When Sir Simon Rattle finished out his tenure with the Berlin Philharmonic last year, after 16 years leading one of the world’s great orchestras, critics said the audience reception and sheer bedlam at the end was something usually reserved for a farewell performance by an Opera diva. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a break from guiding the ship of State to stomp and yell with the rest of the audience as the final curtain came down on Simon Rattle’s illustrious time with the iconic German Orchestra.
So as a reminder, not of the farewell concert, but of a typical Rattle/BPO collaboration, here is a concert recorded by RBB in Berlin on October 30, 2010, featuring music of Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Mahler.
Schoenberg’s – Survivor of Warsaw, blending almost seamlessly into Mahler’s Symphony Number 2 “Resurrection” featuring the Radio Choir of Berlin, Kate Royal, Soprano – Magdalena Kožená, Mezzosoprano and Hanns Zischler, speaker in Survivor Of Warsaw.
Certainly not an easy care-free concert – but a committed one with powerful connotations.
In 1994 Simon Rattle was knighted by the Queen of England and has since received numerous distinctions. In 1996 the Toepfer Foundation in Hamburg awarded him the Shakespeare Prize; in 1997 he received the Albert Medal from the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his extraordinary service to music, his activities in music education and his contributions to the musical community, all of which are important aspects of his work in Berlin. Since assuming his post as artistic director of the Philharmonic in September 2002, he has taken the orchestra in new directions with the Education Programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He has been honoured many times for his commitment to music education. In May 2005 he was awarded the Schiller Special Prize by the city of Mannheim, and in Spring 2007 he received the Golden Camera and the Urania Medal. In November 2007 Sir Simon Rattle was awarded the German Children’s Prize, and the same month he and the Berliner Philharmoniker were appointed as international UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors in New York, the first time this honour has been conferred on an artistic ensemble. In spring 2009 Sir Simon Rattle received the Spanish Premio Don Juan de Borbón de la Música in Segovia. He was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by President Horst Köhler in October 2009, twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In June 2010 Sir Simon Rattle was awarded a knighthood in the French Legion of Honour on behalf of the French President by Bernard de Montferrant, the French ambassador to Germany.
Two important pieces of music – all you have to do is click on the Player and absorb.