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Posted July 18, 2011
For me, it is hard to go wrong with a Berlin Philharmonic performance, but when you add Renee Fleming to the bill I lock the doors, turn off the phones, and settle in for what I expect to be two hours of bliss. And I was most certainly not disappointed.
The performance was recorded live at the Waldbuhne Berlin in June of 2010, and begins with Mussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain. Right away, you know that the members of the Berlin Philharmonic came to play. Renee Fleming joins them for the second piece of the evening from Dvorak's Rusalka (Song to the Moon) - and she just owns it start to finish. I would have loved to have been there to hear it live. Simply amazing. The program then alternates between symphonic pieces and Ms. Fleming, and her Strauss is particularly noteworthy. Several pieces from La Boheme are also lovingly performed by both the orchestra and Ms. Fleming, and her rendition of "Tu che di gel sei cinta" from Turandot is just simply captivating. The performance ends with Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet and a particularly energetic rendition of the Berliner Luft which definitely brings smiles to the faces of the audience.
This DVD would be worth having just for the Berlin Philharmonic portions of the performance under the baton of Ion Marin (who did a fantastic job with every piece on the program), but with Renee Fleming's stellar performance as well this disc is a definite must have!