The Berlin Philharmonic 3-D performance of Mahler’s first symphony and Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances goes on release in 60 cinemas around the UK in May.
It is an opportunity to witness one of the world’s great orchestras at the peak of its form in a technology that is evidently too challenging for Bayreuth
My reservation, expressed last week on the BBC’s PM programme
, is: at what cost? The Berlin Philharmonic is the most heavily subsidised orchestra on earth, by the state, the city and some very blue-chip sponsors.
They can afford to have themselves filmed in 3-D and put around the world at at time when other orchestras are suffering severe cuts and several – Syracuse in upstate New York is the latest – are going to the wall.
One orchestral manager described this initiative to me as ‘cultural imperialism’.
Here’s some video:
And here’s the press release:BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER – A MUSICAL JOURNEY IN 3DTO BE SHOWN IN CINEMAS ACROSS THE UK FROM MAY 9THwww.amusicaljourney3d.comSIR SIMON RATTLE CONDUCTS MAHLER & RACHMANINOVIt is almost 100 years since the Berliner Philharmoniker became the first orchestra to record. Since 1913, it has been at the cutting edge of technological developments like broadcasting concerts, recording complete symphonies and operas on Schellack, Longplay and later Compact Discs – always using the latest techniques. What better orchestra than the Berliner Philharmoniker to be the first to bring concerts to cinemas in 3D?HELGE GRUENEWALD, ARTISTIC ADVISOR, BERLIN PHILHARMONICWith their latest digital venture Berliner Philharmoniker – A Musical Journey In 3D, the Berlin Philharmonic is reviving the great tradition of filming classical concerts. A cinema first A Musical Journey enables audiences not only to experience the concert from the front row of the stalls but – thanks to 3D – from a seat in the middle of the Orchestra.Arguably the finest orchestra in the world, the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle will be heard performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 and Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances. Mahler’s First Symphony is filmed in Singapore’s spectacular Esplanade Concert Hall, whereas for Symphonic Dances the producers, together with director Michael Beyer and cameraman and co-director Tomas Erhart, have developed a series of miniature stories based on the composer’s original titles for the movements “midday, sunset, midnight” that translate the music into magnificent 3D scenes.Director Michael Beyer commented “The change between the two settings ‘orchestra’ and ‘Singapore’ respond to the tunes, tempi and dance impulses of Rachmaninov’s score. Chinatown, breathtaking Western architecture and the Hindu temple in 3D together with all aspects of life, work, leisure and spirituality make the spectator believe that he is not only an observer, but in the middle of music and life.”As many as eight 3D and HD cameras were used in making this film, together with cranes, dollies and tracks. The cameramen came from Germany, the technology and technicians from Tokyo and New York. This large-scale project also received considerable local support in terms of personnel and equipment, with as many as 50 people working on the sets at any one time.Berlin Philharmoniker : 2Funded by the Media Board of Berlin-Brandenburg and STB, Berliner Philharmoniker – A Musical Journey In 3D is distributed by Arts Alliance Media and will be shown in 64 cinemas from Poole to Dundee between Monday May 9th and Sunday May 29th.