“Het Koninklijk Concertgebouw”: Amsterdam’s famous “Royal Concert Building” opened its doors in 1888 with seating for 2,206 listeners. Constructed on the “shoe-box” principle, it is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world. Many tours have already taken the Bavarian RSO here. But the musicians are of two minds about its acoustics. Mariss Jansons knows the Concertgebouw well from his days as principal conductor of this Amsterdam orchestra.

“In Amsterdam everything sounds wonderful, provided you concentrate on balance and pay attention to your colleagues every single moment.” Stefan Tischler, tuba

Statements of the musicians
Konzert des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Amsterdam (c) BR/Peter Meisel
“Here you can just relax and play. The hall carries the timpani sound tremendously into the auditorium; you don’t need much physical energy. At the end of The Firebird I had the feeling that we were raising the roof of this beautiful hall. That’s how visceral and supercharged our playing was. Simply terrific.” – Raymond Curfs, timpani
Konzert des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Amsterdam 2017 (c) BR/Peter Meisel
“To me, it’s a visual thrill to watch the conductor and the vocalists walk across the great staircase. The hall itself has a dark, full sound; you have to adapt to it very closely because the contact with the other sections is sometimes difficult.” – Franz Scheuerer, first violin
Natalie Schwaabe (c) Astrid Ackermann
“Mariss Jansons once warned me: Be careful with the piccolo! It shoots straight to the top and outmatches everything else. You have to exercise great restraint and can’t trust your feelings. When it comes off right, the overall sound becomes incredibly warm and beautiful.” – Natalie Schwaabe, flute
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Amsterdam (c) BR/Peter Meisel
“The acoustics carry very well, and we have to be extremely careful with the dynamics, for things quickly get too loud. But that also means that we hear our colleagues well, which makes the hall very pleasant.” Carsten Duffin, horn
Konzert des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Amsterdam 2017 (c) BR/Peter Meisel
“The hall is well-suited for cantilenas, for long, sustained melodies. With faster music I’m not so sure, for it’s very reverberant. Without an audience it almost sounds like a church.” – Anton Barachovsky, concertmaster
Exerpt of the rehearsal in 360°

Recording date: 7 February 2017
Rachmaninow, “Symphonische Tänze”
Conductor: Mariss Jansons

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