Kaboom – Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic at the Southbank Centre: Brahms

We’ve just returned from one of the two London concerts of Sir Simon Rattle’s final tour as the Berlin Philharmonic’s chief conductor. The evening was designed to showcase his time and achievements with his orchestra of the past 16 years (he has taken over the London Symphony Orchestra earlier this year and kept two hats on until now). Known for his love of and expertise with modern pieces, Rattle started the evening with the UK premiere of a piece by the famous, only 44 years old, Munich-born (like me!!), Berlin-based, German composer-clarinettist Jörg Widmann: ‘Tanz auf dem Vulkan‘ (Dance on the volcano), which had been commissioned by the BPO to mark Sir Simon’s departure, and only had its world premiere in Berlin three days earlier. Over the years, the conductor and the composer had collaborated on various occasions. Widmann is known for his wit in how he composes, everything is […]

Continue Reading

You may also like

Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic at the Barbican

We are just back from a concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Gustavo Dudamel at the world’s fourth best orchestra’s (London Symphony Orchestra) home, the Barbican, and it was a riveting performance. This 37 years young Venezuelan-Spanish composer and conductor seems to burst with energy. He is already conducting the 8th best orchestra in the world (LA Phil ), perhaps the coolest orchestra in the world (the Venezuelan youth orchestra), and if this weren’t enough, he’s taking on guest conductor assignments this year at the second best orchestra of the world (Berlin Philharmonic, with whom he’s touring Europe ) and the #3 (Vienna Philharmonic, with whom he’s touring America). The evening started with Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. I’m no fan of Bernstein and never understood the hype about him, to me his music often has the touch of mere musicals and not classical compositions, I’m regularly missing proper depth, […]

Continue Reading

You may also like

Haydn, an Imaginary Orchestral Journey with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO

This photo is (c) Evening Standard

We are just back from our evening at the Barbican, where Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra performed pieces of Wagner, Bartok, and Haydn under the headline of “Haydn, an Imaginary Orchestral Journey”. Sir Simon Rattle is currently finishing his tenure at the world’s 2nd best symphonic orchestra in Berlin (where his tenure ends in 2018) and will already take over the reins at the LSO, usually ranking #5 worldwide (#1 being Amsterdam, #3 Vienna, and #4 Chicago) in September this year. So this evening is a nice way of saying hello to his new home. He seems to be taking Brexit with good humour, but some say he would have made a different decision had he known about it. As expected, the evening was a brilliant experience. I normally dislike Wagner’s music, because in my mind it’s got the (unjustified, of course, I admit that!) feel of […]

Continue Reading

You may also like