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Saint-Saëns - Samson and Delilah
Sir Mark Elder conducts the Metropolitan Opera in this performance of Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. The source of this popular opera is a single chapter in the biblical Book of Judges: Samson, a pre-monarchic leader of the ancient Israelites, fights valiantly against the Philistines, enemies of his people, until Delilah seduces him and shears off his hair, the secret to his superhuman strength. The brevity of this source material did nothing to prevent it from becoming one of the world’s great stories of love (or at least passion)—as well as the archetypal depiction of a man betrayed by an immoral woman. Saint-Saëns’s opera, along with other artistic renderings across multiple genres, has had an important role in the popularisation of this tale. The performance features Elīna Garanča (mezzo), Roberto Alagna (tenor), and Elchin Azizov (baritone), and was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2018.
Mahler - Symphony No. 7
The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink leads the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Seventh Symphony by Gustav Mahler, recorded at The Berliner Filharmonie in 1993. This symphony for a big orchestra premiered in 1908 in Prague under Mahler himself. In a few weeks, the composition was already performed in the Netherlands and Germany, but the audience did not immediately love it. The symphony, consisting of five movements, has a more complicated tonal scheme than Mahler’s earlier symphonies. Two first parts of the symphony, called ‘Nachtmusik,’ are inspired by the night and Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’ painting. The finale of the symphony is the most outrageously exuberant of Mahler's symphonies and ends in a strange but beautiful way.
Brahms - Symphony No. 1, Op. 68
Franz Welser-Möst conducts The Cleveland Orchestra in this performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 1. Few symphonic works have taken longer to come into fruition than Brahms' first. The composer had basic ideas about this work as early as 1855 when he was just 22 years old. It saw numerous revisions before its completion, as Brahms was encouraged by his peers, most notably Clara Schumann and musicologist Philipp Spitta, to press forward despite the fear of living in Beethoven's shadow. Also included in this performance is the U.K. premiere of Jörg Widmann's Flûte en suite featuring soloist Joshua Smith. This performance was recorded as part of the 2014 BBC proms season at The Royal Albert Hall in London, U.K.
Schumann - Märchenbilder, Op. 113
Tabea Zimmermann (viola) and Francesco Piemontesi (piano) performed live at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on April 17, 2020. The program features Robert Schumann's Märchenbilder, Op. 113.
Debussy - La Mer
Claude Debussy’s symphonic sketches for orchestra known collectively as ‘La Mer’ evoke a richly varied vision of the sea. The first part (‘De l’aube á midi sur la mer’) calls up a morning and afternoon at sea, the second (‘Jeux de vagues’) echoes the play of the waves, and the third and final part (‘Dialogue du vent et de la mer’) conjures the communing voices of wind and waves. Debussy knew his sea, the Mediterranean, intimately both from childhood visits to Cannes and from his Italian travels later in life.
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.
Mozart - Symphony No. 40, K. 550
Gianluigi Gelmetti conducts the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart in a performance of W. A. Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor (K. 550), directed for television by Janos Darvas. The work was composed in 1788 and is sometimes referred to as the "Great G minor symphony", with the Symphony No. 25 being the "Little G minor symphony". The two are the only of Mozart’s 41 symphonies that were written in a minor key. It is arguably the most popular of all of Mozart’s symphonies. The catchy opening melody became one of the most popular ringtones of mobile phones in the 90s. Scholars are not in agreement whether it was popular in Mozart’s own time. The composer performed it a few times and rewrote some parts of the score.
Works for Flute & Oboe: Haydn, Schumann, Bach
On April 9, 2020, when that year's pandemic forced concert life to a standstill, flautist Ana de la Vega and oboist Ramón Ortega Quero were well into their scheduled concert tour. They played their concert at Palais Lichtenau in the German city of Potsdam as planned, albeit without an audience. This intimate recording is the result. On the program are Joseph Haydn's “Londoner” Trio No.1 C Hb. IV/1, Clara Schumann's Drei Romanzen, Op.22, Antonín Dvořák's Silent Woods for cello and piano, J. S Bach's Trio Sonata in C minor from “Musikalischen Opfer” BWV 1079 and Robert Schumann's Drei Romanzen, Op. 94. The concert concludes with Ignaz Moscheles's Concertante in F.
Dvořák - Symphony No. 6 in D major
For the 2016 edition of the Waldbühne, the Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and the Québécois conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin join the Berliner Philharmoniker for a beautiful concert. They present an all Czech program! We always think of Germany, Austria, and Italy when we name great classical composers, but the Czech Republic also delivered some master composers such as Antonin Dvorák, Bedrich Smetana, Leos Janacek, and Bohuslav Martinu. This concert starts with Smetana’s famous Vltava from Má Vlast. Lisa Batiashvili plays Dvorák’s Violin Concerto in A minor, and the concerts centerpiece is Dvorák’s Symphony No. 6.
CMIM Piano 2021 - Semi-final: Ying Li
Ying Li (China, 1997) performs J. S. Bach’s English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808, Claude Debussy’s Images, Book 1, L. 110, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7 in B-flat major, Op. 83, during the semi-finals of the 2021 Piano Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). This performance was recorded at Merkin Hall of Kaufman Music Center in New York, NY, USA.
Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia is joined by acclaimed Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky in an interpretation of works by Rachmaninov and George Gershwin. Conductor Konstantin Khvatynets directs this concert, filmed at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. The programme includes George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and 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.
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.
Roberto Giordano plays Brahms and Beethoven
In this recital, Roberto Giordano plays the Six Pieces for Piano, op. 118 of Brahms, a collection completed in 1893 and dedicated to Clara Schumann who will be the penultimate produced by the composer during his lifetime. The concert program also includes two Beethoven sonatas, the famous Moonlight Sonata No. 14, op. 27, and Sonata No. 31, op. 110, one of the last sonatas signed by the composer. This concert was recorded at Villa Visconti Borromeo Litta, in the Italian city of Lainate, in 2017. Directed by: Pietro Tagliaferri.
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.
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.
Beethoven - 6 Songs by Gellert, Op. 48
German baritone Dietrich Henschel and pianist Arno Waschk bundle their forces in a Lieder program featuring compositions by Hugo Wolf, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Liszt, recorded at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on April 10, 2020. The program opens with three of Wolf's Mörike-Lieder: 'Neue Liebe', Karwoche', and 'Wo find' ich Trost', followed by Beethoven's Gellert-Lieder, Op. 48. This is followed by three more songs by Wolf: 'Wohl denk' ich oft', 'Alles endet, was entstehet', and 'Fühlt meine seele'. The program closes with Liszt's Three sonnets of Petrarch, based on Petrarch's sonnets 47, 104, and 123.
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).
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.
Handel Celebration
The 250th anniversary of George Frederic Handel’s death takes place on April 14th, 2009. On this momentous occasion, two of the world’s leading baroque orchestras and conductor Howard Arman honour the composer by playing the repertoire of the historic Handel Commemoration Concert which took place in London’s Westminster Abbey 25 years after Handel’s death. This outstanding British-German performance in Handel’s baptistery, the Market Church in Halle, represents the media highlight of the Handel Year 2009.
Ravel - Le Tombeau de Couperin
Europakonzert has been a tradition of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1991. Every year, the musicians commemorate the anniversary of the orchestra's founding (May 1st, 1882). and celebrate their heritage from the Old World. The Europakonzert of 1997 took place at the Royal Opera of Versailles. Featuring Daniel Barenboim, both as conductor and as soloist. This concert is completed with Maurice Ravel’s suite for piano Le tombeau de Couperin, which was composed in honour of Ravel’s friends who died during WWI.
Hans Zender - Thinking with your senses
In the documentary 'Thinking with your senses', German composer, conductor, and essayist Hans Zender (1936-2019) gets the exhaustive Reiner E. Moritz treatment. As a conductor, Zender was associated with several German opera houses and orchestras, including Theater Bonn, Opernhaus Kiel, and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is probably most widely remembered for his 'composed interpretation' of Franz Schubert’s song-cycle ‘Winterreise’, which he adapted for tenor and small orchestra. In 'Thinking with your senses', Zender opens up about his life, reflecting on his long and successful career. He discusses his collaborations with composers as John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Moreover, the film includes numerous excerpts of Zender conducting classical as well as and contemporary repertoire by composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Isang Yung, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann.
Liszt Competition 2017 - Semi Final Transcriptions
Pianist Leon Bernsdorf performs Liszt's Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (S161/6) from the Années de Pèlerinage: Deuxième Année (Italie), Bagatelle sans tonalité (S216) and the complete Grandes Études de Paganini (S141) during the semi finals of the International Liszt Competition 2017 at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht.
CMIM Voice 2022 - Final: Bryan Murray
Baritone Bryan Murray (USA, 1989) performs ‘Ich ging mit Lust’, ‘Ablösung im Sommer’, and ‘Zu Straßburg auf der Schanz’ from Gustav Mahler’s Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugenzeit; ‘Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen’, and ‘Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?’ from Mahler’s song cycle Des Knaben Wunderhorn; ‘Oh No, I Beg You, Forsake Me Not!’, ‘Morning’, ‘In the Silence of the Secret Night’, and ‘Do Not Sing, My Beauty’ from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 6 Romances, Op. 4, and Lee Hoiby’s song cycle I Was There: Five Poems of Walt Whitman, Op. 49, during the final round of the Art Song division of the Concours musical international de Montréal 2022 (CMIM). This performance was recorded at the Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
CMIM Voice 2022 - Final: Harriet Burns
Soprano Harriet Burns (United Kingdom, 1989) performs Joseph Haydn’s The Mermaid’s Song, Hob. XXVIa:25; ‘Le corbeau et le renard’ from André Caplet’s song cycle Trois Fables de Jean de la Fontaine; Lee Hoiby’s Jabberwocky; ‘Muttertändelei’ from Richard Strauss’s 3 Gesänge älterer deutscher Dichter, Op. 43; ‘Flickan kom ifrån sin älsklings möte’ from Wilhelm Stenhammar’s Idyll och epigram, Op. 4; Franz Schubert’s Das Zügenglöcklein, D. 871; ‘Lady Isobel and the Elf-Knight’ from Judith Weir’s Scotch Minstrelsy; ‘Ballad’ from James MacMillan’s Three Soutar Settings; ‘O byl to krásny, zlaty sen’ from Antonín Dvořák’s Four Songs, Op. 2; and ‘Waldmädchen’ from Hugo Wolf’s Eichendorff-Lieder, during the final round of the Art Song division of the Concours musical international de Montréal 2022 (CMIM). This performance was recorded at the Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
CMIM Voice 2022 - Final: Meredith Wohlgemuth
Soprano Meredith Wohlgemuth (USA, 1995) performs ‘Er ist’s’ from Hugo Wolf’s Morike-Lieder; ‘Hexenlied’ from Felix Mendelssohn’s 12 Gesänge, Op. 8; Richard Strauss’s Drei Lieder der Ophelia, Op. 67; Francis Poulenc’s Métamorphoses; Alfred Bachalet’s Chère nuit; ‘Meine Rose’ from Robert Schumann’s 6 Gedichte von N. Lenau und Requiem, Op. 90; ‘Wie Melodien’ from Johannes Brahms’s 5 Lieder, Op. 105; and ‘Del cabello más sutil’ and ‘Chiquitita la novia’ from Fernando Obradors’s Canciones Clásicas Españolas, during the final round of the Art Song division of the Concours musical international de Montréal 2022 (CMIM). This performance was recorded at the Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Classical:NEXT 2019 - Close Call
In Close Call your smartphone is a musical instrument. And you are not just an audience member, but a musician in a crazy band with three drummers! Arthur Wagenaar is a Dutch composer and musician. He has a deep love for rock bands, theatre, opera and classical music, and his music is usually a mixture of all of this. He also loves to invent his own instruments, mechanical or electronic, such as the “rampaphone,” a string instrument nine meters in length, the “kleurwerper,” played by juggling, and of course the Close Call Live app. In this performance from Classical:NEXT! in Rotterdam, he is supported by Joep Hendrickx, Tjalling Schrik, Marijn Korff de Gidts, Boy van Ooijen, Dodó Kis, Sarah Jeffery, Lotte Pen, Matthias Konrad, and Axel Schappert.
Viardot - Five Songs
Olena Tokar (soprano) and Igor Grishin (piano) perform a lieder and piano program, recorded at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on March 30, 2020. The program opens with five songs by Pauline Viardot: 'Two Roses', 'On Georgia's Hills', 'Evening Song', 'The Gardener', and 'The Mermaid's Song'. Grishin performs some solo piano works: Franz Schubert's Impromptu, Op. 90, Nos. 2 & 3, and Alexander Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 30. The program continues with Antonín Dvořák's Gypsy Songs, Op. 55, and closes with four songs by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Op. 57 No. 1, Op. 63 No. 2, Op. 38 No. 2, and Op. 47 No. 6.