Berlin Without Walls: Inside the Philharmonic

This one-hour program took listeners behind the scenes to discover what makes the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra one of the world's greatest ensembles. The program examined the various aspects of the Orchestra, in both modern and historical context, from the players to the legendary conductors. Respected and beloved conductor Sir Simon Rattle deconstructed the orchestra section by section and put it back together to hear just how they make that incredible sound. In describing the rich sonic color of the Berlin Philharmonic, conductor Simon Rattle said that it "comes from the center of the Earth." The special also viewed the Philharmonic within the context of Nazi Germany through the story of violinist Helmut Stern who fled Germany at the start of the war, and returned afterwards to join the Philharmonic under former Nazi party member Herbert von Karajan, and examined how each maestro brought his own particular style to bear on the ensemble, and how the Philharmonic always managed to maintain its own separate identity in spite of the man on the podium, be it Furtwangler, von Karajan, Celibidache, Abbado - the list goes on.

The Berlin Philharmonic is made up of virtuoso players from around the world, and we heard from the instrumentalists themselves as they describe their experiences from the initial audition, to performing with one of the world's great orchestras.

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