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The Highest Level - A Music Documentary with Lang Lang and Sir Simon Rattle

November 30, 2013

Lang Lang is one of the world’s leading contemporary pianists. He has recorded two piano concerts in collaboration with the Berlin Philharmonic. Deutsche Welle accompanied the musicians during the recording sessions.

Image: DW

The Highest Level follows the production of a CD featuring pianist Lang Lang, conductor Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. On the program are some of the most challenging works for piano and orchestra: Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Will they be able to reinterpret these difficult works and turn them into something new and convincing in just four days?

Lang Lang: “Working with the Berlin Philharmonic is something really special. Sir Simon Rattle, together with the orchestra, achieves an amazing depth of sound, especially in the piano passages. Both pieces are so full of life and rhythmic energy - I find them wholly contemporary”.

DW Musikdokumentation The Highest Level
Pianist Lang Lang.Image: DW

Sir Simon Rattle: “I don't know when I've ever heard a pianist who was able to be more sheerly, uncannily accurate in this Bartok pieceand then still have the technical ability in reserve to make it dance and to make it phrase".

The Highest Level provides the viewer with an exclusive glimpse into the recording sessions as well as the preparations, the joint attempts to achieve the best musical quality and the fine tuning during post production. At the same time, it lets the viewer get up close with the stars through the CD-recording scenes and extensive interviews.

The film is directed by DW's Christian Berger, who previously delivered the music documentaries Schumann at Pier2 (2012) and The Beethoven Project (2010) to a worldwide television audience. Berger has received numerous international prizes for his work.

11.2013 DW Highlights November 2013 The Highest Level DES
Pianist Lang Lang, Conductor Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmonic.Image: DW

Broadcasting Hours:


SAT 30.11.2013 – 22:15 UTC
SUN 01.12.2013 – 06:15 UTC
SUN 01.12.2013 – 13:15 UTC
SUN 01.12.2013 – 17:15 UTC
MON 02.12.2013 – 04:15 UTC
MON 02.12.2013 – 10:15 UTC

Cape Town UTC +2 | Delhi UTC +5,5 | Hong Kong UTC +8
San Francisco UTC -8 | Edmonton UTC -7 | New York UTC -5

DW (Europe)

SUN 01.12.2013 – 04:15 UTC
SUN 01.12.2013 – 17:15 UTC
MON 02.12.2013 – 06:15 UTC
MON 02.12.2013 – 13:15 UTC

London UTC +0 | Berlin UTC +1 | Moscow UTC +4

DW (Arabia)

SUN 01.12.2013 – 13:15 UTC
SUN 01.12.2013 – 04:15 UTC
MON 02.12.2013 – 11:15 UTC

Tunis UTC +1 | Cairo UTC + 2 | Dubai UTC +4

DW (Amerika)

SUN 01.12.2013 – 06:15 UTC

Vancouver UTC -8 | New York UTC -5 | Sao Paulo UTC -2