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Dvořák - Rusalka
Ádám Fischer conducts the orchestra and choir of La Monnaie in a performance of Antonín Dvořák’s (1841-1904) Rusalka, a fairytale opera in three acts. Rusalka is the composer’s ninth opera and still one of the cornerstones of Czech opera houses. The main roles are played by Myrtò Papatanasiu (Rusalka), Pavel Černoch (Prince), Annalena Persson (Foreign Princess), Willard White (Vodnik) and Renée Morloc (Ježibaba). A rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology, living in a lake or river. In this story, Rusalka wishes to become human in order to be loved by a prince. For her wish to be fulfilled, Rusalka must give up her voice and face eternal damnation if her love fails. Stage director Stefan Herheim masterfully presents this lyrical fairytale, recorded at La Monnaie, Brussels, in 2016. In this widely acclaimed interpretation, the fairytale elements sometime take on frighteningly realistic dimensions so that one might see this enchanting production as a psychoanalytical study of male fantasies and female archetypes.
Waldbühne 2003 - A Gershwin Night
The Waldbühne in Berlin is one of the most attractive outdoor amphitheatres in Europe and home to the Berliner Philharmoniker's summer concerts. With a 20, 000-seat capacity, these events are some of the most popular classical music concerts in the world. In 2003, Seiji Ozawa and the Berliner Philharmoniker perform works by George Gershwin with the jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and his Trio as special guests. Their album “Gershwin For Lovers” stayed in the Top 10 on Billboard’s jazz chart for half a year. Together they created a magical fusion of classical music and jazz bringing an imaginative mix of styles into the swing of Gershwin’s music.
Shchedrin - Double Concerto for Piano, Violoncello
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.
Bach - Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011
At St. Bartholomew Church in Dornheim, Germany, where composer Johann Sebastian Bach married his first wife Maria Barbara, renowned Dutch cellist Anner Bijlsma performs the composer's Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011. It is likely Bach wrote his collection of six Suites for unaccompanied cello during the years 1717-1723. His cello suites are an essential part of the cello repertoire, highlighting the instrument's manifold polyphonic possibilities. As customary in a Baroque suite, each movement is based on a dance type. Bach's Suite No. 5 opens with a prelude, and is followed by six dance movements, divided over five sections: an allemande, a courante, a sarabande, two gavottes, and a final gigue.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 26, Op. 81a
This performance is taken from Daniel Barenboim's highly esteemed complete rendition of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, recorded at the Palais Rasumofsky, Vienna, Austria, in 1983.
CMIM - Semi-final - Mihail Mihaylov
Bulgarian tenor Mihail Mihaylov (1987) performs 'Una furtiva lagrima' from Gaetano Donizetti's opera L’elisir d’amore, 'Cujus animam gementem' from Gioachino Rossini's Stabat Mater, and 'Di rigori armato il seno' from Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, during the semi-finals of the Concours musical international de Montréal, 2018.
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 6, K 238
Christian Zacharias performs Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 6, K 238, accompanied by the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart under the direction of Gianluigi Gelmetti. This concert was recorded at Schwetzingen palace, where the Mannheim elector’s court would spend their summers.
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.
Dolce Tormento
In 2018, conductor Emiliano Gonzalez Toro and Mathilde Etienne created Ensemble I Gemelli, specializing in seventeenth-century Italian vocal music. From Claudio Monterverdi to Francesco Cavalli, via Giovanni Felice Sances, Barbara Strozzi and Giacomo Carissimi, Ensemble I Gemelli embraces a myriad of Italian works. In this program, recorded at the Théâtre Graslin in Nantes, the ensemble performs rarely-heard arias and cantatas from seventeenth-century Italy. Soloists are soprano Emöke Baráth, contralto Anthea Pichanick, and renowned countertenor Philippe Jaroussky.
Concerts in Quarantine: Couperin, Chopin & Haydn
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.
Burgundian Alphabet III - De la Rue - Without name
Enjoy a genuine musical marathon as a prelude to the Utrecht Early Music Festival 2018. During three concerts, the Huelgas Ensemble sing an entire alphabet of Burgundian composers, one for every letter. It concerns composers who were employed by the Burgundian court, with a special exception for Josquin, prince of polyphony. The singers perform arm-in-arm with Paul Van Nevel, visiting mass movements, motets and chansons by known and masters-to-be-discovered like Champion, Divitis, Binchois, de Orto, van Weerbeke, and many others. With “anonymous” to “incognito” they bring a double ode to the many nameless polyphonists who nonetheless made breathtaking contributions to the polyphonic repertoire of the 15th century.
Beethoven’s Hair
Beethoven's Hair traces the unlikely journey of a lock of hair cut from Ludwig van Beethoven's corpse, and unravels the mystery of the composer’s tortured life and death. The film begins in modern times, when some Beethoven enthusiasts purchase the hair at a Sotheby's auction. The story then investigates the lock's previous owners. Eventually, science reveals Beethoven's “medical secret”. Set to a lush score of some of Beethoven's most glorious music, the film explores the world of forensic testing, throwing into sharp relief the romance of 19th-century Vienna and the horrors of 20th-century Nazi Germany. Directed by Larry Weinstein.
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74
This concert may be called a meeting of musical giants: Manfred Honeck conducts the Berlin Philharmonic while cellist Yo-Yo Ma features as soloist. Success guaranteed when these artists take the stage at the 2016 Easter Concert from the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden! Honeck, musical director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, made his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2013. Yo-Yo Ma has played regularly with the orchestra since 1978. The concert opens with Brahms' Tragic Overture, Op. 81, followed by Schumann's Concerto for Cello, Op. 129. The orchestra concludes with a performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique.” While Schumann’s Cello Concerto was never played during his lifetime, Tchaikovsky died just nine days after the premiere of his Symphony No. 6.
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.
Handel - Rinaldo
For the first time in modern times, the Festival della Valle d'Itria stages the Neapolitan version of Georg Friedrich Händel's Rinaldo, an opera in three acts. The opera, considered lost until a few years ago, was the first of its kind to be written for the London opera stage in Italian language. Director Giorgio Sangati turns this interpretation into a “ba-rock” opera set of the 1980’s, where the struggle between Christians and Turks becomes a battle between pop-rock singers (the Christians), and dark-metal musicians (the Turks). These two factions represent two opposite perspectives on love and life. The baroque Ensemble La Scintilla performs under the baton of conductor Fabio Luisi. The acclaimed cast consisted of several splendid vocalists, among which were Carmela Remigio (Armida), Francisco Fernández (Goffredo), Loriana Castellano (Almirena), Teresa Iervolino (Rinaldo), Francesca Ascioti (Argante), Dara Savinova (Eustazio), and many more.
The Red Priest and the Tanguero
The ensemble YES Camerata (Young European String Camerata) and violinist William Hagen perform The Red Priest and the Tanguero at the Academiezaal in the Belgian city of Sint-Truiden in 2017. The concert program includes The Four Seasons of Antonio Vivaldi (1679-1741) and Las quatros estaciones porteñas of Astór Piazzolla (1921-1992), in a transcription of Leonid Desyatnikov. YES Camerata is a young dynamic string ensemble that performs without a conductor. The young American violinist William Hagen was the third winner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition in 2015.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 11, Op. 22
Scholar Charles Rosen has described the Sonata No. 11 in B-flat major, Op. 22 (composed in 1800) as Beethoven's 'farewell to the eighteenth century'. It was, for the composer, the culmination of the stylistic idioms of the classical era, as well as the pinnacle of his early four-movement 'grand' piano sonatas. This performance is taken from Daniel Barenboim's highly esteemed complete rendition of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, recorded at the Palais Rasumofsky, Vienna, Austria, in 1983.
Dvořák - Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104
Emmanuel Krivine leads the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, featuring Aleksandr Khramouchin as the soloist. The Cello Concerto is one of the most-performed works in its genre. Dvořák composed the work during his three-year term as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. The composer dedicated the concerto, which he completed in 1895, to the renowned Czech cellist Hanuš Wihan, his friend and colleague. Wihan suggested several improvements, including the addition of two cadenzas, but Dvořák only accepted a few minor changes. Of interest in the middle section of the second movement is the quotation of Dvořák's song “Leave Me Alone”, a favorite of his sister-in-law Josefina Čermáková, who was ill at that time, and would soon pass away. This performance was recorded in May 2011.
Saint-Saëns - Carnival of the Animals
Marin Alsop conducts the Britten-Pears Orchestra in a performance of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Recorded at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape Bridge in the UK, 2018.Saint-Saëns composed the work in a small Austrian town in 1886, following a disastrous concert tour. It is originally scored for two pianos, two violins, violas, cellos, double bass, flutes, piccolos, clarinets, glass harmonica, and xylophone. From the beginning, Saint-Saëns regarded the piece as an amusing work. It has become one of his best-known works and is played in various adaptions for different ensembles.
Puccini - La Bohème
Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Paris Opera Orchestra and Choir in a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. Recorded at the Opéra National de Paris in 2017 and directed by Claus Guth. Among the soloists are Nicole Car, Aida Garifullina Atalla Ayan and Artur Ruciński. La Bohème premiered in 1896 at the Teatro Regio in Italy. The opera's libretto focuses on the relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì. When young poet Rodolfo meets seamstress Mimì, it's love at first sight. But faced by the cruel realities of poverty and ill health, will the flame that burns between them flicker and die? Or will the timeless strength of their youthful passion withstand every trial and tribulation that life can throw at them?
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.