Tag Archive: Simon Rattle

Rattle leads the Berlin Philharmonic through Sibelius’s symphonies at the Barbican

The best part of a love affair, wrote Georges Clémenceau some hundred years ago, is the moment you are climbing the stairs. It was, one hopes, not a cynical remark but a commentary on the pleasures of anticipation. I thought of this last month as I negotiated stairs at London’s Barbican Centre. A visit by the Berlin Philharmonic is always, if not a love affair, then certainly a thrill. But the otherwise admirable and much used Barbican is a windowless maze, and climbing the various levels can make for the seeming triumph of cluelessness over romance.



Berlin Philharmonic under Rattle at Carnegie Hall, October 2014 — The Russians win.

Sir Simon on the podium

The periodic visits of the Berlin Philharmonic are events most New York music lovers look forward to with keen anticipation, not least myself. I’d even have gone to the Carnegie Hall Opening Night Gala, if that were their only concert in the City this season, to hear the Bruch Violin Concerto and Anne-Sophie Mutter once more, but fortunately that was not necessary. The following evening they played the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, one of his works I particularly admire and enjoy, and the complete Firebird, only excerpted in the gala program, and that second program offered more. In fact they played four concerts at Carnegie and one at the Park Avenue Armory, a very earnest one, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, complete with costumes and staging by Peter Sellars.



Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Metropolitan Opera House

Metropolitan Opera House December 20, 2010 Claude Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande Libretto by Maurice Maeterlinck Pelléas – Stéphane Degout Mélisande – Magdalena Kožená Golaud – Gerald Finley Arkel – Willard White Genevive – Felicity Palmer Yniold – Neel Ram Nagarajan…
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Simon Rattle Conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the Love Scene from Roméo et Juliette and Wagner’s Tristan, Act II

Point taken. Whenever period orchestras venture far beyond the Baroque, they have something to prove. But at last night’s concert of Wagner and Berlioz by the esteemed Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, some of the proof was self-evident. Banished completely are the intonation problems that plagued such ensembles in the past; one felt secure in the technical abilities of every section; the wind soloists played as expressively as anyone could wish. London is a center for period performance, which has become beloved. Sir Simon Rattle has conducted Act II of Tristan, in concert with the forces of Berlin and Vienna, but it’s good to be flexible, and since he enjoys a long-standing rapport with the OAE, they were a comfortable fit.



Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic play Brahms and Schoenberg at Carnegie Hall

Sir Simon Rattle

Carnegie Hall, November 11-13, 2009 1. Berliner Philharmoniker Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director and Conductor Brahms-Schoenberg, Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25 Brahms, Symphony No. 1 2. Berliner Philharmoniker Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director and Conductor Evelyn Herlitzius, Soprano…
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