Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Berliner Philharmoniker

It was a surprise to see 2 dates for the Berlin Philharmonic's stop in Singapore. Rather flattering to the little red dot. I'm never been keen on Haydn and Brahms. I failed miserably when trying to write an essay about them, and the music teacher could only despair at my incompetent grasp of this portion of my musical education. Till today, there's no way I will sit through Haydn's Symphony No. 99 in E-Flat major or Brahms' Symphony No. 2 in D major. And I'm too shallow to understand Berg's angsty and almost weird Three Pieces for Orchestra.

I'm not sure how much credit to accord to Sir Simon Rattle. Sure, he's really charismatic and by the power of his baton, he holds the orchestra together and teases out each delicate layer into thoroughly confusing complexity. However, I like to think that the orchestra is made up of immensely talented people who are equally driven, and given the right conductor like Sir Simon Rattle, in these 8 years together, they've reached a state of near perfection. The orchestra brought out the full haunting quality of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances Op. 45 and heightened its lilting melodies. How can I not remember the times of Diaghilev and Ballet Russes? Ahhhh. Such nice memories. No, I didn't fall asleep.

I like Mahler. And I'm fortunate to have been able to hear many selections of his symphonies live. Most of all, his Symphony No.1 in D Major. I heard one interpretation last year. And it's fantabulous to hear another this year by the Berlin Philharmonic.

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