Puccini - La Fanciulla del West
The Metropolitan Opera presents Puccini's "American" opera based on David Belasco's play The Girl of the Golden West. During the height of the California gold rush, the titular heroine must steel herself in the face of adversity in order to win the affections of the man she loves. Despite its glamorised and highly publicised premiere, La Fanciulla del West disappeared from the repertory for a number of decades. Critics argued that despite its traditional handling of the themes of sacrifice and redemption, Fanciulla's setting was not conducive to grand opera conventions. Equally, the opera's lead role is notoriously demanding, often making casting difficult. In recent years however, it has returned to popularity, and is now considered amongst Puccini's great works. This performance features Westbroek (soprano), Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) and Zeljko Lucic (baritone). Recorded at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, United States, in 2018.
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos
The Orchestra Mozart, founded in 2004, is supposed to give young, talented musicians a possibility to play in a world-class orchestra being conducted by one of the outstanding conductors of our time. Claudio Abbado, the artistic director, is responsible for its profile, inviting musicians and chamber ensembles of international reputation. The Orchestra Mozart, conducted by Claudio Abbado, with their leader Giuliano Carmignola is playing Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Recorded at the Teatro Municipale Valli, Reggio Emilia. "Does the world need another set of Brandenburgs? Yes, when they are as freshly minted and as adventurously sonorous as this marvellous set from Abbado's young period-style Orchestra Mozart" (The Observer).
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 9, Op. 70
The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Neeme Järvi presents the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's Double concerto for cello, piano and orchestra. Soloists are Martha Argerich (piano) and Mischa Maisky (cello). The concert program features Antonín Dvořák's Scherzo capriccioso Des-Dur Op. 66, B 131, Shchedrin's aforementioned Double concerto "Romantic Offering", César Franck's Sonata for piano and cello in A, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9, Op. 70. This première performance was recorded at the Culture and Congress Centre of Lucerne, KKL, on February 9, 2011. The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra is orchestra-in-residence at KKL Luzern. The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra is Switzerland’s oldest symphony orchestra and has won an international standing that extends far beyond its home base.
Brahms - Violin Sonata No. 3, Op. 108
In this splendid 2013 concert from the Church of Verbier, Switzerland, Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos and Chinese pianist Yuja Wang join forces to interpret three sonatas by Johannes Brahms. Leonidas Kavakos rose to fame in 1985, when he became the youngest musician to ever win the first price of the prestigious Sibelius Competition. With Yuja Wang, an accomplished artist at young age herself, he forms a masterful duo of chamber music interpretation. The programme features Brahm's Sonata for Piano and Violin, No. 1 in G major, Op. 78, also known as the "Regensonate," Sonata for Piano and Violin, No. 2 in A major, Op. 100, the "Thuner Sonata," a portrait of the Swiss lake of Thun's peaceful scenery. It comes to a fiery and passionate finale with Brahm's Sonata for Piano and Violin, No. 3 in D minor, Op 108.
Solo Finals - Liszt Competition 2017
Minsoo Hong (1993, South Korea) performs Liszt’s Sposalizio from Années de Pèlerinage: Deuxième Année (S161/1) and Bellini/Liszt’s Réminiscences de Norma (S394) during the Solo Finals of the11th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, held in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, in 2017. The competition actively presents, develops, and promotes piano talents from around the world. In doing so, it has become one of the prominent gateways to the international professional classical music scene for young musicians. The International Franz Liszt Piano Competition was founded in 1986 in the Netherlands and has since built a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
Graupner - Magnificat anima mea
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago chamber choir in a performance of Christoph Graupner's (1683-1760) cantata Magnificat anima mea. This performance is part of the concert program In Tempus Adventus, consisting of three beautiful baroque cantatas, recorded in December 2018 in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk, Ghent in Belgium. This festive cantata was composed for Christmas in 1722. Graupner was a very prolific composer, with one of the largest oeuvres in the classical music history. He befriended composers like Händel and Matheson and even was chosen over Johann Sebastian Bach as the new cantor of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, but his employer Ernst Ludwig I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen decided otherwise and still wished to keep Graupner as court composer.
Brahms - A German Requiem, Op. 45
In this concert recorded in November 2016 at the magnificent Baroque basilica of Saint Florian, Austria – once the home of Anton Bruckner – the Wiener Singverein, the Cleveland Orchestra and its principal conductor Franz Welser-Möst pare down all traces of bombast wherever emotions could easily run out of control. Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, reaches out to comfort the living through religious texts not traditionally associated with the Requiem Mass. The result is a work of great intensity that speaks to people of all faiths, believers and non-believers alike. The program’s two soloists – Hanna-Elisabeth Müller and Simon Keenlyside – are already at home on the world’s stages. While the former has carved a career for herself not only as an opera singer but also as a concert artist, the London-born Keenlyside has been building his impressive career around the prestigious guest appearances he has made during the past ten years.
Pletnev conducts Bizet & Ravel's Concerto No. 1
Mikhail Pletnev leads the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) in a performance of Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Lucas Debargue as the soloist. The concert opens with a selection of music by Georges Bizet based on Alphonse Daudet's play 'L'Arlésienne'. The music is compiled by Mikhail Pletnev. The first movement of Ravel's Piano Concerto No. 1 contains five distinctive themes, of which three are reminiscent of jazz. Debargue's performance of Ravel's concerto is followed by Gabriel Fauré's Barcarolle No. 4. The performance was recorded at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow as part of the Ninth RNO Grand Festival.
Mozart - Piano Concertos No. 14 & No. 23
Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Romantic repertoire, Francesco Attesti (*1975) gave his first recital at age 11 and by the time he was 23, had earned the highest honours in piano from Florence’s Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini. In this recording of his 2016 Deeply Mozart concert tour, Attesti performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s piano concertos KV 449 and KV 488 with the Italian OIDA Orchestra and conductor Paolo Belloli.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 2, No. 2
The second in Beethoven's first group of three piano sonatas, in A major, makes greater demands on both performer and listener in comparison with the first. This is particularly evident through its use of counterpoint, which contemporary critics were to dismiss as too “learned.” After a surprising first movement, and a stately D major second movement, there follows a Scherzo of deceptive simplicity and a final Rondo that reserves its virtuosity for its central chromatic section. This performance is taken from Daniel Barenboim's highly esteemed complete rendition of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, recorded at the Schloss Hetzendorf, Vienna, Austria, in 1983.
Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Czech Philharmonic in this concert program featuring works by Antonín Dvořák and Gustav Mahler, recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague on March 1, 2019. The program opens with Dvořák's symphonic poem 'The Golden Spinning Wheel', Op. 109. The work is a poetic treatment of a fairytale by Czech writer Božena Němcová. Dvořák’s Golden Spinning Wheel was premiered in private by the orchestra of the Prague Conservatoire conducted by Antonín Bennewitz in 1896. The Czech Philharmonic concludes the program with Mahler's symphony Das Lied von der Erde. Soloists are Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano) and Simon O’Neill (tenor). In May 1908, Gustav Mahler returned to Europe after his first season in New York and spent the summer holiday in South Tyrol, where he began composing Das Lied von der Erde to texts from the collection Die chinesische Flöte ('The Chinese flute'), adaptations of Chinese poetry by Hans Bethge. Mahler finished the fair copy of the score the following autumn while staying in the Moravian town Hodonín.
Concerts in Quarantine: Eckardstein
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.
Behind the Scenes at the Zurich Opera House
The Zurich Opera House is one of the most renowned in Europe. Fifteen premieres are staged here every year - a significant achievement, when one considers just how much work goes into each individual production. In this exciting documentary, we go behind-the-scenes at the Zurich Opera House and follow the intensive progress of the new production of Gioachino Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Vesselina Kasarova in the role of Rosina. The film also shows preparations for other productions, such as a workshop for Richard Wagner's Siegfried directed by Robert Wilson, and a rehearsal for Igor Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps with choreography by Heinz Spoerli. This film opens the curtain to understanding an opera house’s many exciting facets.
Schubert - Overture to Rosamunde (D. 644)
Andreas Spering conducts Philharmonie Zuidnederland in a performance of "Overture Rosamunde" (D. 644), by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Recorded in Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, the Netherlands in 2015. Schubert initially composed the Overture for Georg Ernst von hofmann's play 'Die Zauberharfe' ('The Magic Harp'), which premiered on August 19, 1820. Three years later, the overture was used again, this time for Helmina von Chézy's play Rosemunde. Chézy's (1783-1856) librettos enjoyed little succes, and it is said that Schubert's contribution to Rosamunde saved the production.
CMIM - Semi-final
South Korean tenor Mario Bahg (1990) performs 'Cujus animam gementem' from Gioachino Rossini's Stabat Mater, 'È la solita storia del pastore' from Francesco Cilea's opera L’arlesiana, and 'Je crois entendre encore' from Georges Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles, during the semi-finals of the Concours musical international de Montréal, 2018.
Tchaikovsky - Iolanta
‘Iolanta’ and ‘Perséphone’ – A double bill consisting of two stage works that “represent an ideal of beauty, poetry and hope” forms this new production by Peter Sellars in Madrid from the Teatro Real from 2012. In both works, the progression from darkness to light acts as an initiation rite that completely transforms the existential attitude of the leading characters. This broadcast features ‘Iolanta’, a mature composition by Tchaikovsky, which was premiered in 1892. It contains all aspects of the composer’s mastery: beautiful melodies, clear structure, and genuine passion in its many varieties. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real are conducted by Teodor Currentzis. The soloists in this production are Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Iolanta), Alexej Markov (Robert), Pavel Cernoch (Vaudémont), Dmitry Ulianov (King René), Willard White (Ibn-Hakia), Vasily Efimov (Alméric), Pavel Kudinov (Bertrand), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Marta), Irina Churilova (Brigita) and Letitia Singleton (Irina Churilova).