Friday, January 13, 2017

The Elbphilharmonie sets sail

The world’s newest concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany, opened on Jan. 11. The work of architects Pierre de Meuron, Jacques Herzog and Ascan Mergenthaler, the structure looks like a futuristic sailing vessel – a fitting visual reference for this historic Hanseatic port. The 2,100-seat hall, built on top of an old cocoa warehouse, stands on an island on the city’s waterfront.

One of the first English-language reviews, from Rick Fulker of the Deutsche Welle radio service, suggests that while the hall may not be a place for those with a fear of heights – “[t]he rows of seats ascend in wine terrace form so sharply that my knee was higher than the head of the man seated in the row in front of me” – musical sound is “mercilessly clear,” even for those seated far from the stage:


The New York Times’ Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim reviews the opening-night concert . . .

. . . and provides background on the costly, controversial project and its striking results: