2018 New Year's Concert a/k/a Silversterkonzert

[Review scheduled for August 28]


2018 New Year's Concert a/k/a Silversterkonzert by the Berliner Philharmoniker. Daniel Barenboim conducts and is piano soloist at the Berlin Philharmonie. Here is the program:

  1. Mozart Piano Concerto No. 26 “Coronation”

  2. Ravel Rapsodie espagnole

  3. Ravel Alborada del gracioso

  4. Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte

  5. Ravel Boléro

  6. Bizet Carmen Suite No. 1 (excerpts)

We only cover gala and New Year’s concerts if the program is substantial (not just pops, marches, polkas, and waltzes). This program is attractive, and we are also encouraged in that the sound file was recorded with 96kHz/24 bit sound sampling. Directed for TV by Torben Jacobsen. The official video trailer below has several nice whole-orchestra and multi-section shots that suggest that Jacobsen has tried to reduce the amount of DVDitis in his video content. Released 2019, the disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: C+

Bolero starts off with a decent zoom level:


But quickly moves to instrument-only, to no benefit:


Similarly, the opening flute solo starts at a nice level of zoom:


But moves to a typical solo shot:


Daniel Barenboim does not do any conducting throughout the majority of Bolero, which seems appropriate. The orchestra certainly doesn’t need a timekeeper—they have their own heartbeat, and keep the momentum with their near precision above which the soloists are able to take their own liberties. Very effective!


Barenboim comes to life in the latter parts of the piece!

There seems to be a capability to film the orchestra at a lesser zoom, but they are not well used.

Sometimes small scale shots can work well, but they are more difficult to capture. Here is one good shot, and one not-so-good shot:


We get some of the best shots during the applause. This is the first appearance of the orchestra view:


A smile from the maestro!


  Ravel - Bolero
Duration 14:05
Pace 8.8 s per clip
Supershots 19.8 %
Conductor 12.5 %
Instrument Only 17.7 % (17 shots)


Time for a grade. Start with A. Deduct for pace to B. Supershots are marginal, so let's bump to B-. I think the large number of Instrument only shots warrants a further downward bump to C+. Maybe that's too harsh, but my overall impression is that this isn't a "B" title.

Here's an official trailer: