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Past conductors of the esteemed orchestra have included Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, and Claudio Abbado. Now, with Simon Rattle at the helm, the orchestra continue to create and record some of the best classical music in the repertory. Listen and download our pick of the best recordings.
An empathetic, passionate rendition of two great symphonies, played by the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1951-52.
Performed by Leif Ove Andsnes and conducted by the great Antonio Pappano, this 2006 release won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with orchestra). Expect passion, melancholy and exuberance as orchestra and soloist make the most of the lush orchestration.
Herbert von Karajan conducted recordings of Brahms' epic Symphony No. 4 in 1973 on DVD, in 1977 on CD, and once more in 1988. This 1990 release is the 1988 recording, containing more dynamic contrasts than the previous versions, but the overall vision changes little. (DVD) and 1977 (CD) recordings, the overall vision and execution in 1988 had changed little.
Kubelik recorded Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 a number of times, but it's never sounded better than on this legendary recording.
Karajan's Berlin Philharmonic recording of Mahler's earth-shattering Symphony No. 9 won the Orchestral Record of the Year at the Gramophone Awards in 1981, and Bernstein picked up a Grammy in 1993 for his remastered 1979 recording. It's a hard act to follow for Simon Rattle's 2008 recording, but it's a masterful interpretation of the music - unsentimental and thoughtful.
An album of musical legends: the Berlin Philharmonic, Karajan, and the great Rostropovich. A must-own for any collector.
An unexpected gem from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's cello section, who have decided to go it alone and establish themselves as recording artists in their own right. You can hear the beautifully weighty sound of the lower strings in Karajan's recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, but this is a light-hearted showcase of what the cello can do as a solo instrument.
A recording full of drama, intrigue and beauty, Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic's album of The Planets is a treat. It also includes 'Pluto', by Colin Matthews, as an addition to the suites.
Winner of a Grammy Award in 2000 for Best Classical Vocal Performance, this recording of Mahler's 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn', this is a wonderfully crisp and idiomatic take on Mahler's music.
Many collectors consider this to be Karajan’s finest of three recorded Beethoven cycles with the Berlin Philharmonic, from 1962-3. A vibrant interpretation of this legendary musical work.