Light music and favourite works with the Berliner Philharmoniker

Light music and favourite works with the Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Bedřich Smetana
    The Bartered Bride: Overture (9 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Mariss Jansons

  • George Gershwin
    Overture to the musical Girl Crazy (6 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Kirill Petrenko

  • John Adams
    Short Ride in a Fast Machine (5 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Alan Gilbert

  • Igor Stravinsky
    L’Oiseau de feu (The Firebird), suite (1919): Infernal Dance of King Kaschei · Berceuse · Finale (12 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Claudio Abbado

  • George Frideric Handel
    Concerto grosso in G major, HWV 319 (13 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Emmanuelle Haïm

  • Antonín Dvořák
    Slavonic Dances, op. 72: Selection (10 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

  • Jean Sibelius
    Valse triste, op. 44 (5 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Daniel Barenboim

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    The Nutcracker, op. 71: Pas de deux (Intrada) (5 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Mariss Jansons

  • Gustav Mahler
    Symphony No. 5: Adagietto (12 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Zubin Mehta

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Dance of the Dolls: 1. Lyric Waltz (arr. by Tamas Batiashvili) (4 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Iván Fischer

    Lisa Batiashvili Violin

  • George Gershwin
    Fascinating Rhythm (3 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

    Wayne Marshall Piano, Audra McDonald Vocalist

  • Samuel Barber
    Adagio for Strings, op. 11 (8 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Kirill Petrenko

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Rondo for piano and orchestra in D major, K. 382 (11 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Daniel Barenboim

    Daniel Barenboim Klavier

  • Johannes Brahms
    Hungarian Dances: No. 11 in D minor · No. 15 in B flat major (orchestrated by Iván Fischer) (8 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Iván Fischer

  • Edvard Grieg
    Symphonic Dance in A major, op. 64 no. 2 (6 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

  • Georges Bizet
    L’Arlésienne, Suites No. 1 and No. 2: Carillon · Farandole (8 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Claudio Abbado

  • Richard Wagner
    Lohengrin: Prelude to Act 1 (11 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Christian Thielemann

  • Manuel de Falla
    El amor brujo (Love, the Magician), ballet music: Danza del fuego (Ritual Fire Dance) (4 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Claudio Abbado

  • Stephen Sondheim
    “Send in the clowns” from A Little Night Music (6 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Kirill Petrenko

    Diana Damrau soprano

  • Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Colas Breugnon, op. 90: Overture (5 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

  • Gabriel Fauré
    Pavane (7 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

  • Sergei Prokofiev
    Symphony No. 1 in D major, op. 25 Symphonie classique (16 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Tugan Sokhiev

  • Heitor Villa-Lobos
    Bachianas brasileiras: No. 5 (13 min.)

    The 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Anna Prohaska Soprano

  • Felix Mendelssohn
    The Hebrides, overture in B minor, op. 26 (12 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Pablo Heras-Casado

  • John Williams
    E.T.: Flying Theme (5 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

  • Leonard Bernstein
    Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (25 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Kirill Petrenko

The distinction between serious and light music, which has long been strictly maintained in Germany, has, in truth, always been flexible. Mozart, who like Felix Mendelssohn was skilled in making the complicated sound very simple, wrote serenades and divertimentos, Antonín Dvořák his Slavonic Dances, and the Hungarian Dances are among Johannes Brahms’s most popular works – a composer who also had a deep reverence for the Viennese waltz king Johann Strauss (as the avant-garde Arnold Schoenberg later had for George Gershwin). Composers as sophisticated as Robert Schumann, Maurice Ravel and Sergei Prokofiev created some of their most beautiful works for the unspoiled taste of children.

In countries outside the German-speaking world, there is traditionally less fear of contact: in France, there was a very conscious decision to contrast the German “profundity”. This is as true of Maurice Ravel as it is of Francis Poulenc and Darius Milhaud who incorporated jazz rhythms and sounds into many of their works. In Russian music, the melodic inventiveness of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov and the art of vivid characterisation of Prokofiev and Stravinsky are guaranteed to be popular with a wide audience. Shostakovich ultimately mastered the tragic as well as a light tone. And, of course, America must also be mentioned in this context. Composers from Charles Ives to John Adams have immortalised everyday sounds, the noises of the big city, and irresistible rhythms and melodies in their works. Leonard Bernstein, both as a composer and conductor, possessed a unique talent for combining the demanding with the accessible and exciting.

The tradition of the “serious” symphonic evening is a relatively new one. Beethoven’s concerts were a potpourri in which individual opera arias could be heard alongside the premiere of a symphony. In between, the composer sat at the piano to perform one of his famous improvisations. The Berliner Philharmoniker have also always played for very broad audiences: since their foundation, they have cultivated the tradition of “popular concerts” in a regular series. These continue today in the form of the orchestra’s performances at the Waldbühne and the New Year’s Eve concerts which have long since become an indispensable feature of the musical calendar.