Simon Rattle conducts Schumann and Fauré
21 Jan 2011
Sir Simon Rattle
Pelléas et Mélisande, orchestra suite, op. 80 (19 min.)
Symphony No. 2 in C Major, op. 61 (43 min.)
Better late than never! In our video archive you can now watch most of a concert with Sir Simon Rattle which, for contractual reasons, was not able to be shown live in the Digital Concert Hall. Along with Robert Schumann’s Second Symphony, this recording includes a major work of French symbolism: Gabriel Fauré’s tone poem Pelléas et Mélisande.
The Berliner Zeitung took the opportunity to thoroughly examine the relationship between conductor and orchestra: “This concert ... proved that no other conductor exploits the potential of this orchestra with more imagination, or employs a lavish palette of colours with more confidence, or is more artistically daring. Not only as the figurehead at the forefront of the orchestra, but in particular as an interpreter, no one has more to offer the Philharmoniker than he does.”
About the works in the concert themselves, the Berlin Tagesspiegel declared, “The atmospheric tightness of the Philharmoniker sound in Gabriel Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande suite was incomparable: the grey winter sky rips apart, revealing a glimpse of pure azure above. ... How charmingly and subtly the various orchestral layers combine in ‘La Fileuse’, how the Sicilienne, heard for the thousandth time, is performed by Rattle with such simplicity: C’est sublime! ... And then to finish off, Schumann’s Second Symphony in an electrifying performance by Simon Rattle. ... As nimble as in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, the violinists’ fingers flit through the characteristic main theme of the Scherzo. A demonstrative sense of longing in the Adagio espressivo; the finale, a celebration of philharmonic virtuosity. Rapturous applause.”