Friday morning, Berkeleyside previewed the weekend residency by the Vienna Philharmonic in Berkeley. You can see and hear a glimpse of Friday morning’s rehearsal in the video above, which shows the orchestra rehearsing Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. The performance is this afternoon at 3 p.m. and there are still a few tickets left. It’s your last chance to hear this great ensemble in Berkeley.
Those lucky enough to hear the rehearsal on Friday walked into Zellerbach at 10 a.m. to hear a typical pre-rehearsal cacophony, with 100-odd players all working through various passages on music. When conductor Seymon Bychkov took the podium and gave the downbeat for the opening of the Mahler symphony, everything was transformed. This afternoon’s concert should be very special.
Berkeleyside was also able to sit in as an observer at the brass sectional led by Vienna’s principal trombonist, Dietmar Küblböck (don’t you love that double umlaut?). The sectional was one of a series of workshops led by Vienna Philharmonic players for students at Cal. Küblböck rehearsed the key brass parts in Mahler’s Third Symphony with the students (which the University Symphony Orchestra is performing in May). Küblböck spoke movingly about the influences of Viennese culture on Mahler, and how the great trombone solo in that work is the expression of Mahler’s soul. If you go this afternoon you won’t get to hear Küblböck perform that, but you’ll have plenty of trombone passages ringing in your ears.