Two new names in the Berlin Philharmonic frame

One of the players who will be voting on May 11 reckons it’s a four-way election:

1 Thielemann

2 Jansons

3 Kirill Petrenko

KirillxPetrenko_35902168_original.large-4-3-800-277-0-2872-1948

4 Ivan Fischer

ivan fischer piano sleighbells

Take this whispered tip cum grano salis (as Mahler would have said). There are presently more opinions in the orchestra than there are blossoms on a Mandelbaum.

Anther player whispered that they were all going ‘ganz diskret und neutral’ (totally discreet and neutral) into the voting chamber.

 

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  • RW2013 says:

    Great to see a list without Nelsons on it.

    • Ben says:

      You nail it right on.

    • Brucknerliebhaber says:

      I am completely neutral in this but just curious what aspects of Nelsons’ musicianship bother you so much. Many of the world’s foremost orchestras and soloists seem to enjoy working with him and the general critical response has been very positive. It can not just be his extroverted gesture and conducting style right?

  • Alexander says:

    Isn’t it widely understood that Iván Fischer doesn’t want the job anyway?

  • Andrew R. Barnard says:

    Ivan Fischer is really the only new name. It’s still hard not to see Thielemann as the front runner, even if I’d rather see someone else, particularly Jansons, get the job.

    http://www.theclassicalcommentator.com/the-berlin-countdown-is-thielemann-really-the-front-runner/

  • T-ARAFANBOY says:

    Well, with Ivan Fischer, they can say goodbye to the great (German) romantic tradition.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but I’ve heard him in Wagner, Mahler… and I don’t really think it’s his thing.

    • Gregor Tassie says:

      You should sample Fischer’s recent Beethoven cycle with the Concertgebouw on DVD plus that he made with the Budapest Festival, try too his discussions on Beethoven symphonies and Wagner on YouTube, I think you will change your mind about him. He has a lot of very interesting ideas which would wake a few people up in Berlin after the lethargy they have suffered with Sir Simon

      • T-ARAFANBOY says:

        I have recently heard him in Beethoven and Bach and I have to say it is really good. But I’m thinking more Brahms, Bruckner, Richard Strauss, Wagner and Mahler and non-German core romantic repertoire such as Tchaikovsky, Dvorak…
        My comment is based on concerts, with the Budapest Festival Orchestra, I attended in Vienna over a decade ago, but maybe his style has changed since then. I entirely agree with what you say about him having interesting, awakening ideas – it depends which way Berlin wants to go…

    • Doug says:

      Have you not heard of the Austro-Hungarian empire? Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Hummel, Johann Strauss….

  • Patrick says:

    Fischer…. Intriguing.

    Innovative, terrific musician, disciplined and committed to the future.

    If I could vote, of these, he would get mine.

    • Jewelyard says:

      Me as well. He’s perfect for the post.

    • jaypee says:

      Of the four, Fischer and Petrenko are definitely the most intriguing.
      Thielemann? Politically repulsive… Good for Pfitzner or Werner Egk…
      Jansons? He would have been great 10 years ago…

      I vote for Fischer!

  • Anon says:

    This shortlist of 4 is from the music minded fraction.
    There are at least two other fractions.
    One other is the younger global citizen “hipster” fraction. (prefers young dude, Dudamel, Yannick, …)
    The third fraction is the “show me where the money is (that we used to make under Karajan)” fraction, which is bigger than it thinks it is… 😉

    So again, the fractions are:

    1.) music, music, music
    2.) hipsters
    3.) wanna be rich again

    I suppose to win the vote, you need the support of at least two of these fractions.
    Fischer and Petrenko have barely a chance, because they muster only the support of fraction one. I also suppose, nobody can win the vote without support of fraction three.

  • Pedro says:

    Haitink is my choice. Lots of stamina. Look at his schedule up to June 2016 (Mahler 3 with the SOBR in Cologne !) . He is the present Monteux ( in much better shape) and deserves the job for at least three seasons.

    • jaypee says:

      Why on earth would the Berlin Philharmonic hire a 86-year old conductor?
      Why not Harnoncourt or Boulez then?

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Why not Stanislav Skrowaczewski? Can any of the young hip conductors beat his Bruckner? Born in 1923, Skrowaczewski will be 95 in 2018. They should sign him up for 16 years, with an option for renewal (Monteux was 86 when the LSO signed him up for 25 years).

  • Alvaro Mendizabal says:

    Berlin went from THE orchestra (Karajan), to a sublime orchestra (Abbado), to …mmmeh. This is DIE BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER for gods sake – yet most of the most appropriate people for the job count themselves out.

    It needs someone who not only appeals to the insular ‘classical music’ caucus, but someone who has an international profile far above and beyond just classical music – such as Karajan.

    Karajan introduced the world to the CD…when the iPod came out, it was Jason Mraz next to Steve Jobs, not Simon Rattle. None of the candidates left have even a slight sense of cultural leverage outside of the classical realm, which will further drag the orchestra down. Dudamel or Barenboim have a much vivid presence outside of concert halls, which is exactly what the organization needs.

    Rattle might be amazing, but he never achieved the cultural visibility that his forbearers achieved (Despite of what many aficionados might say about X recording or Y performance). None of the names left in the ballot can even match Rattle in his inception, so what can one expect?

    Dudamel or Barenboim were the people for the job…anybody else is going to continue to make the Berliner very, very ‘mehh’….for a LONG time.

    • Anon says:

      Sorry , but that’s a lot of crap.

      “insular ‘classical music’ caucus” – huh? Not in Germany, not in Berlin.

      “but someone who has an international profile far above and beyond just classical music – such as Karajan.”

      Karajan had no international profile “above and beyond” when he took over the Berlin Phil.

      “Karajan introduced the world to the CD… when the iPod came out, it was Jason Mraz next to Steve Jobs, not Simon Rattle.”

      Crap. That says something about Steve Jobs, not about Rattle. Steve Jobs grew up when Karajan was at his mots prominent. It would be Karajan’s fault, that Steve Jobs doesn’t care about classical music, not Rattle’s.
      It was the classical music aficionado SONY CEO who sought the connection to Karajan.
      This is a problem of the dumbing down of the public in the last decades, not a problem of classical music.

      “None of the candidates left have even a slight sense of cultural leverage outside of the classical realm, which will further drag the orchestra down.”

      Wrong premise. the orchestra is not going down currently, so it can’t go down “further”.

      “Dudamel or Barenboim have a much vivid presence outside of concert halls, which is exactly what the organization needs.”

      You like them because they speak Spanish like you, don’t you? 😉

      “Dudamel or Barenboim were the people for the job…anybody else is going to continue to make the Berliner very, very ‘mehh’….for a LONG time.”

      You are free to bet on your favorite horse, but that’s your subjective preference.

      • Rgiarola says:

        You made the point on:

        “Dudamel or Barenboim have a much vivid presence outside of concert halls, which is exactly what the organization needs.”

        You like them because they speak Spanish like you, don’t you?

        Rhetorical question, perhaps.

  • Ben says:

    All are great candidates. However, Thielemann is the only one that doesn’t get me excited to watch him in DCH every week.

    But then again, I am nobody, so who cares.

  • Fryderyk says:

    Kirill Petrenko is absolutely phenomenal. Craftsmanship, musicianship, artistic vision and interpretative intensity. Hardly anyone can hold a candle to this chap. But as with all truly great performers, he’ll get there eventually, or rather, no matter where he is, he’ll make spectacular music, and to do so he won’t need the Berlin Phil – although they’d be lucky to have him 🙂

  • Daniel Farber says:

    Ivan Fischer is the only one mentioned with original ideas. He will not win many votes, because he would make them work too hard to play in a way they are not used to at all.

  • David Boxwell says:

    Hasn’t Fischer become accustomed to selecting his own players on short contracts? Can’t see how that’s a good fit with honcho’ing the BPO.

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    Karajan hologram gets my vote.

  • MacroV says:

    Not sure about how the contracts work, but Fischer, it might have escaped the attention of some, is among other things director of the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra (which is, what, the #4 or 5 orchestra in Berlin?).

    The Budapest Festival Orchestra works basically as a part-time, freelance group. “Flexibility” is the supposed virtue.

    • musician says:

      Hi Macrov,

      Just for your info the BFO is a full-time orchestra, ranked as one of the best in the world. It has a Government subsidy and tour the worlds most prestigious concert halls to acclaimed reviews.

  • Novagerio says:

    Jaypee, when and where has Thielemann conducted Werner Egk?

    • Laurids says:

      Yes, and now tell us, Jaypee, EVERYTHING you ‘know’ about Thielemann’s politics.
      Naming ha ha sources and providing proof, and its relevance to anything musical. And of course the politics of Janson, Petrenko, Fischer, Dudamel…particularily Fisher.
      Also, have you alerted the BPO to your ‘findings’? Prehaps also a treatise on
      the uses and abuses of character assasination. Run along, now….

      • jaypee says:

        Don’t worry, your dear Christian hasn’t been assassinated by little old me. And I am not worried about his next gigs either. But he won’t be get the Berlin position. Politically, this guy is toxic and Berlin won’t take him.

        So, sorry guys, but Berlin will continue to play Mahler…

        “when and where has Thielemann conducted Werner Egk”

        That was a joke. Silly, but a joke anyway. I should have said Max von Schilling. Or Carl Orff. Or a full program of Richard Strauss’ wartime compositions…

  • Novagerio says:

    Jaypee:

    1) If Thielemann doesn’t get the Berlin position it is most likely going to be due to his refusal to dance to the Berlin-Senate’s tune again, something the musical world already noticed back in 2002, unless of course things change in his favour, wich would be very unlikely (In Sachsen, things are apparently the opposite). However, he has not announced any personal withdrawal from the candidates list like Barenboim just did – so, something might in fact be coocking, and personally, I think he has strong support within the Berlin Philharmonic. Eather way, we should respect whoever is chosen with majority by the orchestra; afterall, they have to select their own musical profile builder and working leader for the next 7-10 years.

    2) For many people – and despite the pros and cons, Christian Thielemann is today considered Germany’s Number One conductor. And the fact he is a proud Prussian with conservative tastes doesn’t automatically mean that he would consider opening his eventual inaugural concert with the Horst Wessel Lied!!

    3) As for Werner Egk, his Der Revisor and Die Verlobung in San Domingo are pretty good operas. And as a composer, Egk is not any worse than many of his contemporaries, like Boris Blacher, Gottfired von Einem, Wolfgang Fortner, Ernst Pepping, Paul Graener, Max Trapp, Ernst Toch, Egon Wellesz, Kurt Hessenberg Karl Marx(!), Theodor Berger, Bernhard Sekles, Max von Schillings, Günter Raphael, Gerhart von Westerman, Hans Brehme etc. If the political card or the opportunism are more important to you, then let’s meet back on an earlier thread about Soviet composers during Stalin, or the Chavez-supported El Sistema in Venezuela. Oh! I forgot: communists are saints!

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