wed 07/12/2022

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether | reviews, news & interviews

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

The conductor's recent interpretations from Berlin and London online for free

Nose-thumb to the coronavirus? Rattle conducting the LSO at last year's BBC Proms Chris Christodoulou

He may no longer be the Berlin Philharmoniker's Chief Conductor, but by a combination of serendipity and foresight on the orchestra's part, Simon Rattle's last concert in Berlin for the foreseeable future was filmed without an audience and led the way for other, smaller-scale ventures before

gatherings of any sort beyond chamber music with players at a distance became an impossibility. The current stopgap is the kind  "his" orchestra now, the London Symphony Orchestra, is offering: past films on the nights when a concert would have taken place.

The latest, in place of what we would have had, namely Mark Elder conducting Sibelius's Fourth Symphony and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Nikolaj Znaider, is of a fitfully finer Sibelian, Sir Simon, in the uplift of the Fifth Symphony plus the brazen, trumpet-rich exultation of Janáček's Sinfonietta. Tune in tonight (Sunday, thought the film is also available for 24 hours afterwards) - there's a new introduction from the conductor - and check out future LSO offerings while you're there - the page isn't easy to find on the orchestra's website, so go straight to our link. Berlin Philharmoniker last concert of 2020 so farThe LSO has done well in its livestreams - the ones with John Eliot Gardiner conducting Schumann and Berlioz have been among the highlights - but the Berlin Phil's pioneering "concert hall" has been the leader in the form for some years now. The subscription has been well worth it, but for now, you can access the richest of back catalogues for free (you need to register first - the sign-in lasts a month for now). And do start by watching Rattle's interpretations of Berio's wacky Sinfonia and Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra - a double-bill as bracing as the LSO one - to an empty Philharmonie on 12 March (pictured above) before the axe fell.

Other orchestras are following suit. From 1 to 4 April the Lucerne Festival will be offering for free highlights from its superlative orchestra's recent history, including what for me is and probably always will be the greatest filmed document of an unsurpassable event - Claudio Abbado's last performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony. Ongoing are splendid archives from the Philharmonie de Paris, the Elbphilharmonie and West German Radio; my thanks to theartsdesk's Peter Quantrill and Sebastian Scotney for drawing attention to these. And in the weeks to come, we'll be covering rarities where we find them, like this very moving benefit concert broadcast livestreamed last night from Prague's Rudolfinum. But remember: there's no substitute for the magic triangle, as Britten put it (and it can never be too often repeated) of composer, interpreters and audience. Support your invaluable musicians as much as you can when all this is over.

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