At the start of the 1997/1998 season, the renowned German maestro Christoph von Dohnányi, Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, also took up the appointment of Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, a natural progression form his previous role as Principal Guest Conductor. This highly-acclaimed conductor is known for his scrupulous concern for textural detail, cogent structural logic and his dedicated respect for the scores he works on. Recording the In Rehearsal programme, the cameras were witnessing part of the process of development of a new relationship between an orchestra and its Music Director. Dohnányi is seen working with the Philharmonia on Haydn's Symphony No. 88 in G for a concert in their 1998 Haydn/Bartók series at London's Royal Festival Hall. It was to be Dohnányi's first Haydn performance with the orchestra and so the limited time available for preparation was of vital importance. The musician's appreciation of his musically precise and exacting approach is evident in the concentrated atmosphere of rehearsals and also in comments they make about working with the maestro.
Featuring some of today’s leading conductors in rehearsal, this series gives a unique insight into the process of creating great music. The conductors’ very different styles and methods; the dialogue between an orchestra and an inspired interpreter; the intensity of the preparations for a concert performance; and the struggle towards perfection are captured in these revealing audio-visual records. Most episodes include a full run-through of the work rehearsed. All include interviews with the conductor who is seen at work, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roger Norrington, Pierre Boulez and Christoph von Dohnányi.
Valery Gergiev in Rehearsal with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Pierre Boulez in Rehearsal with the Wiener Philharmoniker