Berlin is cold but Christmassy and I'm delighted to say that The Tenor in My Life made a spectacular Berlin Philharmonic début last night. Just amazing. I've heard him sing Das Lied von der Erde a billion times (well, almost) and it's always fantastic but I'm prepared to say that last night's was the best yet. The urge among the audience to applaud after the fifth song (his last, but of course not the end of the piece) was palpable. And oh my word can that band play. I have to say, sitting there and listening to the Berlin Philharmonic play Mahler was definitely one of those extraordinary how-did-I-get-here moments.
Not to mention the bonus of hearing Anne Sofie von Otter sing the alto half of Das Lied – first time I'd heard her live – and Gerald Finley being fabulous in the final scene of Cunning Little Vixen, which started the concert. Das Lied and Janacek gloriousness in the same night, and played by one of the best orchestras in the universe – with Sir Simon Rattle on the podium, what's more. It really doesn't get much better than that, does it?
Two more concerts, tomorrow and Saturday. The last is particularly exciting as it's to be broadcast globally via the Berlin Phil's Digital Concert Hall. So even if you're not in Berlin – if you're in, say, Australia (hint hint) and want to support a homegrown heldentenor (hint hint) – you can still watch it, either live or after the fact, as they archive everything. Ain't technology swell?