Dudamel is ‘sensational’ with Berlin Philharmonic

Dudamel is ‘sensational’ with Berlin Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

June 14, 2015

The LA Phil music director has just received the rave of his life.

Christiane Tewinkel in Der Tagespiegel came away from his Mahler first symphony feeling she had undergone ‘an overwhelming experience, a listening experience that overcomes all else.’

Her review continues: ‘Anyone who can conduct Mahler like that deserves a Nobel Prize in music.’

Read Christiane here (auf Deutsch).

The Berlin players, struggling to agree on a music director, will be regrettng Gustavo’s declared non-availability.


dudamel berlin
photo © Matthias Creutziger/UNITEL


  • Prewartreasure says:

    And his ‘3’ is to die for! (extract link below)


    Better even than Lennie B’s, methinks.

  • Al G says:

    Ford G’sS, stop it! Stop promoting Duda! He’s talented, I give him that, but he is not ready for an orchestra like the Berlin Phil. No one at the Berlin Phil regrets this kid is not available.

  • Marter says:

    Did Maduro liked the performance?

    • T-ARAFANBOY says:

      ..possibly, because Dudamel always turns out gripping, inspired performances, giving new insights to the music, instead of just whining/improvising…

      • Marter says:

        Did Gabriela Montero like the performance?

      • iplas says:

        By “just whining and improvising” I presume you mean “advocating as the Honorary Consul of Amnesty International for the basic human rights of all Venezuelans to live in security”, and “composing and recording a work, Ex Patria, dedicated to that noble objective”. We wouldn’t want readers to be mislead as to the extent and courage of Ms. Montero’s creative dissent, would we, T-ARAFANBOY?

        • T-ARAFANBOY says:

          Well, I wasn’t the one to start the whining here – it was supposed to be a post about Dudamel and the Berlin Philharmonic.
          But no, we wouldn’t want the readers to be mislead as to the extent in which Dudamel dedicates his life not only to music, but also in ensuring the wellbeing of over half a million disadvantaged Venezuelan children, and their families (and at no negligible cost to himself), through carefully trying to sustain the educational and social benefits of El Sistema throughout most of the country, in these troubled times. This in itself is indeed a heroic political balancing act for which Dudamel deserves respect and admiration, instead of the continued and arbitrary bashing he receives from those who display little understanding of the merciless position he finds himself in, having had this impossible situation thrust upon him. I for one salute his steadfastness.

  • Angela Rodion says:

    I’d be curious to know who else Frau Tewinkel has actually heard conduct a Mahler symphony. Her review reads like a gushing fan without any gravitas or objectivity.

    • John Borstlap says:

      It’s the curly hairdo (always very attractive to girls) which did the trick.

      • V.Lind says:

        Really? I dislike curly hair on men, and do not think Dudamel particularly good-looking, though I have met him and think he is a NICE-looking fellow with a winning smile.

        What odd ideas men have about What Women Like.

      • La Donna del Largo says:

        Yes, and male critics to a man all swoon over a voluptuous bosom.

      • AnnaT says:

        Well, that and being referred to as “girls.” That is “always very attractive” to us as well.

    • Olassus says:

      I was wondering the same thing. And anyone who reaches conclusions about a conductor based on his or her Mahler probably lacks experience.

      • Pianofortissimo says:

        … and, really, Mahler’s No. 1 is no great challenge.

        • Ellingtonia says:

          So I presume you have conducted it numerous times to rapturous acclaim as it is so easy………………..details of your performances would be welcomed.

  • RW2013 says:

    Must stay
    in the U.S. and A.

  • Gav says:

    interesting … last time i had dudamel conduct a mahler symphony i thought it one of the worst mahler performance ive ever heard ….

    • AZ Cowboy says:

      The first time I heard Dudamel conduct a Mahler symphony it was also the first in LA and I was completely unimpressed, underwhelmed. Maybe it was the orchestra, but I doubt it. I think it was the conducting. It’s not Mahler’s “Concerto for Orchestra”, but that’s how he played it.

    • Leandro says:

      Me too…Technically speaking, Christiane review is not a critic at all – there is no music fundamentals in judgment on it. There is any music critic in Berlin?

    • Rgiarola says:

      Me neither. His Mahler 5 with Philharmonia years ago made me ask to myself “Why so much ado for nothing?” C’mon, on 2015 there are people still pushing hype around him! He stays in LA, since no other place will do the same Hollywood promotion of him, or tolerate his flerting with the assassins in Venezuela. I think Dudamel should be unavailable to conduct Berlin anymore. That would be his best idea, in my humble opinion. Perhaps some lady in Universität der Künste Berlin, believes that the local Philharmonic didn’t get him, due to some decision by himself. “Que Broma! engañado o victimizado”

      Oh my God! I’ve just search here on slipped disc both names “Dudamel” and “Kirill Petrenko”, and there are much more results for the first. The musicians of Berlin are really crazy? Or did we talk too much about the wrong worse?

  • T-ARAFANBOY says:

    Although now I’m somewhat immune to this symphony, having heard it #thousand times, I can understand why she came away from Dudamel’s Mahler first so enthusiastic.
    I’ve seen a few times now Dudamel’s Mahler first, with LA Phil. (on MezzoTV) and it really makes for a totally refreshing and compelling performance (this concert also included an excellent account of John Adam’s ‘City Noir’).
    Yes, Dudamel is the man for Berlin.

  • gvj says:

    Yes, the performance was fantastic. As a matter of fact, it got better as it progressed from a kind of a “faulty” start (for Berlin Phil standards, of course) where winds were not quite together to a tight, vigorous last movement. Dudamel may not be “ready” for something like a Berliner artistic director post (needs to be more mature and seasoned perhaps) but it seems that his rapport with the orchestra this time really clicked. His conducting was more in line with what Berliner likes, it seemed, if compared to his Mahler 3rd sometime ago.

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    Having read the Tagesspiegel review and the comments on it, Dudamel made an impression with Mahler, at the expense of Mozart’s Posthorn Serenade. Luckily for the conductor, he had world class artists on the podium so appeared to have rescued the performance.

  • rambonito says:

    Dudamel is a boring conductor, who has a sensational PR. And having the big luck to conduct orchestras playing by themselves.
    It would start being interesting to experience him leading a middle province opera house…

  • Harry Kirschner says:

    Dudamel has delivered the goods far better than his predecessor.

  • Ben says:

    It’s the Dude’s fellow Venezuelan, Rafael Payare, who people really need to keep an eye on. He is a serious conductor who is currently proving himself by taking on the Ulster Orchestra and making them sound better than they have for a very long time. He will eventually have an important job somewhere.

  • Herrera says:

    Who Cares?

    If praise be given, give it to the guy who wrote the music, not the guy who waves the stick.

  • MacroV says:

    You can all watch it on the Digital Concert Hall in a few days.

  • Luciano says:

    Not sure what the reason for the Dudamel bashing is. He is the real deal and in my opinion is head and shoulders above Nelsons. There remains a good chance he will be the next Chief in Berlin.

  • Pedro says:

    It will be difficult to surpass yesterday’s magnificent performance of Mahler 1 by Haitink and the LSO at the Barbican. Maybe Dudamel in 2060 but I won’t be here to judge.

  • John Lancaster says:

    Just watched the concert on the Digital Concert Hall. Did not care for Dudamel’s interpretation of the Mahler 1st. Don’t know what Christiane went so crazy about in her article. My favorite interpretation is the August , 2010 opening BPO concert with Simon Rattle conducting. That’s how you play Mahler 1st. To me anyway.

  • Pelegrin Montagu says:

    There is no shortage of hysterical!

    • Rgiarola says:

      Indeed! 2 months after the post, you came here to defend Mr. Hype. No other would have such stormtroopers defend him/her in the classical music metier.

      Now you can beat me up….