Episode #106

Berlin Philharmonic Plays Mahler's Symphony No. 2

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 has a significant connection to the Berlin Philharmonic. The composer himself led the first performance of this work with the orchestra in 1895, and it went on to become one of his most successful pieces with the public. The epic five-movement canvas explores a theme no less than that of death and resurrection.

This performance is led by Simon Rattle, a conductor with a long and well-documented history with Mahler's symphonies and especially the "Resurrection." He recorded it in 2010 with Berlin Philharmonic, where he has been principal conductor since 1999, and previously with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Completing the Austrian theme of tonight's program are three songs by Hugo Wolf.

Full program details are below. Participate on Twitter by using the hashtag #CHLive. The full broadcast archive is posted above for on-demand listening.


Program Details

Berliner Philharmoniker
Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director and Conductor
Camilla Tilling, Soprano
Bernarda Fink, Mezzo-Soprano
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Joe Miller, Conductor

HUGO WOLF - "Elfenlied"
HUGO WOLF - "Der Feuerreiter"
HUGO WOLF - "Frühlingschor" from Manuel Venegas
GUSTAV MAHLER - Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, "Resurrection"

Comments [35]

Barry Bernstein from London

Thank you WQZR. I just heard this performance on the net. We were lucky enough to go to Berlin from London to see the first performance of the completed Bruckner 9. I do believe that the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle is not just one of the finest orchestra's in the world. It is numero uno!

Mar. 28 2012 02:35 PM


Please email listenerservices@wqxr.org to report the trouble you're having playing the audio. Please include the web browser you use.

Mar. 13 2012 11:23 AM
Joy from Elkin, NC

Couldn't get the media to stream. Loved the intro in the car and came in the house to listen. No amount of clicking or backing out and coming back to this page and not clicking would work. Email me if there is time.

Mar. 12 2012 09:21 PM
Jeff Spurgeon

@Michael Tubbs: Thanks for your interest, Michael, but we can't further release this performance. The contracts for these broadcasts involve Carnegie Hall, the orchestras, conductors, and soloists, and include terms for live broadcast on the radio, live streaming on the internet, and post-concert on-demand streaming and re-broadcast within a specified time period. And it's even more complicateder than that! -- the artists almost always wait until after the concert to give permission for streaming here. (Like anyone else, they like to check their work before it's made available to the public again.) We're grateful to every performer who allows us to share these concerts online this way. So enjoy it here and now! But we'll let Sir Simon know that you'd like a copy of this concert for your very own. Thanks!

Mar. 10 2012 08:23 AM
Michael Tubbs from Washington DC

I second an earlier request, how can I purchase/obtain a copy of this broadcast and/or the extraordinary concert itself? Thanks.

Mar. 05 2012 01:15 PM
Diane from Maplewood, NJ

Thanks for broadcasting this series, and Saturday's Mahler was a particularly wonderful performance. It sounded as if it got the usually
light and perky Jeff Spurgeon close to tears. How amazing it must have been to have that "surround sound" of being off stage during such a performance.
These broadcasts are another reason to make me glad I've pledged!

Mar. 01 2012 06:57 PM
S.P Young from Cocoa, Florida

I'm so proud of my grandson, Johnny Wilson, being part of this marvelous performance. An experience of a lifetime! Treasure it always!

Feb. 28 2012 08:35 PM
Carol from Winona, Mn.

Enjoyed the concert very much, especially hearing the Westminster Choir as my Grandson is a senior this year singing with the choir. Awesome sound!
Way to go, Willie!!!

Feb. 28 2012 04:40 PM
Abigail Wrenn from Tarzana, CA 91356

Thank you WQXR for bringing this music BEYOND THE CONCERT HALL. I am a Westminster grad (1993) and working under Joseph Flummerfelt & Leonard Bernstein was the zenith of my life experience. My choral training started at 8 yrs. old at St Bartholomews Church in NYC in 1943.

Again, thank you so much, WQXR, for this broadcast and connecting the dots throughout my life.

Feb. 27 2012 03:38 PM
Joel Stein from Boston

I came down from Boston and heard the Friday and Saturday night concerts. An amazing orchestra. This concert will be broadcast on Symphonycast in a few weeks and will be on their website for listening for several weeks after

Feb. 27 2012 01:31 PM
richard goldwater from 02459

I deplore the chatty commentary that prevents anyone from getting into the open, personal, solemn mood for listening to good music. Listening to Mahler is not like watching TV sports, attending a Stones concert, or god forbid, watching opera on PBS. All that NYC narcissism aimed to make the listener feel special! It is all about social acceptability and the fear of art among the post-yuppie set (those whom we used to call "middlebrow", or maybe unibrow). And, not more than a word or 2 about the music. I don't care about the backstage bustle! Focus on the music, and stop the happy talk!
Tuning in to the Mahler reminds me why I left New York for Boston decades ago.

Feb. 27 2012 01:17 PM
Les Bernstein from Miami, Florida

Thank you so much, WQXR, for putting the entire concert on your website. The performance was memorable not in the least because Maestro Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic adhered to the dynamic and tempo markings more carefully than previous recorded favorite performers have and the results were a revelation. The Westminster Symphonic Choir sounded glorious and Camilla Tilling and Bernarda Fink sounded inspired. (Apologies if my comment appears twice. I'm using a different browser now.)

Feb. 27 2012 12:50 PM

Thanks for streaming this concert from Carnegie - it is fantastic to compare this group doing this via the Digital Concert Hall from Berlin last week - Having stored these files I can notw continue to compare these two incredible performances in excellnet fidelity - WOW!
Give this a try - incredible technology and art - world class thanks!

Feb. 27 2012 12:49 PM
Dan McGlaun from Indianapolis

I too was at this concert, and was blown away. This is truly the greatest orchestra in the world. Where can I get (buy?) a copy of the stream?

Feb. 26 2012 05:06 PM
Will from Princeton NJ/ Long Island NY

I was so honored to be in the choir for this performance. What an amazing and life changing moment in my life!

Feb. 26 2012 04:50 PM
Chris Walsh from Long Island, NY

I was at this performance last night and it was absolutely stunning! Thank you WQXR for sharing it with the wider community.

Feb. 26 2012 08:58 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

A magnificent performance of a magnificent work! Thank you, WQXR, for broadcasting this!

Feb. 25 2012 10:35 PM
Victoria from CT

Wonderful! Thank you, WQXR.

Feb. 25 2012 10:23 PM
Joan from Boston, MA

I graduated from Westminster Choir College in 2008, and I am SO thankful I can still take part in the beautiful music all these years later living in Boston!

Feb. 25 2012 09:43 PM
Southern Gal from ny

lots of problem playing the webstream. esp via winamp.

plays for a minute or so and then drops out. then have to have the ad announcement before can reconnect this has happened for the last hour.

Feb. 25 2012 09:35 PM
Aunt in DSM IA from Des Moines Iowa

A proud Aunt in Iowa listening to her niece in the Westminster Choir

Feb. 25 2012 09:34 PM
Teresa from Staten island, ny

Thank you, wqxr for bringing tis amazing concert to all of us who could not be there to see it.

Feb. 25 2012 09:28 PM
Keith from SC

Another proud parent here - of a senior at WCC. What a great experience for her and for all of the students in Symphonic Choir.

Feb. 25 2012 09:07 PM
Kirin from Evanston, IL

How fantastic that the Westminster Symphonic Choir can be a part of this concert with Berlin Phil. and Rattle! I sang many concerts as a member of Westminster Symphonic Choir when I was a graduate student there, including a life-changing performance of Mahler's 2nd with Leonard Bernstein (a concert that was recorded and released by Deutschegramofon). The other concerts I sang with "Symphonic" (as we called that choir) included several with Bernstein, several with Muti, concerts with Rostropovich, Slatkin, Mehta, Abbado, and others, and with NYPhil, Philadelphia orch., Vienna Phil., and Juilliard orchestra. The education and opportunities that students have at Westminster are unbeatable.
So congratulations to Westminster Symphonic Choir and Joe Miller!!

Feb. 25 2012 08:55 PM
Julie Murphy

THANK YOU to WQXR for broadcasting this concert. We were not able to be present tonight to not only hear this amazing musical event, but are missing our daughter performing with the Westminster Choir College Symphonic Choir. You have brought Carnegie Hall and our precious daughter "home to us" tonight as we listen to your detailed description of what is going on backstage AND onstage. With great appreciation, The Murphy Famiy.

Feb. 25 2012 08:47 PM
Stephen from North Bay

As always with this choral force, they are so accomplished, agile, and musically-conceptually fit. (and young). What an experience for them and us.
These songs have such breadth. Hope there is a recording. If not, use this performance.

Feb. 25 2012 08:29 PM
Gramma from Florida

We are very proud to be listening to our grand daughter in the Westminster Choir. We are in FL

Feb. 25 2012 08:21 PM

This is two saturdays in succession when all we can hear of QXR via iTunes is the opening advertisement.
The browser based player has no ability to twiddle the equalization (

Feb. 25 2012 08:19 PM
lynn from South Carolina

It sounds wonderful!! I am also a proud mother of a Westminster student. For those who can't hear it on the Carnegie hall website, please go to http://www.wqxr.org/#/programs/carnegie/2012/feb/25/

Feb. 25 2012 08:15 PM
t slaymaker from Gilbertsville, Pa.

Proud parents of a Westminster student. What an awesome opportunity!

Feb. 25 2012 08:08 PM
Robert Carroll from GA

I had been waiting for a couple of months and had this marked on my calendar. Now there seems to be no way to listen. I'm steaming!

Feb. 25 2012 08:06 PM

@Mark - Yes the recording will be available on WQXR.org within the next couple days afterward.

Feb. 25 2012 07:33 PM

I'd like to know if the program will be available to replay after the concert is over, perhaps after a few days. I have another commitment but I am very sad to be missing this concert :(

Feb. 25 2012 05:44 PM

Can't wait to hear the Berlin Philharmonic play this concert - as the concert it sold out this is the only way to hear this wonderful program - thanks for bringing it to us - wish it were in higher resolution!
Vic Dvorak

Feb. 25 2012 12:29 PM
Georges ugeux from 10021

You deserve the price for the worst radio website and the stupidest IPad application.
For example, I tried to find today's program. Impossible...eventually I get something...tonight @ 8 pm, the Live from carnegie hall. I click. I get the programs of last month. No mention of the Mahler concert that you talk about on the air. Your program is absurdly displayed and close to impossible to find. Guess what?This is the first request a listener wants. Did you know that?This is a serious management flaw and a miscinception of the business you are in. I know, the notion that listeners want to know your program is odd..or maybe too basic for you! Shame! If you want contributions which are prominently displayed, you might want to deserve it first!

Feb. 25 2012 10:11 AM

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