16 Mar 2020

Andrea Zietzschmann and Simon Rattle on a concert without an audience (4 min.)

In the early years of the Digital Concert Hall, Sir Simon Rattle – then chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker – described the internet broadcasts of concerts as a “second-best solution” in relation to the irreplaceable experience of attending an analogue concert. The “second-best solution” and thus the best alternative to the coming together of musicians and audience can be all the more important in times of crisis. When the spread of the corona virus escalated into a pandemic in March 2020, Sir Simon happened to be a guest conductor with the Philharmoniker. In the week of their second programme together, the Philharmonie was already closed to visitors. The concert with works by Luciano Berio and Béla Bartók was nevertheless performed – without an audience – and offered to classical music lovers all over the world as a free live stream. Here you can see a greeting from the Philharmoniker’s general manager Andrea Zietzschmann as well as Simon Rattle’s introduction to Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia for eight voices and orchestra: a work whose text is adapted to the current conditions at each performance and which also addresses the routines of concert-goers and performers.

The concert