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Puccini - La bohème
In 2012, Norwegian opera director Stefan Herheim brought Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème to the stage of the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo. About his choice for this updated version, Herheim explained: “In bringing La bohème into a present-day setting with this new production we hope to revive the immediate power of suggestion and importance that this work at one time revelled in.” The opera about the Bohemian lifestyle of the poor seamstress Mimì and her artist friends is a fast-moving story, and offers some of the greatest arias Puccini ever wrote. Norwegian conductor Eivind Gullberg Jensen leads the Orchestra and Chorus of the National Opera Oslo. Among the soloists are Marita Sølberg (Mimì), Diego Torre (Rodolfo), Vasily Ladyuk (Marcello), and Jennifer Rowley (Musetta).
Riccardo Chailly conducts Mendelssohn
Riccardo Chailly’s inaugural concert as Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra captures the full atmosphere of a unique musical occasion. The concert centers round composer Felix Mendelssohn, who founded the Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1743. It includes an overwhelming performance of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang with its celebratory choral last movement, as well as the ever-popular overture A Midsummer Night’s Dream with outstanding vocal soloists including Anne Schwanewilms and Peter Seiffert. The Gewandhaus Orchestra can look back with pride at its 250-year history. It has made music history and evolved into one of the world’s best-known and most renowned orchestras.
Heavenly Voices - The legacy of Farinelli
The documentary 'Heavenly Voices – The Legacy of Farinelli' (2012) tells us the story of the castrato in music – male singers who were castrated at a young age in order to preserve their high vocal range, a cruel practice that was in place mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries. For two centuries, castrati's performances held European audiences spellbound, with successful castrati such as Farinelli ranking among the most influential and highest-earning musicians of those days. Today, roles originally written for castrati are often performed by countertenors. In this documentary, countertenors Max Emanuel Cenčić, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl, Franco Fagioli, and Jochen Kowalski discuss Baroque-era operatic entertainment. 'Heavenly Voices' is a film by Gino Pennacchi (writer) and Alessandro Scillitani (director).
Brahms - Symphony No. 4, Op. 98
Franz Welser-Möst conducts The Cleveland Orchestra in this performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 4. This is the final of the composer's short selection of symphonic works. Described by music critic Malcolm Macdonald as one of the “supreme creative acts of the Romantic era,” Brahms' Fourth Symphony is endowed with a strong undercurrent of subdued melancholy. It seems to pine for an irretrievable past. The past lives on majestically in this work, particularly in the sighing theme of the first movement reminiscent of Baroque practice, and, above all, in the use of the Baroque form of the chaconne in the last movement, around which Brahms spins over 30 variations on a solemn, stately theme. This performance was recorded at Severance Hall in Cleveland, USA, in 2014.
Hildegard von Bingen - Chants Selection
Over the course of eleven days in August 2020, the French town of Rocamadour hosted the fifteenth edition of Festival de Rocamadour, a music festival dedicated to sacred music from the classical, baroque, and romantic periods. On August 25, the French soprano Laetitia Corcelle led her vocal ensemble La Sportelle for a performance of sacred music and motets at the atmospheric medieval Basilique Saint-Sauveur. Mezzo soprano Anne Bertin-Hugault opens the concert with solo performances of a selection of one-thousand-year-old works by Hildegard von Bingen: O Pastor Animarum, O nobilissima viriditas, Spiritus Sanctus, O Splendidissima Gemma, Caritas, Rex Noster, and lastly Alleluia! O virga mediatrix. Then Bertin-Hugault is joined by Cédric Baillergau (bass), Steve Zheng (tenor), and soprano Laetitia Corcelle for more modern and even contemporary material: Northern Lights and Ubi caritas by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, Ubi caritas by the French composer Christoper Gibert, and Adoro te by the French composer Mel Bonis stem from our own day and age. The program continues with Anton Bruckner's Christus factus est, Gioachino Rossini's O salutaris hostia, Charles Gounod's Les Sept Paroles de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ sur la Croix, and then comes to an end with Johannes Brahms's O Heiland, Reiß.
Chopin - Etudes
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.
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major
Zoltán Kocsis (1952-2016) performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, KV 488. The Virtuosi de Praha are conducted by Jirí Belohlávek in a concert that took place in Prague in 1999. Mozart completed the concerto on March 2, 1786, around the time his Le nozze di Figaro premiered. The final rondo puts Mozart’s musical humour on full display. Themes are tossed back and forth between the soloist and orchestra as they chase each other through unexpected key changes.
Mirabile Mysterium - A Christmas Tale
Conductor Paul Van Nevel and his Huelgas Ensemble present the ideal Christmas program, consisting of an atmospheric musical selection of 14th to 19th-century compositions. The Huelgas Ensemble, which has emerged as one of Europe's premiere vocal ensembles dedicated to the performance of music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, is the ideal candidate for the job, conveying all the mystery and luster a Christmas celebration calls for. Van Nevel organized his varied musical selection in four distinct themes: ‘The Birth in Bethlehem’, ‘The Crime of Herodes’, ‘The Travel of the Three Kings’, and an Epilogue. In 2015, the full program was performed and recorded at the baroque St. Augustine Church currently known as AMUZ in Antwerp, Belgium. ‘The Birth in Bethlehem’ opens and closes with pieces by unidentified composers, 'Balaam de quo Vaticinans' and 'A Carol for Christmas Eve' respectively. The core of this section is made up of Jacobus Gallus's 'Myrabile Mysterium' and Jerónimo Luca's 'Este nino que es sol del Aurora'. ‘The Crime of Herodes’ opens with 'Hostis Herodes Impie' by an unidentified composer, followed by Jean Mouton's 'Interrogabat Magos Herodes', Giaches De Wert's 'Vox in Rama', and Bertram Luard-Selby's 'A Voice from Ramah was There Sent'. ‘The Travel of the Three Kings Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar’ opens with 'Vincti Presepio' (anonymous), followed by Pierre De Manchicourt's 'Reges Terrae', Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck's 'Ab Oriente', and Peter Cornelius 'Drei Könige Wandern'. Lastly, the Epilogue consists of 'Quae Stella Sole Pulchrior' (anonymous) and António Marques Lésbio's 'Dexen que Ilore mi Niño'.
CMIM Piano 2021 - Final: Yoichiro Chiba
Yoichiro Chiba (Japan, 1997) performs Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Op. 16, Allegro energico, Spring Thaw, and Off-beat Waltz from John Burge’s Twenty-Four Preludes, Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in B minor, K. 87, and Russian Dance, Petrushka’s Room, and The Shrovetide Fair from Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka, during the finals of the 2021 Piano Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). This performance was recorded at Kioi Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Discovering Masterpieces - Brandenburg Concertos
This episode presents the Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Musical excerpts played by the Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by Gottfried von der Goltz. Bach's six Brandenburg Concertos rank among the undisputed favorites of all baroque fans. They have become a firm fixture in music education and an integral part of our international musical heritage. So what's their secret? The internationally acclaimed pianist and Bach expert Robert Levin provides an answer.
Couperin - Pièces de Clavecin
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, Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shaï performs – on a Steinway grand – several excerpts from François Couperin's 'Pièces des Clavecin': Les Ombres Errantes, Soeur Monique, Les Tambourins, Le Rossignol en amour, La Muse Plantine, Les Roseaux, Le Tic-Toc Choc ou Les Maillotins, La Couperin, and Les Barricades Mystérieuses. This is followed by Frédéric Chopin's Mazurkas Op. 17, No. 1 & 4, Op. 24, No. 2 & 3, and Op. 33, No. 4. Joseph Haydn's Piano Sonata in D, Hob. XVI:24 rounds off the concert.
Couperin - Third book: A New Path
With his third harpsichord book, Couperin discovered his own unique voice. The old-fashioned suite has had its day, the ordre reaches its peak. Although the number of sections per ordre is restricted, a powerful atmospheric description provides character and coherence. This legendary publication contains some of the most remarkable examples of Baroque keyboard repertoire: right up Bertrand Cuiller’s street.
Nine Symphonies That Changed the World
Founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is composed of young musicians from Israel, Palestine, several other Arab countries, and Spain. The musicians band together at least once a year to rehearse and perform on stage, where their shared love of music crosses national, ethnic, and religious boundaries. For three years, Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performed a world tour to present all nine of Beethoven's symphonies. Director Michael Waldman captured the orchestral rehearsals in Spain and his stint in South Korea and China to produce this unique and captivating documentary that presents memorable musical moments, punctuated by the reflections of the young musicians on Beethoven ... and on maestro Barenboim.
Berio - Sinfonia
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.
Khachaturyan - Piano Concerto, Op. 38
The Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia and pianist Boris Berezovsky are led by conductor Vladimir Verbitsky in a performance of works by Aram Khachaturyan and Alexander Borodin. The concert was recorded in December of 2016 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow and features Borodin´s In the Steppes of Central Asia, and Khachaturyan’s Piano Concerto in D-flat Major and “Adagio from Spartacus and Phrygia” (transcription for piano and orchestra). The programme is produced by the Moscow Philharmonic Society, which Saint Petersburg-born composer Dmitri Shostakovich himself once described as playing a significant role "in the development of musical life [in Russia]. It is a kind of university which is attended by millions of music lovers and thousands of musicians.” The Moscow Philharmonic Society was founded in 1922 by then-Commissar for Culture, Anatoly Lunacharsky, and has over the years come to be Russia's leading concert organizing institution.
Schubert - Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D 965
Clarinettist Sharon Kam, soprano Jacquelyn Wagner and pianist Matan Porat bundle their forces in this recital from Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on May 11, 2020. The program opens with Claude Debussy's Première Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano, followed by Johannes Brahms's Sonata for clarinet and piano, Op. 120 No. 2. Porat then performs Maurice Ravel's Une barque sur l'océan for piano. Following Francis Poulenc's Clarinet Sonata, the concert closes with Franz Schubert's Lied 'Der Hirt auf dem Felsen' in an arrangement for clarinet, soprano and piano.
Wagner - Götterdämmerung
The final opera of the Ring cycle tells the story of how the ring and its curse brings the downfall of the Gods and a tragic end to the love between Siegfried and Brünnhilde. As Brünnhilde's death becomes an act of redemption for the gods and all living creatures, a new dawn of hope is ushered in. "It is very likely that in the near future the Stuttgart Ring, conceived by Klaus Zehelein will be remembered as a Wagnerian watershed as much as Wieland Wagner's in the 1950s." (Opera Magazine). The Staatsorchester Stuttgart is conducted by Lother Zagrosek. Soloists of the evening are Albert Bonnema, Roland Bracht, Hernan Iturralde, Franz-Josef Kapellman, Luana DeVol and Eva-Maria Westbroek. The performance took place in Staatsoper Stuttgart in 2003 and is directed by Peter Konwitschny.
Piano works by Paradisi, Fazioli, and others
The six-concert series “Io suono italiano” is dedicated to music of Italian composers and performed by Italian musicians on Italian instruments. The concert programs cover four centuries of music: from Girolamo Frescobaldi and Antonio Vivaldi to more contemporary music by Ennio Morricone and Azio Corghi. Each program presents more familiar pieces alongside lesser-known compositions. These performances were filmed at the atmospheric Teatro Sociale in Rovigo, Italy, in January 2021. In this program, pianist Maurizio Baglini performs a recital of works that cover four centuries of Italian piano music. On the program are Pietro Domenico Paradisi’s Sonata VI in la major, a selection of Franz Liszt’s “Grandes Etudes d’après Nicolò Paganini” (Nos. 3, 4, and 5), Paolo Fazioli’s Laendler in D major, Azio Corghi’s Chansons d’élite, and Francesco Filidei’s Berceuse.
Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 63
Iván Fischer conducts the Budapest Festival Orchestra in a concert recorded at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest, Hungary in 2015. The concert opens with Sergei Prokofiev's Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34. After this, Thomas Zehetmair stars as solo violinist in Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 63. The second part of the concert is features music by Igor Stravinsky. On the program is music composed for the ballet 'Jeu de cartes' (1937) and the Firebird Suite, No. 2 (1919). 'Jeu de cartes' is one of Stravinsky's neo-classical works and consists of three parts ('deals'). The Firebird Suite, No. 2 is based on the music from the ballet of the same name, which was written for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and premiered in Paris in 1910.
Debussy/Gryaznov:Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
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 the series, pianist Severin von Eckardstein performs Claude Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (arr. Gryaznov), Frédéric Chopin's Nocturne Op. 27, No. 1, Nikolai Medtner's Elegy Op. 59, No. 2, Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 84, and Medtner's Fairy Tale, Op. 26, No. 3.
Heitor Villa-Lobos Music for Cello and Piano - II
In this six-part documentary on the life and work of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, director Liloye Boubli takes viewers on a journey through the life and work of this legend of Brazilian classical music. The composer, conductor, cellist, and classical guitarist was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1887. Growing up during a time of immense social change in Brazil – with the abolishment of slavery in 1888, this was a time of social revolution and far-reaching modernizations – Villa-Lobos went on to become one of South America's best-known composers of all time. In this second episode, Liloye Boubli dives deeper into the oeuvre of Villa-Lobos, exploring his musical influences and scrutinizing the anatomy of some of his most famous compositions, particularly his early "Pequena Suíte" for cello and piano. This collection of dances and short pieces in six movements is indicative of the composer's heartfelt adoration for Johann Sebastian Bach.
Les Bains Macabres
French composer Guillaume Connesson (*1970) is building an impressive musical oeuvre, to which he has recently added an opera: 'Les bains macabres'. For this romantic contemporary thriller opera he worked closely with librettist Olivier Bleys (*1970), a successful French author with dozens of novels to his credit. The result is an enigmatic narrative with a film noir soundtrack about the macabre 'Bains Terminus': ailing patrons who come to take the waters here never leave. When the Pool police investigates their mysterious deaths, the realms of life and death turn out to be not as separate as expected... In this February 2020 production, directed by Florent Siaud, soprano Sandrine Buendia plays the part of Célia and baritone Romain Dayez plays Mathéo. Conductor Arie van Beek conducts the Orchestre des Frivolités Parisiennes.
Wagner - Parsifal Act I. Prelude
The 2007 Europa-Konzert takes place in Berlin, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Under the theme "The Year 1882", the acclaimed orchestra is lead by conductor Sir Simon Rattle as it interprets Brahms’ “Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra”, his Fourth Symphony and Wagners’ “Prelude to Act I” from Parsifal - the piece that marked the orchestra's first recorded work of September 1913 under the baton of Alfred Hertz. The soloists are Lisa Batiashvili (violin) and Truls Mørk (cello), established as sought-after young virtuosos and appearing regularly with leading orchestras and in recitals throughout the world. The “Kraftwerk und Kabelwerk Oberspree (power and cable factory)”, the remarkable venue of this concert, is one of the most impressive historical industrial building from the late 19th century in Berlin. As its impressive presence is infused with Brahms and Wagner, there is an air of total commitment, only enhanced further by the unusual surroundings. The collaboration of Lisa Batiashvili and Truls Mørk ensures a moving performance of Brahms’s last orchestral work, his Double Concerto. Following this, Rattle and the orchestra continue to demonstrate their outstanding musicianship, delivering Wagner's amazingly fresh and dynamic Fourth Symphony.