From gramophone records to the Digital Concert Hall
Under Alfred Hertz, at the time conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Philharmoniker make their first recording on disc with excerpts from Richard Wagner’s »Parsifal« on eight 78rpm records. The recording is made mechanically with a cone, diaphragm and a needle which records the vibrations on a cylinder or disc.
Under the baton of Arthur Nikisch, the first complete recording of a symphony is made with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67.
The documentary “Botschafter der Musik - Wilhelm Furtwängler und die Berliner Philharmoniker” is made in 1951 under the working title “Klingendes Herz”, based on an idea by Wolfgang Bruning under the direction of Hermann Stöß. The film is particularly interesting for the recordings of the Philharmoniker under Sergiu Celibidache, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Richard Strauss and Bruno Walter. The photo shows director Hermann Stöss (left) and Sergiu Celibidache (right) during the shooting of the film.
Herbert von Karajan was a technology fanatic who was not only interested in the possibilities of audio but also visual recording. The recording of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony was produced by Karajan and his cinematographer Ernst Wild in Berlin in 1973. Karajan and his Director of Photography Ernst Wild made this film at the end of a decade during which he and a group of distinguished avant-garde film directors had changed the way orchestral music was realised on screen.
Breaking into the digital age: In Salzburg, Karajan and the head of Sony, Akio Morita, presented the Compact Disc (CD) which records analogue audio signals using digital computational processes.
Gustavo Dudamel made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in June 2008, around six months before the Digital Concert Hall opened its virtual doors. And since then, all of his appearances with the orchestra have been documented there. Here he conducts Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3.
Rarely has a documentary about classical music met with such a response or received so many awards as the film "Rhythm Is It!" which has been shown in cinemas all round the world. In the archive of the Digital Concert Hall, there are other films and documentaries about the orchestra.
With the European Concerts, the Berliner Philharmoniker celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the orchestra on 1 May 1882 and at the same time they remember Europe’s common cultural heritage. In addition to the many, often spectacular, venues, the recordings boast a top-class line-up of artists.
In addition to the many, often spectacular venues, the recordings boast a top-class line-up of artists. Central to these performances – in addition to the Berliner Philharmoniker themselves – are chief conductors Claudio Abbado and Sir Simon Rattle plus there are many close friends of the orchestra such as Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons and Gustavo Dudamel
Every year, the Berliner Philharmoniker bring their concert season to a close with a colourful and exciting event which is regularly sold-out: an open-air concert at the Berlin Waldbühne. The concert in 2015 was a celebration of film music.
Three times a season, you can see the Berliner Philharmoniker in a cinema near you: The broadcasts of the concerts use the technology of the Digital Concert Hall, the Berliner Philharmoniker's video platform on the Internet, where some fourty concerts per season can be seen live from the Philharmonie in HD quality.
Historical Perspective: In the archive of the Digital Concert Hall, there is a series of historical concerts such as the legendary Beethoven cycle under the direction of Claudio Abbado in Rome.
The Berliner Philharmoniker launch a new in-house label, Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, to release selected future concert programmes, marking the first time the orchestra will be responsible for the technical and editorial presentation of its own recordings. The first recording on the new label is one of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s most important musical projects in recent years: Robert
Schumann’s complete symphonies conducted by chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
The multimedia Schumann cycle in 2013 - on CD, Blu-ray, LP, download, and in the Digital Concert Hall
Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation