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The Berliner Philharmoniker has released a new box of Unsuk Chin recordings, documenting its collaborations with the composer over the past 20 years. The audio CDs and Blu-ray feature six major works, including the first recording of Le silence des Sirènes, as well as a 45-minute filmed interview.

In its latest recording on the orchestra’s own label Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings, the Berliner Philharmoniker devotes itself to the music of South Korean composer Unsuk Chin. The exclusive hardcover edition was released on 17 November and documents all the works by the Berlin-based composer performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker to date, recorded across a span from 2005 to 2022.

The recordings of Violin Concerto No.1 (Christian Tetzlaff, Sir Simon Rattle), the Cello Concerto (Alban Gerhardt, Myung-Whun Chung), Le silence des Sirènes (Barbara Hannigan, soprano, Sir Simon Rattle), the Piano Concerto (Sunwook Kim, Sakari Oramo) and Rocaná (Daniel Harding) were made at the Philharmonie Berlin. The recording of Chorós Chordón, a work commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation for the orchestra’s last Asian tour, was made under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle at Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

In addition to two audio CDs, the edition includes a Blu-ray disc with concert videos of the recorded works (with the exception of Violin Concerto No.1) and a 45-minute interview film with Unsuk Chin. It also provides the audio recordings in lossless high-resolution studio quality and Dolby Atmos. A download code is provided for high-resolution audio files (24-bit / up to 96 kHz) and the package includes a seven-day ticket for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s video streaming service.

Following on from the John Adams edition in 2017, this is the second edition to document the Berliner Philharmoniker’s close and fruitful collaboration with contemporary composers. The edition and the comprehensive booklet with in-depth texts on Unsuk Chin’s works and her work with the Berliner Philharmoniker feature moiré effect art inspired by the music by the Japanese artist Takahiro Kurashima.

“Unsuk Chin's music is a magical realm in which new perspectives are constantly unfolding,” write orchestra board members Eva-Maria Tomasi (violin) and Stefan Dohr (horn) in the foreword to the edition. “Labyrinths of novel sounds and complex structures can be followed by moments of transcendental beauty. For us as an orchestra, this world poses certain challenges – indeed, it is part of Unsuk Chin’s style to test the limits of performing techniques. Her inventiveness exemplifies the inexhaustible vitality of today’s music. These qualities have made Unsuk Chin one of few composers with whom we’ve collaborated so frequently and productively.”

Unsuk Chin commented in an interview for the Yonhap News Agency: "I had never imagined that the orchestra would one day perform my music” recalling how she had watched a performance by the Berliner Phiharmoniker in Seoul backstage in 1984. “The album, however, did not come out overnight... We had worked together for a long time, and prepared for it ever since we agreed on an album back in 2015… It is so meaningful to me, and I am so happy."

The edition is available at berliner-philharmoniker-recordings.com and from selected specialist retailers.

>  Further information on Work: Le Silence des Sirènes

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