Friday, December 19, 2008

Cyberlin Phil

The Grauniad has news today that the Berlin Philharmonic is planning to stream most of its concerts live on the Internet. It'll cost you E89 to watch a season of 30-odd concerts plus the archive (probably £88 in pounds....), and is being sponsored by a bank. Thinking about being constantly on camera, Sir Simon says: ""We'll have to make sure we shave properly and powder our red noses."

I have yet to enjoy watching *anything* on my computer. It constantly stops film broadcasts to 'buffer' them, offers a lousy picture and dubious sound and requires me to sit on my office chair surrounded by my usual chaos, while Solti meows constantly for attention. So I can't say I fancy this much. I'm convinced that the only way to appreciate a thing like the Berlin Philharmonic is to hear it live, preferably in the Philharmonie, in a case of total commitment and absorption. I would rather appreciate them once in a while, but do it properly. Still, good luck to 'em. Perhaps British orchestras will go down this route too, if there are any banks left to sponsor them.

(Update: please note altered cost above - a note from a reader in Germany who has already signed up for the season webcasts tells me that the Grauniad got it wrong when they said E149. She adds that you need to run a test from the site to make sure the concerts play to your liking on your computer before you pay.)