Sir Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker – The Asia Tour (2018)
PS3 Rip | 5x SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 216:51 minutes | Cover + PDF Book | 3,48 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Cover + PDF Book | 4,5 GB
In November 2017, the Berlin Philharmonic gave a series of concerts in Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan. It was the last tour of Asia that Rattle would undertake as the orchestra’s chief conductor, and their performances are thoroughly documented on these discs. Four of the discs are derived from the final pair of concerts, which were given in Tokyo’s magnificent Suntory Hall, while the other, a performance of Ravel’s G Major Piano Concerto with the winner of the 2015 Warsaw Chopin competition as soloist, was recorded in the Berlin Philharmonie before the tour began. he recordings are astonishingly vivid, and the whole set provides a very impressive showcase of the Berlin Phil’s current condition as it nears the end of Rattle’s reign.
In late 2017, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic toured Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and Japan, and their valedictory performances together have been gathered for this lavish 2018 set, packaged as a hardback book in the oblong format of previous releases on the orchestra’s label, and containing five hybrid SACDs and one Blu-ray. (While the audio recording of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, featuring pianist Seong-Jin Cho, was recorded in Berlin just prior to the tour, her Hong Kong performance appears on the Blu-ray along with performances from the concerts in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Wuhan, and Seoul.) Summing up Rattle’s tenure with the Berlin Philharmonic, the program represents late-Romantic, post-Romantic, and modern composers who have been central to the orchestra’s repertoire, and their playing is as committed and confident as has been demonstrated over their 15 years together. Following an energetic rendition of Richard Strauss’ Don Juan, Yuja Wang’s powerhouse performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 comes off as a bracing tour de force, showcasing her talents in an intensely focused recording. Also notable is the vivid reading of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka, which is played on the fast side, and the afore-mentioned Ravel concerto, where Seong-Jin Cho deserves praise for her reflective passages as much as for her virtuosity. Also noteworthy is the orchestral performance of South Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s Chorós Chordón, the sole nod here to contemporary music that Rattle has championed throughout his long career. The rest of the program may be considered bread-and-butter programming for these seasoned professionals, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E minor and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3 in A minor are reliable performances, if not especially revelatory or essential catalog items. Interspersed between the blockbusters are Wang’s delicate encore of Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, Dvorák’s Slavonic Dance in E minor, Op. 72, No. 2, the Intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, and Cho’s solo performance of Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau.
SACD 1#01. Richard Strauss: Don Juan, op. 20
SACD 1#02. Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2, 1. Allegro
SACD 1#03. Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2, 2. Adagio – Presto – Adagio
SACD 1#04. Béla Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2, 3. Allegro molto
SACD 1#05. Sergei Rachmaninov: Vocalise
SACD 2#01. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4, 1. Allegro non troppo
SACD 2#02. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4, 2. Andante moderato
SACD 2#03. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4, 3. Allegro giocoso
SACD 2#04. Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4, 4. Allegro energico e passionato
SACD 2#05. Antonín Dvořák: Slavonic Dances, op. 72, No. 2 in E minor
SACD 3#01. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, The Shrove-tide Fair
SACD 3#02. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Danse Russe
SACD 3#03. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Petrushka
SACD 3#04. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, The Blackamoor
SACD 3#05. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Valse
SACD 3#06. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, The Shrove-tide Fair and the Death of Petrushka
SACD 3#07. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Wet-nurses’ Dance
SACD 3#08. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Peasant with Bear
SACD 3#09. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Gypsies and a Rake Vendor
SACD 3#10. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Dance of the Coachmen
SACD 3#11. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Masqueraders
SACD 3#12. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, The Scuffle: Blackamoor and Petrushka
SACD 3#13. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Death of Petrushka
SACD 3#14. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Police and the Juggler
SACD 3#15. Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka, Apparition of Petrushka’s Double
SACD 3#16. Unsuk Chin: Chorós Chordón
SACD 4#01. Sergei Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3, 1. Lento – Allegro moderato
SACD 4#02. Sergei Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3, 2. Adagio ma non troppo –
SACD 4#03. Sergei Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3, 3. Allegro – Allegro vivace
SACD 4#04. Giacomo Puccini: Manon Lescaut, Act 3, Intermezzo
SACD 5#01. Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major, 1. Allegramente
SACD 5#02. Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major, 2. Adagio assai
SACD 5#03. Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major, 3. Presto
SACD 5#04. Claude Debussy: Reflets dans I’eau
Produced by Christoph Franke. Engineered by René Möller.
Discs 1-4 Recorded on November 24-25, 2017 at Suntory Hall Tokyo.
Disc 5 Recorded on November 4, 2017 at Philharmonie Berlin.
Original recording format – 24-bit/96 kHz.