Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Antonini with the Berlin Philharmonic

Now available on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall website, a concert given on the 23rd September 2010, featuring guest conductor Giovanni Antonini:

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach:
Symphony in F major Wq 183 No. 3
Ludwig van Beethoven:
Symphony No. 2 in D major (36:39)
Giovanni Antonini in conversation with Raimar Orlovsky
(this interview is free to watch upon registration with the website)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Giovanni Antonini
Running time: 01:33:54
24-hour ticket: €9.90
Watch it here

This is the latest in a series of guest conductorships of the Berlin Philharmonic by 'period' specialists, clearly something this particular orchestra is keen on. As someone who grew up listening to these 'great' orchestras but has since fully embraced the 'early music' revolution, to the point of finding these so-called 'traditional' orchestras (I would prefer to call them 'romantic') largely irrelevant, I would have to question their motivations for inviting these conductors to work with them. It may nevertheless be significant in that it signals a realisation on their part that attempts to compartmentalise the early music movement as a musicological sideshow have failed, for in truth their own attempts to desperately cling on to a dated, superseded 19th century aesthetic have long since been emptied of any real artistic or cultural moment. Let us be clear, the early music explosion of recent years is not in any way an academic or niche activity, it amounts to a veritable revolution, the rediscovery (I would even say discovery) of music itself, an art forgotten by the deaf 20th century.

But back to the concert; here are some brief excerpts:

And here some excerpts from rehearsals:

This concert follows earlier guest conductorships of the Berlin Philharmonic by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, details of which I gave in a previous post, and by Ton Koopman in a concert of Bach and Haydn. Here is a brief excerpt from Koopman's performance of Haydn's Symphony No. 98 in B flat major:

Koopman's concert also features three works by Bach: the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, the motet Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, and the Magnificat in D major BWV 243. You can watch it here (again, the talk by Ton Koopman is free to watch upon registration).

For those of you who prefer not to pay, here in consolation is Ton Koopman in a complete performance conducting the French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Haydn's 'Drum Roll' Symphony in E flat Major No. 103, from the 2007 French TV series Clefs de l'Orchestre.

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