In October 2013, the Berlin Philharmonie celebrated its 50th birthday – a wonderful opportunity to present a portrait of the world-famous concert hall. What is the secret of this building which is held by musicians from all over the world, and of course especially the Berlin Philharmoniker, with such undivided affection? What makes it architecturally and acoustically so unique? And finally, who are the people behind the scenes? The documentary The Berlin Philharmonie – a pentagon with aura attempts to answer this question.
The documentary takes us back through time – to the early 60s when the Philharmonie was built in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. The fact that even now, the concert hall is a spectacular piece of architecture is shown in the film with surprising perspectives and tracking shots. While the visual quality of the building was clear from the start, the acoustics of the hall were initially regarded as unsatisfactory and were only gradually developed to its optimum sound. How much the sound today inspires musicians is shown in interviews with Sir Simon Rattle and members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, who all reveal a very personal, emotional attachment to the Philharmonie.
But we also take a look at other staff in the Philharmonie: from the intendant to those in charge of equipment to the technicians who repair the house lights from the roof. A look into the studio of the Digital Concert Hall is of course included. There are occasional historical flashbacks, such as to the Karajan era or the fall of the Berlin Wall, when the Philharmonie once again stood in the centre of its city – a symbol for Berlin and classical music all over the world.
The Berlin Philharmonie – A pentagon with aura
A film by Daniel Finkernagel, Alexander Lück (2013)
Sir Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker