Extra Pledge Bonus: The Berlin Philharmonic!

By Brian McCreath

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010

Yes, we're in the midst of a community campaign, a.k.a. pledge drive here at 99.5 All Classical, and if you've already decided to make a contribution to strengthen the presence of classical music on the radio in Boston, thank you!

If you haven't yet, I want to fill you in on a hidden bonus that comes with one of the thank you gifts we're offering.  The new recording of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker with the Berlin Philharmonic and conductor Simon Rattle is already a pretty spectacular item.  It comes in a hard-bound book with terrific artwork and background information about the ballet that really help to add a lot of context.  And the playing is, as we've come to expect over the years from this band, out of this world.  (Special props to the trumpet soloist in the Spanish Dance in Act II;  for my money, only my former teacher, Charles Schlueter of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, played it with as much grace and elan.)  So if it's a piece you don't have in your collection yet, it truly is one to get and hold on to.

But beyond the great playing and gorgeous presentation, there's one more thing about this new release that I think makes it irresistible.  Each copy of the CD comes with a code you can use for one day of free access to the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall.  This is a way for you to plug into the Philharmonie for live access to concerts, straight to your computer, or, if you've really jumped ahead of the curve with your home entertainment system, your HD television.  I had the chance to experience a live performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, the Resurrection, earlier this fall, and it was a great experience.  Not, mind you, like being there.  Because nothing is like that, especially for great orchestras and great halls like Berlin (or Boston!).  But as an experience of the event itself, it really was quite a bit of fun, with pre-concert interview and background features and excellent camera work from the 27(!) remote control cameras that have been installed around the Philharmonie to capture every possible perspective.

So, check out all the details at the Digital Concert Hall, then pledge your support to 99.5 All Classical, and you'll end up with a gangbusters recording of The Nutcracker and an extra digital age concert experience with one of the best orchestras in the world!

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