There have probably never been so many percussion instruments on the stage of the Berlin Phiharmonie as in this concert with Gustavo Dudamel from September 2009. In Sofia Gubaidulinas Glorious Percussion, no less than five percussionists demonstrate the multifaceted sounds and effects their intruments can produce.
Shostakovich’s 12th Symphony – which the Berliner Philharmoniker had astonishingly never played before – is no less energetic. Completed in 1961, this work, unusually enthusiastic for the composer, describes the October Revolution in grand-scale programme music tableaux, reflecting a short phase in Shostakovich’s life when, after the death of Stalin and in the hope of a more humane USSR, he was a wholehearted supporter of communism.
In this concert, Dudamel confirmed his reputation as one of the most dynamic conductors there is. The Berliner Zeitung, for example, wrote: “When last year the Venezuelan Simón Bolívar Orchestra set the Philharmonie alight, we described its conductor Gustavo Dudamel as a pyromaniac. ... When Dudamel conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker on Thursday as part of Musikfest Berlin, the fire was not tamed – but now it also brings bright, clear light.”
Gustavo Dudamel appears in the Digital Concert Hall courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.