‘idee fixe’ so prevalent in the work. It was both fearsome and harrowing, triumphant and brilliant. I hope there is a CD/iTunes release. It’ll be downloaded immediately.

The bad news is that it seems that I did mess up with the timing so can only discuss the Berlioz (see Comments). My apologies. The good news is that I sat and cheered at the end of the Berlioz, so engrossing was the experience.

I’ll write in more detail as the season progresses.

Photo credit

{ 1 trackback }

Brahms Symphonies — Rattle/Berlin Philharmonic/EMI — Audiophilia
10.10.09 at 12:49 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

admin 08.28.09 at 3:05 pm

Time problem.

CEST – Central European Summer Time

Time zone offset: UTC + 2 hours
CEST is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

I thought it was +1.

Apologies again. I won’t make that mistake again.

Kenneth Eastman 08.28.09 at 6:44 pm

Although I registered for the free concert, I was not e mailed log on instructions as promised. I believe digital concerts are forward looking and offer a new source of income for the preforming arts. I would have liked to experience this digital concert.

admin 08.30.09 at 12:37 pm

What a shame, Kenneth. If you’re on Twitter tweet @BerlinPhil
They should offer you a voucher.

If not, I can send a message their way. Let me know.

Cheers, a

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