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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Going Digital

I just signed up for a 2009/10 subscription to the entire concert season of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

No, I don't plan to spent a year in Berlin, but through the portal of a virtual "Digital Concert Hall" (sponsored by Deutsche Bank) I am able to attend archived and live concerts via the magic of the Internet.

Since 2002 Sir Simon Rattle has been the Principal Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmonie. The programming is rather good, and includes a number of contemporary works.

I'm also a fan of the "Berliner" since their sampled digital sounds were utilized just recently in the electronic realization of my Chamber Symphony composed earlier this year. Attending their concerts is almost like hearing old friends perform.

I checked out an archived performance conducted by Semyon Bychhov of Igor Stravinsky's Symphonies for Wind Instruments (1947 version) and Arnold Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (1943 string orchestra version). Not only was the stereo sound superb, but the video was in high definition (if you have broadband). I have no complaints about the technology. It's simply incredible. This is not your father's YouTube.

A season pass to access the entire Berliner Philharmoniker-Philharmonie concert series (including chamber music concerts) costs 149 Euros. Individual concert tickets can be purchased for 9.90 EUR. Not bad when you think that you don't have to purchase a transcontinental airline ticket or stay at a hotel. Fortunately I received my season pass as a promotional gift.

I like going digital... no traffic, parking, or transportation problems to contend with. No H1N1 virus to worry about. And I can watch it more or less when I feel like it. Ill never leave the house again. Let's call out for pizza delivery.