Exuberant playing as the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Beethoven cycle begins

Beethoven: Berliner Philharmoniker/Rattle ****

Philharmonie, Berlin, 3rd October 2015

After the slow, mysterious B flat minor introduction to Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, as if running fingers along castle walls in darkness to grope your way, the moment the Berliner Philharmoniker hit the Allegro – in the ‘right’ key – you understand why Sir Simon Rattle wants a new concert hall for London. This was my first visit to Berlin’s Philharmonie and the sound when the orchestra burst into those fortissimo chords nearly floored me. Considering the orchestra’s scaled down size – 41 strings – and its compact seating arrangement, the sound packs a remarkable punch, yet without losing any clarity.

Sir Simon Rattle © Monika Rittershaus

Sir Simon Rattle
© Monika Rittershaus

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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