Give it a try if… You believe you have, or can find the resources to enjoy the absolute best of what the world has to offer.
Steer clear if… Classical music makes you itch, yawn or reappraise industrial techno.
You love the city where you live, but sometimes feel its boundaries pressing too tight. You get tired of having to explain anything that deviates from the norm. You start craving for the thrill of diversity. You catch your lungs longing for a breath of fresh air. Then you find the digital temple of Berliner Philharmoniker, the orchestra that is quietly changing the world through wit and inspiration. And you happen to feel at home again. Wherever you are: read on, reader.
Orphans No More
I had the fortune of spending a few months in Berlin last year. And though I have run back to Barcelona’s warm embrace with a defrozen determination to settle down here, there are a couple of pieces of my heart, a web of streams of my soul, and a thousand tiny marbles of my mind still lying in the German capital. If you also somehow consider yourself an orphan of Berlin; if you are interested in the most ingenious contributions to Europe’s cultural zeitgeist; if you just love symphonic music and find no reason to miss the best of it, be aware that you can access both free and paid video recordings and live streaming performances of Berliner Philarmoniker in their Digital Concert Hall.
Witnessing this impressively powerful group of committed musicians – arguably the best orchestra in the world – share their listening and their art during a live concert, even on one’s computer screen, is more involving than you might think. The sound and video quality is superior; same goes for the usability and accompanying contents. Camera directing? Sensitive and clear-cut. The programme choices, bold and revealing. Nothing more, nothing less than an accurate display of this orchestra’s love for perfection.
150 Reasons to Turn Off Your Smartphone
Tune in for a live performances once – perhaps buying a simple 48-hour ticket – and you are most likely to be back. A trip around the Archive, though, might mark a point of no return. Where else can you find such groundbreaking executions of Mahler’s and Sibelius’s complete Symphonies, excerpts from Schoenberg’s “Gurrelieder”, Brahms’s Fourth and Tchaikovsky’s Sixth, featuring Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Tugan Sokhiev, even our old friend Hélène Grimaud… More than 150 caskets to unlock and dive into like a child with a glorious honey jar. With 30 new concerts added each year, free documentaries and special events during the season, the 12-month ticket seriously qualifies for Best Gift Ever – including to oneself. I don’t know about you, but I keep wondering how I could do without it.
UPS Score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 10-/10 + Standing Ovation
Note: The minus is just because you are not physically there. Let us concede that to our beautiful sensual world. But a 10 is a 10 is a 10.