Playlists

  • “Unanswered Questions” – musical Modernism between 1910 and 1920

    “Unanswered Questions” – musical Modernism between 1910 and 1920

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    The decade between 1910 and 1920 saw the First World War and the Russian Revolution. During the same period, dramatic upheavals also occurred in the world of European music: these were the years of the last works of Mahler and Debussy, of free atonality in the Second Viennese School headed by Schoenberg, of the scandalous premiere of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps and of experimental compositions by outsiders such as Leoš Janáček and Alexander Scriabin. Our playlist presents this exciting repertoire in performances by the Berliner Philharmoniker.

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  • Famous cello concertos – from the First Viennese School to the 20th century

    Famous cello concertos – from the First Viennese School to the 20th century

    Thanks to its warm, vibrant yet profound sound, the cello is one of the most popular instruments in the orchestra. Nevertheless, the number of important cello concertos between the First Viennese School and Modernism was almost limited to the masterpieces of Haydn, Schumann and Antonín Dvořák. This changed in the 20th century when composers such as Edward Elgar and Dmitri Shostakovich took up the genre. This playlist features guest soloists of the Berliner Philharmoniker, such legendary performers as Mstislav Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma, and female virtuosos of the younger generation such as Sol Gabetta and Alisa Weilerstein.

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  • Russian music with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Russian music with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    From the middle of the 19th century, Russian musical life flourished impressively – as this playlist shows. Interestingly enough, the conflict between the rather Western-oriented Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the Russophile group around Modest Mussorgsky contributed to enormous productivity. A broad spectrum of styles finally emerged in the 20th century; it ranges from the late-Romantic tone of Sergei Rachmaninov to the Neoclassicism of Igor Stravinsky. Of course, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich cannot be omitted from this compilation: they brought new life to the symphony, a genre that had been declared dead.

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  • Mozart’s most beautiful piano concertos

    Mozart’s most beautiful piano concertos

    As a freelance musician in Vienna, Mozart caused a sensation with his piano concertos, whose soloist at the premiere was almost always himself. In their elegance and profundity, in the balance of serenity and melancholy, virtuosity and simplicity, these works are probably among the most perfect creations in the history of music. This selection brings together ten of Mozart’s most beautiful piano concertos in performances by the Berliner Philharmoniker. The soloists include Mitsuko Uchida and Daniel Barenboim, Emanuel Ax, Maria João Pires, Maurizio Pollini and Menahem Pressler.

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  • Masterpieces of light music with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Masterpieces of light music with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    In concerts by large symphony orchestras, it is often serious works that dominate. But striking a lighter tone is also an art in itself, and composers such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Gershwin were masters of this. Soon after the orchestra was founded, the Berliner Philharmoniker initiated a concert series of popular music, a tradition which can still be seen today, such as in the Waldbühne and New Year’s Eve concerts. This playlist features a selection of particularly popular pieces ranging from the Baroque to the present day.

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  • Great Violin Concertos – highlights and discoveries

    Great Violin Concertos – highlights and discoveries

    Since they were founded, the Berliner Philharmoniker have played with the classical world’s leading violin virtuosos. This playlist of concertos from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to György Ligeti features violinists who are particularly closely associated with the Philharmoniker as artists in residence or who regularly appear with the orchestra as guest soloists. These include Anne-Sophie Mutter and Frank Peter Zimmermann plus Lisa Batiashvili, Janine Jansen and Christian Tetzlaff.

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  • French music with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    French music with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    The new Digital Concert Hall playlist features French orchestral music from the Baroque to the present. The repertoire offers radical experiments in form as well as delicate studies of timbre, the typical French tone of Impressionism and exotic colouring. Among the composers are dazzling artistic figures such as Berlioz, Debussy and Varèse, but also refined and cultivated personalities like Fauré and Ravel. Among the performers in the selection are the Philharmoniker’s chief conductors Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle and Kirill Petrenko.

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  • Our viola player’s perspective: Amihai Grosz’s favourites

    Our viola player’s perspective: Amihai Grosz’s favourites

    First principal viola player Amihai Grosz has created a playlist which among other things includes operas, symphonies and concerts under the baton of three chief conductors. Claudio Abbado presents Antonín Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, while Simon Rattle heads a concertante performance of Tristan und Isolde. Kirill Petrenko conducted Elgar's Second Symphony in his second programme with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth in his last concert as chief conductor designate. Amihai Grosz himself appears as a soloist in works by William Walton and Luciano Berio.

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  • Our double bass player’s perspective: Matthew McDonald’s favourites

    Our double bass player’s perspective: Matthew McDonald’s favourites

    The double bass section of the Berliner Philharmoniker is known for its force, precision and power. As principal double bass, Australian-born Matthew McDonald has been jointly responsible for the orchestra’s tonal foundation since 2009. His playlist includes performances with Sir Simon Rattle – works from the Baroque to the 20th century – and a concert under the direction of Claudio Abbado. Their successor as chief conductor of the Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko, conducted an unforgettable performance of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony in an otherwise empty Philharmonie as part of the 2020 European Concert.

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  • Our tuba player’s perspective: Alexander von Puttkamer’s favourites

    Our tuba player’s perspective: Alexander von Puttkamer’s favourites

    In this playlist, Alexander von Puttkamer – the only tuba player among the Berliner Philharmoniker’s orchestra members – presents his favourite recordings from the Digital Concert Hall archives. These include Bernard Haitink’s farewell concert with the Philharmoniker as well as Verdi’s Otello under the baton of Zubin Mehta. The selection includes exciting, lesser-known works such as Britten’s Violin Concerto and Osvaldo Golijov’s Nazareno, and of course the current chief conductor is also included: in his first concert following his election, Kirill Petrenko conducted a fiery performance of Mozart’s Haffner Symphony.

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  • A soprano’s perspective: Anna Prohaska’s favourites

    A soprano’s perspective: Anna Prohaska’s favourites

    The new Digital Concert Hall playlist was created by soprano Anna Prohaska, a singer who has close artistic ties with the Berliner Philharmoniker. The selection focuses on music drama works by Bach, Wagner, Debussy and Bartók under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle. It also includes orchestral songs by Gustav Mahler, Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto and works of English Baroque music. And in a performance conducted by Claudio Abbado, Prohaska herself sings the Mozart aria “Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio”.

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  • A soprano’s perspective: Marlis Petersen’s favourites

    A soprano’s perspective: Marlis Petersen’s favourites

    The playlist compiled by Marlis Petersen from the Digital Concert Hall archives includes music which ranges from the Baroque to the post-war period. The soprano, who has a close artistic partnership with Kirill Petrenko, is currently artist in residence with the Berliner Philharmoniker. In addition to performances by esteemed colleagues, she has chosen personal favourites from the Late Night and Education formats, as well as a Karajan recording made on the day she was born. Petersen herself can be heard in a composition by George Crumb which she performed at her debut with the Philharmoniker in 2014.

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  • Our concertmaster’s perspective: Noah Bendix-Balgley’s favourites

    Our concertmaster’s perspective: Noah Bendix-Balgley’s favourites

    1st concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley invites listeners to relive his most memorable musical experiences since joining the orchestra in 2014. These concerts feature “repertoire that I love”, says the violinist, “or collaborations with wonderful conductors or soloists that stay in my memory very strongly”. In works both familiar and lesser-known, he offers a personal tour of his years in the orchestra so far.

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  • Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Claudio Abbado and the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Claudio Abbado was an exception among the great conductors: amiable and free of affectation, but totally uncompromising in achieving his artistic goals. A highly educated thinker, yet his greatest performances were born entirely from the moment. As chief conductor, he expanded not only the sound spectrum of the Berliner Philharmoniker but also their repertoire. Here you can relive this wonderful collaboration in a selection of his performances.

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  • Digital Concert Hall: highlights of the past years

    Digital Concert Hall: highlights of the past years

    Friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker are scattered all around the globe, and very few of them ever have the opportunity to experience the orchestra live in the Philharmonie. But there is an alternative: the Digital Concert Hall, which has been broadcasting all Philharmoniker concert programmes live since the 2008/2009 season – in the best possible picture and sound quality. In our playlist we present highlights from the concert archive.

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  • Meet Kirill Petrenko!

    Meet Kirill Petrenko!

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    A new chapter was opened when Kirill Petrenko took up his post as chief conductor of the orchestra in the summer of 2019. Ever since his debut in 2006, the conductor and the Philharmoniker have given performances that have set standards. A selection is compiled in this free playlist which contains not only established masterpieces by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, but also exciting rarities.

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  • Beethoven’s symphonies with Simon Rattle

    Beethoven’s symphonies with Simon Rattle

    “The path from the First to the Ninth is the greatest journey ever undertaken within a musical style,” as Sir Simon Rattle once said of Beethoven’s symphonies. In 2015, he presented the complete cycle during his penultimate season as chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker: the culmination of a decades-long exploration of these works, which unfold their full revolutionary energy in Sir Simon’s interpretation.

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  • The “Late Night” concerts with discoveries for night owls

    The “Late Night” concerts with discoveries for night owls

    They are nocturnal entertainments for fans of the bizarre, the baffling, anarchic and dreamy: the Late Night concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker, in which members of the orchestra regularly serve dessert after a symphony concert, often assisted by prominent guests. Sometimes they sound jazzy, sometimes sentimental, and one frequently hears how humorous contemporary music can be.

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  • The European Concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker

    The European Concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker

    They are perhaps the most unusual concert series of classical music: the European Concerts of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Every year on 1 May the orchestra appears at a location of particular significance for European culture – from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to the Palace at Versailles. In addition to the spectacular settings, the European Concerts captivate audiences with outstanding conductors and soloists and impressive concert programmes. This playlist presents highlights from the series.

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  • Richard Strauss and his tone poems

    Richard Strauss and his tone poems

    The tone poems of Richard Strauss are among the most striking and virtuosic works of the orchestral literature. This list contains outstanding recordings of these nine works. You will meet literary heroes such as Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel, experience music inspired by philosophy in Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) and enjoy powerful spectacles of nature in the Alpensinfonie (Alpine Symphony) with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the great Strauss conductors of our time.

     

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  • Pianists with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Pianists with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    The Berliner Philharmoniker have worked with famous pianists from early on, including illustrious names such as Clara Schumann, Ferruccio Busoni and Johannes Brahms. To this day, there is nothing more exciting than when great soloists explore the endless possibilities of the piano. This playlist presents some of the best: from legendary virtuosos like Martha Argerich, Daniel Barenboim, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimerman, to young stars such as Yuja Wang and Daniil Trifonov.

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  • Grand Opera with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Grand Opera with the Berliner Philharmoniker

    Opera offers more possibilities for emotional directness and dramatic intensification than almost any other musical genre. That is why the Berliner Philharmoniker enjoy their occasional forays into opera, especially since they have the opportunity to collaborate with great singers. In this playlist you will experience some of the most beautiful and moving arias and operatic scenes – from Mozart to Verdi, Wagner and Puccini to Richard Strauss and Modernism.

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  • Mahler’s symphonies with Simon Rattle

    Mahler’s symphonies with Simon Rattle

    A performance of the complete symphonies of Gustav Mahler is always a spectacular event. Two special dates – the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth on 7 July 2010 and the 100th anniversary of his death on May 18, 2011 – were taken by the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle as an occasion to perform these monumental works. “A musical feat,” as the press reported.

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