Unseen recording: Kirill Petrenko conducts Mahler

Unseen recording: Kirill Petrenko conducts Mahler


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2015

There are virtually no audio recordings of the incoming Berlin Philharmonic chief, and such video as exists is mostly opera.

Happily, Alexandros Rigas has come up with this 2004 Berlin performance of Mahler’s 4th symphony – not the Berlin Philharmonic, but a beautifully phrased and delicately shaped interpretation. Mischa Horenstein has just posted it on Youtube. Hear what all the fuss is about here:



  • Peter says:

    “Unseen video” Indeed, unseen until all eternity, because this is an audio recording without video. Duh!

    • norman lebrecht says:


      • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

        So glad I have ears! 🙂 Just heard the first opening bars, before having to leave for other things – sounds very good, and I think that a very fine Mahler 4 awaits me when I have the opportunity to hear the video later. Thanks, Norman, for posting.

      • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

        Norman, Kirill Petrenko’s Mahler IV is very fine, except that in the YouTube clip the final five chords of the first movement are missing: it merrily approaches its conclusion, but suddenly, at 16:12, it breaks off. Thankfully, Mischa Horenstein adds this to his notes: “with apologies for the missing 1½ bars of music at the end” – The other three movements are complete, and indeed beautifully performed. If only the missing 1½ bars were included – as beautifully as the symphony is played, these missing bars ruin the whole. What a pity….

  • Callum Foster says:

    If you want to hear a really fine performance from Petrenko and the BPO, their account of Elgar’s 2nd symphony on the Digital Concert Hall is worth seeking out. One of the best I have heard, especially the third movement.

    • Peter Phillips says:

      Better than the recent one from the Staatskapelle?

      • Olassus says:

        Of course they both should have been performing his good symphony 😉

        • Peter Phillips says:

          You are right, they should, though I am still in two minds about the Barenboim. Watch out for Elgar 2 from the other Petrenko in Liverpool. Should be out in a month or two.

  • Ppellay says:

    I concur. A truly exciting performance, very taut and alive.

  • G. Conte says:

    On Spotify is possible to listen to two albums, “Palestrina”, from Hans Pfitzner, with the Frankfurter Opern-und Museumsorchester; and Josef Suk’s “Ripening” & “Tale of a Winter’s Evening”, with the Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin.

  • Max Grimm says:

    Norman, another very fine performance with Petrenko and the Staatskapelle Berlin is the (not often performed) Lyric Symphony by Alexander von Zemlinsky.


    • Olassus says:

      Which — take note, Berliners — he was supposed to conduct with his Bavarian State Orchestra this past January but canceled due to a full plate.

      • Peter says:

        Sounds great to me, a musician who doesn’t sacrifice his ambitions for quality for another paycheck.

        • Olassus says:

          It is great. But I wonder how he will cope with the volume of work as Peter Riegelbauer’s Chefdirigent when just preparing Lucia di Lammermoor leaves him feeling overwhelmed. And a one-season overlap, 2020-21, with Munich seems even less realistic. Nobody wants him to push himself too far, if you understand what I am saying.

  • Misha says:

    Life isn’t perfect, and restoring those five chords would have meant redoing the whole video, an hour or two that I didn’t have. My sincere apologies for the abrupt end to the 1st movement. May I suggest you adopt the glass-is-half-full approach instead?

  • Alexandros Rigas says:

    In regards to the missing bars, whoever is interested please send me an e-mail and I ll send you my Dropbox link for you to download the complete uncompressed recording.

    Alexandros Rigas

    • Alexandros Rigas says:

      You can download the uncompressed (flac) complete concert as originally captured from my dropbox:


      Komische Oper Berlin
      Aufzeichnung vom 5.11.04

      1. Rodion Schtschedrin »Alte russische Zirkusmusik«
      2. Luciano Berio »Folk-Songs« fόr Stimme und Orchester
      3. Gustav Mahler Sinfonie Nr. 4 G-dur

      Brigitte Geller, Sopran
      Caren von Oijen, Mezzosopran
      Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin
      Leitung: Kirill Petrenko

      Deutschlandradio Kultur, 18 Nov 2004