Simon Rattle conducts Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Madrid
Sir Simon Rattle
Coro del Teatro Real
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 in D minor Op. 125 (01:20:13)
Camilla Tilling Soprano, Nathalie Stutzmann Contralto, Joseph Kaiser Tenor, Dimitry Ivashchenko Bass, Coro del Teatro Real
In the Digital Concert Hall, experiencing the Berliner Philharmoniker outside their home base – the Philharmonie – always has a special appeal, with recordings of tour concerts giving an impression of other major concert venues and their audiences. With our current recording, we introduce the visitors of the Digital Concert Hall to the Teatro Real in Madrid where the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on three evenings at the end of June.
The orchestra was also granted a special honour: Queen Sophia of Spain attended one of the concerts and afterwards welcomed the musicians and their chief conductor. The concerts themselves were not only a musical, but also a European event: A German orchestra with a British conductor in Spain, in addition to a multinational ensemble of soloists with the soprano Cammilla Tilling (Sweden), contralto Nathalie Stutzmann (France), bass Dimitry Ivashchenko (Russia) and an overseas guest, the Canadian tenor Joseph Kaiser.
All the more appropriate that the work of the evening was Beethoven’s Ninth, whose final movement – in an arrangement by Herbert von Karajan – has been the official anthem of the European Union since 1985. This interpretation also allowed room for expressive development beyond the “Ode to Joy”, such as the Adagio molto, which here unfolds like a delicate piece of chamber music. The exultant finale built up to a stupendous climax. “A miracle,” was how the newspaper El País described the concert before immediately correcting itself: “No, reality in its most beautiful form.”