In the summer months, the Berlin Philharmonic gives
a Concert in the Waldbühne, a large open air park in Berlin. I
suppose these concerts are akin to the UKs Kenwood and Leeds Castle
events with the exception that the current concert uses the Berlin Philharmonic
with an internationally famous conductor.
This DVD is directed by Brian Large, and we have imaginative
camera work and superb sound to enhance our pleasure, incidentally shared
by the vast audience sitting or standing all around the stage.
The current concert is made up of popular classics
primarily of late 19th century works from composers of mid-European
birth. These are the kind of pieces which would make up a good Classic
The Berlin Philharmonic plays superbly for Mariss Jansons,
and with this event being somewhat less serious than a lot of their
usual musical activities, the enjoyment on the faces of the players
is clearly evident. The quality of the playing is in no way compromised.
We have a slight mishap with the music score in the cello desks during
the Suppé, with an attendant slight gap in the performance, but
this merely enhances the whole effect of the concert.
The audience is extremely well behaved, with none of
the drunken rowdiness which occasionally mars functions like this in
Britain. The most extrovert audience behaviour appeared to be three
scruffs dancing, to the astonishment of the nearby listeners, but this
may have been judicious camera placement rather than anything else.
Like the Proms however, the audience appears to be extremely calm and
collected until the last piece is reached, when sparklers are lit and
waved about in the dark. If the repertoire attracts you, then go out
and buy this disc. I guarantee you will enjoy it, and with such good
sound, notes and production, it is a winner.