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Berliner Philharmoniker – Brahms, Schoenberg – Thielemann 2009 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Brahms composed choral music throughout most of his life. It is not only this regularity but also the emotional depth and range of these works that allow us to sense how particularly important they were to the composer. Conductor and choirmaster John Eliot Gardiner once said: “They were the vessels for some of his most profound thoughts, revealing at times an almost desperate urge to communicate things of import. Solemnity, pathos, terror and jubilation are all experienced and encapsulated.” In 2009, Christian Thielemann, one of the most notable interpreters of German late-Romantic music, conducted three of these works: Nänie, Gesang der Parzen and Schicksalslied, with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, partners of the Berliner Philharmoniker for many years, taking on the choral role.

The concert closes with Schoenberg’s tone poem Pelleas und Melisande – a work that, with late-Romantic power and a luscious sound clearly inspired by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, recounts Maurice Maeterlinck’s drama of jealousy. The response from the audience and the press to the performance by Christian Thielemann and the Berliner Philharmoniker was rapturous. Das Neue Deutschland wrote: “His striving for clear structures and a vibrant sound development was downright triumphant. Intensive, even passionate expressiveness right to the dark ending. The orchestra was magnificent, inspired to even higher musical heights and charisma by Christian Thielemann.”

12 Dec 2009



Johannes Brahms
Nänie, op. 82 (14 min.)
Rundfunkchor Berlin, Robin Gritton Chorus Master

Johannes Brahms
Gesang der Parzen, op. 89 (11 min.)
Rundfunkchor Berlin, Robin Gritton Chorus Master

Johannes Brahms
Schicksalslied, op. 54 (19 min.)
Rundfunkchor Berlin, Robin Gritton Chorus Master

Arnold Schoenberg
Pelleas und Melisande, op. 5 (50 min.)

Christian Thielemann interviewed by Sarah Willis (16 min.)


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