Rossini - La Cenerentola
Gioachino Rossini's opera La Cenerentola ('Cinderella'), with a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, was first performed in February 1816 following the success of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Interestingly, much like its predecessor, the first performance of the opera was received with some hostility, but the work soon became popular throughout Italian theaters and beyond. The opening of La Cenerentola is one of the most famous Rossini pieces, evoking a spirit of lightness and freshness. The work’s originality lies in the violent contrast between the heroin’s tenderness and the plot’s sentimentalism mixed with Rossini’s virtuosity and unbridled sense of humor. This 2015 performance of La Cenerentola at the Opéra de Rennes is conducted by Darrell Ang and features the Symphonic Orchestra of Brittany and choir of the Opéra de Rennes and José Maria Lo Monaco, Daniele Zanfardino, Marc Scoffoni and Bruno Pratico.
The Divan Orchestra from the Alhambra
Millions of television viewers in Germany, France, Portugal, Greece and Finland experienced live the moving open-air concert within the highly symbolic surrounding of the Alhambra in Granada. Music as a language of peace – this vision unifies the young musicians of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra who come from Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Europe. They perform side by side in the orchestra formed in 1999 by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said. The orchestra has taken on the complex challenge of performing music to promote peace. Soloists are Kyril Zlotnikov and Nabil Shehata. On the program are Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Bottesini's Fantasia on a theme by Rossini, Brahms' Symphony Nr. 1 and Vorspiel and Liebestod from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
The Boy with the Wig: Kids on Mozart
The Boy with the Wig - Kids on Mozart explores children’s fascination with the composer. The 30-minute film by Claus Wischmann features boys and girls aged between eight and eleven recounting his life through humour and serious interpretations of Mozart’s biography. Discover Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of children.
Tchaikovsky - Overture-Fantasy Romeo and Juliet
Conrad van Alphen conducts Sinfonia Rotterdam in a performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Overture-Fantasy “Romeo and Juliet”. Van Alphen founded Sinfonia Rotterdam in 2000. Under his passionate leadership, this orchestra has developed into one of the Netherland’s best-known orchestras. Tchaikovsky based his composition on Shakespeare’s famous play “Romeo and Juliet”. After finishing a first version of Romeo and Juliet in 1870, Tchaikovsky rewrote sections of the composition twice, completing the third and final version ten years later. The Overture-Fantasy opens with a slow introduction, primarily led by the clarinets and bassoons. The composition is dominated by its famous love theme, representing the love between Romeo and Juliet. This beautiful theme is introduced in the first half of the piece, played by the English horn and violas, and recurs in different sections of the composition. At the end, the love theme is heard in minor mode, which emphasized the tragic element of the story of the two lovers.
Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Soprano Jacquelyn Wagner and pianist Zlata Chochieva performed live at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on May 8, 2020. On the program are Richard Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder, WWV 91 and Elegy for piano, followed by a solo piano performance of Gustav Mahler's Menuetto from his Symphony No. 3, arranged by Ignaz Friedman. The recital concludes with a performance of Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.
In Tempus Adventus - Bach, Zelenka & Telemann
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago chamber choir in the second edition of their program In Tempus Adventus, recorded in 2019 at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk, in Ghent, Belgium. The concert highlights three baroque composers and consists of works composed between 1719 and 1726. It opens with the cantata "Machet die Tore weit" (1719) by G. P. Telemann, composed for the first week of advent commissioned by the court of Saksen-Eisenach. The choir continues with J. D. Zelenka's (the "Bohemian Bach") Magnificat, composed in 1725. It proceeds with J. S. Bach's choral cantata "Meine Seel erhebt den Herr" (BWV 10), which was written at the time Bach already took his position as cantor of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. The concert concludes with the festive Dixit Dominus by Zelenka.
Pianomania - Elisabeth Leonskaja
Elisabeth Leonskaja (1945) performs Ludwig van Beethoven’s last three piano sonatas (Op. 109, 110 and 111) during a concert recorded at the Grand Auditorium of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon, in 2018. Beethoven's last three sonatas mark a culmination in the classical-romantic sonata form, and it is also Beethoven's farewell to the genre. The composer not only aesthetically and emotionally heralds the arrival of the Romantic Age in music but also profoundly alters what had been the accepted parameters of sonata form. Because of these three works, it was possible for Liszt to create his Sonata in B minor. Leonskaja began her studies at the Moscow Conservatory in 1964, during which she won multiple international prizes. In 1978 Leonskaja left the Soviet Union and has resided in Vienna, Austria, since then.
Concerts in Quarantine - Liszt, Chopin et. al
Russian pianist Zlata Chochieva performed live at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on April 13, 2020. The program opens with a selection of Felix Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words: Op. 67, No. 5 and No. 2. Then she performs Frédéric Chopin's Etudes Op. 10, No. 3 and No. 5 and Opus 25, No. 2, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 10. The program continues with Franz Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 2, S. 515, and four pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff: his Canon in e minor, Prelude in F, Op. 2, 'Fragments', and 'Oriental Sketch'. The recital closes with Nikolai Medtner's Canzona Serenata in F minor, Op. 38 No. 6.
Dvořák - Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic and London Voices in a concert recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in October 2018. On the program are Luciano Berio's Sinfonia for eight voices and orchestra and Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70. When Bychkov selected the program for his first subscription concert as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, he suggested Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 without hesitation, thus honoring the orchestra’s national tradition from the very start of his tenure at the helm of the Czech Philharmonic. His choice for Berio’s Sinfonia presents a striking contrast: this major, ground-breaking work in twentieth-century music had not been performed in the Czech Republic for 20 years.
Mariinsky on Track
Join the acclaimed Mariinsky Orchestra on a train journey across the vastness of Russia in the documentary Mariinsky on Track. The orchestra's current chief conductor Valery Gergiev co-founded the Moscow Easter Festival in 2002. The 2013 edition of this music festival included performances in large cities across Russia’s different regions. In addition to outstanding concert footage, Mariinsky on Track shows us the musicians' approach to the project and informs us of hardships on the road. Watch and share these unforgettable musical moments with one of Russia’s oldest and finest musical organizations.
Pianomania - Beatrice Rana
The young Italian pianist Beatrice Rana (1993) provides the public a colourful piano recital at the Grand Auditorium of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon, in 2018. Rana opens with two works by Robert Schumann. His Blumenstück, Op. 19, is a short piano piece dating from 1839 and generally not included among the composer's more poetically inspired adventurous pieces. It is followed by the highly technically demanding Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13. After Schumann, Rana dives right into the 20th century with Maurice Ravel’s impressionistic five-part suite for piano Miroirs. The concert concludes with Guido Agosti’s transcription of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.
Brahms - Symphony No. 2, Op. 73
The Berliner Philharmoniker, Daniel Barenboim and Claudio Abbado star at the Europakonzert 1994 in Meiningen, Germany, performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Popularly known as the Emperor Concerto and composed in Vienna between 1809 and 1811, Piano Concerto No. 5 is Beethoven’s last completed piano concerto and often performed by star pianists such as Daniel Barenboim. A few decades later in 1877, Brahms completed his Second Symphony, which is often compared to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony given its cheerful and pastoral character.
Bach - Sonata No. 2 BWV 1015
Johann Sebastian Bach probably wrote this set of six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord during his time as chapel master in Köthen. Presumably, he wrote these sonatas for Prince Leopold and later adapted them for further use in Leipzig. Maybe this is why these pieces are well playable for amateurs, while every sonata still has the finesse that can offer a challenge to professional musicians. The different pieces are meant to be a set, just like the Brandenburg concertos.
Berg - Sieben frühe Lieder
Between March and May 2020, Schinkel Pavillon Berlin opened its unexpectedly vacated exhibition space for a concert series in isolation titled Concerts in Quarantine. As part of this series, pianist Jonathan Ware and soprano Elsa Dreisig share the stage in performances of Edvard Grieg's Solveig's Song, Claude Debussy's Trois Chansons de Bilitis, Maurice Ravel's Oiseaux tristes (for solo piano), Enrique Granados's La Maja y el Ruiseñor, Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, and Alban Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder.
Liszt - Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat, S.124
Dazzling, virtuosic, and spectacular: no other adjectives are better suited to describe the piano music of Franz Liszt. Enjoy a sparkling performance of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major by the incredible piano virtuoso Russian Daniil Trifonov, with Kent Nagano conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. As an encore, Trifonov performs Reflets dans l'eau from Debussy's Images. The orchestra closes this concert with a rendition of Mahler's Symphony No. 7. Recorded at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv, in 2014.
Bizet - Carmen
Louis Langrée conducts the Metropolitan Opera in a performance of Bizet’s masterpiece of the Gypsy seductress, who lives by her own rules, no matter the cost. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining cultural figure. This drama—of a soldier torn between doing the right thing and pursuing the woman that he cannot resist—bursts with melody and seethes with all the erotic vitality of its unforgettable title character. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere and was much denounced in the press for its flagrant immorality. The power of the music and the drama, however, created an equally vocal faction in favour of the work. The composer Tchaikovsky and the philosopher Nietzsche both praised the opera, the latter identifying in the robustness of the score nothing less than a cure-all for the world’s spiritual ills. This performance features Clémentine Margaine (soprano), Roberto Alagna (tenor), and Alexander Vinogradov (bass) and was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2019.