A peculiar partnership has been announced between the corporate-minded Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the consumrer electronics division of Sony Corporation. You can read the details – but not many specifics – in the press release below.
The deal does not mean that Berlin will be making lots of records for Sony Classical. No-one does that any more.
What it seems to mean is that the orch will be used as a demo vehicle for Sony’s new toys.
Nothing wrong with that. But read the two statements by the Sony samurai Masashi Imamura and the music director, Sir Simon Rattle. They do not seem to be singing off the same sheet.
One harks back in fond nostalgia to a non-existent alliance with Herbert von Karajan (who died before any deal was consummated) while the other talks of harnessing Sony gizmos to help the orchestra communicate with the world – something it is finding increasingly hard to do since recording died.
This deal will be well worth watching to see who gets least out of whom. Karajan was far too canny to have signed it.
Berliner Philharmoniker announce partnership with Sony Corporation
Berlin (29 August 2012) – The Berliner Philharmoniker and Sony Corporation have announced their new partnership ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Fair in Berlin (IFA). This will enable audiences around the world to participate in the orchestra’s concerts in the best possible quality thanks to online audiovisual technology from Sony.
Direct access to the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker is preinstalled on Internet-enabled TVs, Blu-ray disc players and audio systems from Sony, enabling viewers to watch more than 30 live concert broadcasts per season and all archive recordings and bonus material from the Digital Concert Hall in brilliant high-definition and excellent sound quality. To ensure technical excellence in the transmission of concerts, the Sony Corporation has made advanced production equipment such as cameras, editing and encoding technology available to the Digital Concert Hall.
Another step in the joint commitment to constantly improve the audiovisual reproduction technology will be demonstrated at IFA: Sony will present Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries played by the Berliner Philharmoniker in a stunning new 4K2K resolution.
Olaf Maninger (Principal Cellist and Media Chairman of the Berliner Philharmoniker): “Sony is an ideal partner for the Berliner Philharmoniker. We both share the conviction that reproducing great performances of classical music needs outstanding audio-visual technology. This has also been our guiding principle in the development of our Digital Concert Hall. We very much look forward to continuing this path together now with Sony and to sharing the music of the Berliner Philharmoniker with a global audience using state-of-the-art technology.”
Masashi Imamura (President of Sony Corporation’s Home Entertainment & Sound Business Group): “The partnership with Sony and the Berliner Philharmoniker is deeply rooted in their passion for music dating back to when the late Herbert von Karajan and the late Norio Ohga together unveiled the CD to the world. The Berliner Philharmoniker have been fostering the ability to perform superior music in the grandest of fashion, while Sony has been cultivating innovation in sound and video. By combining and further developing these unique and professional strengths, we aim to work with the Berliner Philharmoniker to create entertainment experiences which move the hearts of people around the world.”
Sir Simon Rattle (Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker) “We are thrilled that the relationship with Sony goes forward and renews itself in that Sony are supporting us by not only giving us new equipment, bringing us up to the fastest speed and quality that is there, but also that our Digital Concert Hall will be present as an integral part of a lot of Sony’s equipment, and it will be able to bring our music quicker, in better definition to more and more people. Sony is helping us to communicate, which is our most important work and dream.”