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”.

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 piece and 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 documentaries ‘Schumann at Pier2’ (2012) and ‘The Beethoven Project’ (2010) to a worldwide television audience. Berger has received numerous international prizes for his work.

Bernhard Fleischer, Rolf Rische (Assoc.),

Christian Berger

Lead Actors: 
Lang Lang, Simon Rattle

Supporting Actors: 

Christian Berger

Heiko Rahnenführer, Henning Brümmer


Voice Over: 

Berlin, Germany

Screening With: 
Bum Rap, Evolution of a Mural and I Need My Monster

60 min. min.