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Waldbuhne in Berlin 1998
Latin American Night
Maurice RAVEL (1875 – 1937)

Bolero (1928)
Georges BIZET (1756 – 1791)

Carmen Suite No. 1 (1875)
Alberto GINASTERA (1916 – 1983)

Malambo from Estancia Op. 8. (1940)
Ernesto LECUONA (1896 – 1963)

La Comparsa

Horatio SALGAN (20th Century)

A Don Agustin Bardi (1950)
Astor PIAZOLLA (1921 – 1992)

Adios Nonino

Carlos GARDEL (1887 – 1935)

El dia que me quieras

Gerardo Matos Rodriguez (20th Century)

La Cumparsita

Mariano MORES (20th Century)

El Firulette


Berliner Lufte
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniel Barenboim
Directed by Bob Coles
recorded 21st June 1998 at the Waldebuhne, Berlin (DVD)
TDK DV-WBLAT [91 minutes]


TDK is at present building up quite a collection of concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. One series is that of the European Concerts, given on May 1st each year in different European cities, and the second is that of the Waldbuhne Concerts, a summer series given out of doors in an enormous open air auditorium by the Orchestra with a variety of different conductors.

This concert is a little different, in that instead of the outwardly popular repertoire chosen for other years, this one, having the Argentinean conductor Daniel Barenboim at the helm, is primarily made up of short works from a variety of his compatriots. One of two of the pieces are reasonably well known, but the majority do not see the light of day very often, particularly in Europe. To have an orchestra of the calibre of the Berlin Philharmonic in top form, performing these pieces is a constant joy and the fact that they, their conductor, and particularly the audience, seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves throughout the programme is the mark of a good outing for this repertoire.

The concert starts with Ravel’s Bolero. It makes its usual impact on the audience and receives a tremendous reception. Barenboim then leads the orchestra in a very bracing performance of the first suite from Carmen, also very well received. The interval is then followed by the second half of the concert, made up of various South American pieces.

Barenboim introduces each of the short pieces of Argentinean origin, all under five minutes duration apart from Piazzolla’s Adios Nonino and Gardel’s El dia que me quieras, but even these are not substantial. The second half of the concert ends with the Berliner Luft, by Lincke, this piece being traditional at these concerts and revelled in by the look and sound of it.

Throughout the concert the orchestra plays with its accustomed expertise and they seem to be enjoying themselves enormously with this relatively unknown repertoire. Barenboim, acting as this music’s ambassador is clearly in his element and is responsible for this enjoyment.

As usual with these DVDs, there is a good set of notes, giving a translation of Barenboim’s introduction to each of the Argentinean pieces, but why waste space with three identical half page photos of the conductor when they could have provided more. And if you have to have three photos, why not choose portraits of the man smiling, given the fun of the proceedings.

Thoroughly recommended.

John Phillips



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