Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra concert - Beethoven Symphony No 9 'Choral'

8 April 2020

Like many other people we have been exploring online streaming culture during this period of lockdown. On Saturday we made a first ‘visit’ to the The Berliner Philharmoniker's Digital Concert Hall – which is now free for everyone. There is a massive archive of classical concerts, mostly performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and recorded in the Berlin Philharmonie. On Saturday we watched a 2015 performance of the Beethoven Choral Symphony, conducted by Simon Rattle. It was wonderful – a typically dramatic Berlin Philharmonic performance with soloists Annette Dasch, Eva Vogel, Christian Elsner and Dimitry Ivashchenko and the Rundfunkchor Berlin, directed by Simon Halsey. The sound quality was great and the multi-camera filming was very slick. After my emotional experience of playing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in Milton Keynes on 14 March (reviewed here in March 2020), in the knowledge that it might be one of the last live concerts any of us experiences for quite a while, Beethoven symphonies are beginning to feel to me like an inspirational soundtrack to carry us through this difficult period. Best of all was the Digital Concert Hall interview with Sir Simon Rattle that accompanies the concert. In this 54 minute interview Rattle speaks about all nine Beethoven symphonies and gives a fascinating insight into the composer’s life. The interview is well worth watching on its own but is a lovely accompaniment to the concert. Stream for free at:

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