A true celebration, ushering in the New Year with one of the finest orchestras and greatest conductors in the world. The 2007 Gala from Berlin features the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle in Alexander Borodin's Second Symphony, a richly lyrical work of immense poetic grandeur and fairy-tale magic, in a programme that also includes one of the greatest classical hits ever: Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.
NR (Not Rated)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a recording of a live concert gala for New Year's Eve, 2007, in the Philharmonie Berlin.
Blu-ray productions such as this have every advantage over attending a live performance except for the thrill of actually occupying the same space and time as the great orchestra and its conductor. I know of no concert hall in which one can hear each instrument with perfect clarity and at the same time see each member of the orchestra; and it is such a pleasure to see the total commitment of each member of the orchestra that results in readings of great precision, color, and intensity.
The visual element (beautifully sharp and immediate in Blu-ray) helps to call attention to the particulars of the composers' decisions regarding orchestration and to reinforce one's knowledge that this orchestra is not only a great ensemble but also a collection of individual soloists with world-wide careers of their own. Witness for example the contribution of flutist Emmanuel Pahud,...
The Berlin Philharmonic is the best orchestra in the world and they just keep getting better. The playing on this disc is great and the whole production is first rate. "Pictures" uses the Ravel orchestration which is the most commonly done and the best in my opinion. It was hard to determine which orchestration was used from the information given online.
I now own 4 blu-ray orchestra discs and am really impressed with all of them. Hopefully the price of these blu-ray discs will come down some. This disc is basically a complete concert including an encore. You won't be disappointed with your purchase.
This Russian-themed concert from 2007 is performed at the expected high standards of the BPO under Simon Rattle. Its success, when judged against the highest of interpretive standards, is a little more varied however while still being an enjoyable concert overall.
The opening Polovtsian Dances make a good opening number and are given a comfortably secure reading which makes full use of the tonal resources of the orchestra. It is the following second symphony of Borodin that doubts really start to appear. This is a very major Russian work and the Russian temperament ideally needs to be fully exposed. It is this aspect that is so obviously missing, especially in the opening movement. Those who are familiar with the famous Decca recording of the work with Martinon conducting the LSO on top form will know exactly what I mean here. That performance sizzles from the start and serves as a good example that it does not require a Russian orchestra and/or conductor to achieve the...
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