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Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin
Based on one of the most iconic works of Russian literature, Tchaikovsky's adaptation of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is coloured by a broad range of emotions. This opera projects the restless romantic anti-hero archetype through a bored Russian aristocrat caught between convention and listlessness. Tchaikovsky's beloved lyrical ability is on full display in this opera, which transforms western European operatic idioms into a truly Russian work of art. The composer takes a neatly episodic approach to examining all manner of societal walks of life, from the pastoral to rural gentry and aristocratic. This performance includes Peter Mattei (baritone), Larissa Diadkova (mezzo soprano), Elena Maximova (mezzo soprano) and Anna Netrebko (soprano). It was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, United States, in 2017.
Abbado conducts Mahler and Schönberg
The program is introduced with a short documentation about Schönberg's Pelleas et Melisande, based on a text by Claudio Abbado. Every musical theme relates to a special colour appearing on screen. What has been so remarkable about Abbado’s Mahler performances is that their impact has never been achieved at the expense of the multiple sensitivities, subtleties and extreme sophistication. Together with the world's leading youth orchestra – the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) – Abbado performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Schönberg’s Pelleas und Melisande, Op. 5. The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester was founded in Vienna in 1986, by Abbado’s initiative. The orchestra's high level of artistic quality and its international success have moved important conductors and soloists to work with the ensemble.
Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
Conductor Mariss Jansons, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mussorgsky's “Pictures at an Exhibition” were predestined to come together. The lavish colors of Ravel's orchestration of the Russian work, the breathtaking inventiveness of the wildly different movements that are all interconnected through a recurring “Promenade” – few conductors are as adept as Jansons to savor all the richness and colorfulness of the paintings and sketches by Victor Hartmann. Today, the work is universally celebrated in its dazzling orchestral transcription by Maurice Ravel. It was the great conductor Serge Koussevitzky who commissioned the orchestration by Ravel in 1922. Recorded at Herkulessaal, Munich in 2014.
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.
Glass - Double Concerto for Two Pianos
As part of a new collaboration with the famous composer of "music with repetitive structures" Philip Glass, French pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque perform the European premiere of Glass's Concerto for two pianos with the Orchester de Paris. The program continues with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 with the Orchester de Paris, directed by Jaap van Zweden, current music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the next musical director of the New York Philharmonic.
Telemann - Jesus liegt in letzten Zügen, TWV 1:983
The film Jaroussky sings Bach & Telemann is a portrait of a very special vocalist, and of two exceptional composers. When Philippe Jaroussky - whose angelic voice seems almost timeless, not belonging to any one epoque or decade - sings works by Telemann and Bach, it becomes abundantly clear that the sheer emotional force and the purifying power of their music have not diminished over the centuries. The works performed in this film are Telemann's Jesus liegt in letzten Zügen and Sinfonia from Brockes-Passion; Der am Ölberg zagende Jesus, and Bach's Sinfonia from Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis and Ich habe genug.
Sergiu Celibidache - The Triumphant Return
Maestro Sergiu Celibidache conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1945 to 1954, and once in 1992. Wolfgang Becker's documentary The Triumphant Return documents Celibidache's long-awaited return to the Berlin Philharmonic after a 38-year-absence. Discover extensive footage from the rehearsals of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 (the only video recording in existence of Celibiadache), interviews with former orchestra members, and Celibidache's final concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Bach - Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006)
Gidon Kremer’s return to J. S. Bach’s partitas is a major event. Kremer’s first recording of these works was released almost a quarter of a century ago. In this recording from 2006, Kremer once again takes on the greatest challenge for any violinist: Bach’s magnificent “Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin” (BWV 1001-1006), which Kremer himself calls the “Himalayas” of violin music. With these pieces, Bach firmly established the technical capability of the violin as a solo instrument. The partitas served as archetypes for solo violin pieces by later generations of composers. This rendition of the collection displays Kremer’s very personal sense of spontaneity and a readiness to take risks. Yet it is also marked by the structural awareness of an exceptional musician who, in a unique way, does justice both to the polyphonic wealth of the compositions and to their juxtaposition of dance elements and reflective profoundness.
Lang Lang – The Third Dimension
Chinese pianist Lang Lang performs some of the greatest works in the piano repertoire at Berghain in Berlin in 2010. The concert program includes the first movement of Piano Sonata No. 23, op. 57, called Beethoven's Appassionata, the precipato of Prokofiev's Sonata No. 7, and the mention of Iberia (Book 1), the masterpiece of Isaac Albéniz. Lang Lang closes the evening with a powerful version of the ''Heroic'' Polonaise, op. 53 from Chopin.
CMIM Piano 2021 - Semi-final: Yoichiro Chiba
Yoichiro Chiba (Japan, 1997) performs J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826, and Franz Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, S. 178, during the semi-finals of the 2021 Piano Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). This performance was recorded at Yumeria Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
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.
Bruckner - Symphony No. 5
Bruckner's Fifth Symphony has been called the "Medieval" because of its multi-layered, Baroque, contrapuntal tonal textures and the "Catholic" because of its solemn majesty. These designations are uniquely fitting to the work, Bruckner himself called it his "Fantastic," especially when it is performed at the Monastery of St. Florian, as on this recording. It is not without reason that Bruckner also called the Fifth his "contrapuntal masterpiece." Indeed, the incredible prominence of the finale arises from an almost fanatical contrapuntal interplay that bundles together the structures of the entire symphony into one homogeneous form and leads them together into a grandiose double fugue that is unique even for Bruckner. Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director of both The Cleveland Orchestra and the Zurich Opera, brought his U.S. ensemble to St. Florian in September 2006 for performances at the Linz Brucknerfest. Bruckner wrote the Fifth in 1875/76, but the work was not premiered until 1894, after it had undergone many revisions by the composer.
Concerts in Quarantine: Works for Piano and Cello
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, cellist Gabriel Schwabe and pianist Nicholas Rimmer perform Franz Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, D. 821, Frédéric Chopin's Sonata for Cello and piano, Op. 65, and Camille Saint-Saëns's The Swan from The Carnival of the Animals (arr. Jascha Heifetz).
Documentary 2017
This short documentary follows the participants of the 11th 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.
Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite
In this exquisite 2016 concert from Moscow's Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Russian National Orchestra and star-pianist Boris Berezovsky are led by conductor Mikhail Pletnev in a performance of magnificent works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Winner of the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Berezovsky interprets the works of Rimsky-Korsakov with a virtuosic power. The programme features The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya, suite for orchestra, as well as The Tale of Tsar Saltan, musical pictures for orchestra. It 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.
Cavalli - 'Mira questi due lumi' from 'Le Nozze..
Argentinian conductor and harpsichordist Leonardo García Alarcón leads his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea in a program of Italian Baroque music. The ensemble performs some of the finest Baroque pieces composed by Francesco Cavalli, a prominent composer in 17th-century Venice, and two of his famous students, Barbara Strozzi and Antonia Bembo. Argentinian soprano Mariana Flores presents the vocal works. On the program are ‘Mira questi due lumi’ from Cavalli’s Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo, ‘Dimmi, Amor, che farò’ from L'Oristeo, ‘Sinfonia della notte’ from L’Egisto, and ‘E vuol dunque Ciprigna’ from Ercole Amante; ‘M’ingannasti in verità’ from Bembo’s Produzioni armoniche consacrate a Luigi XIV; Strozzi’s Sino alla morte, Che si può fare, Lagrime mie, L’amante segreto, and è Pazzo il moi core; Biagio Marini’s La Romanesca; Tarquinio Merula’s Aria Sopra La Cieccona; and Dario Castello’s Sonata Seconda. This performance was recorded at the magnificent Église Notre-Dame of Sablé-sur-Sarthe, France, on August 26, 2020.
Bachfest 2010
András Schiff (Budapest, 1953) is one of the world's most distinguished pianists, breathing life into pieces with sheer magic. Schiff, a guardian of almost-forgotten ideals of piano playing, is more than a great pianist: he is an expert with insight that goes beyond the piano music, delving deeper into the wider field and macro culture. This makes him the perfect candidate to play and explain the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose music has an enormous performance tradition spanning over two centuries. In the current recital, filmed as part of the Bachfest 2010, Schiff performs all of Bach’s “French” music, that is, the so-called French Suites and the French Overture ; for his generous encore, he completes the Clavierübung II with the entirety of the Italian Concerto.
Scriabin - Piano Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
In recent years, a new generation of Chinese pianists has emerged on the international scene. But there are many more young Chinese artists, who the Académie France-Chine aims to enable to deepen their art by introducing them to and giving them a platform within French and European culture. Four of these artists are Chen Xue-Hong, Zhang Cheng, Chen Yunjie and Chen Sa, who made their joint debut in Paris in this unique concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées that showcased their extraordinary talent. On the program are Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2, Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 1, Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 8 and Paysage (No. 3) and Mazeppa (No. 4) from Liszt's Études d'Exécution Transcendante. The concert closes with Messiaen's Regard de l’Esprit de la joie (No. 10) from Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus.
Closed - A Ballet from Real Life
Many people live in a closed world. What happens to them when they step onto an arena where they can be themselves, free of their usual roles and status? In the film Closed we encounter four completely different people who once a week leave their everyday lives and get together in a closed café, where they get the opportunity and help to relax and momentarily distance themselves from reality. These encounters have a certain touch of ritual to them. Here, the participants dare to open themselves up to external impressions. They allow themselves to be affected by each other’s liberated exposures and to respond positively to what society at large would regard as strange behaviour. Two men, one woman and a proprietor who is obsessed with cleaning. The smallest speck of dust must be removed immediately. He always has a dust cloth to hand. This externalized and bizarre behaviour is challenging to himself as well as to those around him. Music: Zoltan Kodály’s Sonata for solo cello Op. 8 by cellist Truls Mørk.
Mozart - Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165
The Europakonzert has been a tradition of the Berlin Philharmonic since 1991. The musicians commemorate the anniversary of the orchestra's founding on May 1, 1882 by playing in different European cities every year. This concert was recorded at St. Mary's Church in Kraków, Poland, where Bernard Haitink wielded the baton over the Berlin Philharmonic along with soloist Christine Schäfer (soprano) The performance features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165.
Festive Mozart Concert from Salzburg
This performance was recorded during Mozart Week on January 27, 2006 in Salzburg, Austria, at the Großes Festspielhaus (Large Festival House) in celebration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 250th birthday. Under conductor Riccardo Muti, it features Thomas Hampson (baritone), Mitsuko Uchida (piano), Gidon Kremer (violin), Yuri Bashmet (viola), Wiener Singverein, and Wiener Philharmoniker. Pieces include Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major, K. 364, arias and scenes from Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute and Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385 ("Haffner").
In the Organ's Stomach
Olivier Latry is the current holder of the Great Organ of Notre Dame. Between its original religious function and the interest of composers of all times, the great organ Cavaillé-Coll reveals its absolute modernity. Latry is considered one of the greatest organists of his generation, both in France and internationally. He sees himself as an ambassador of French music from the 17th through the 20th centuries as well as an advocate for the art of improvisation. Pieces played in the film are: Pierre Cochereau’s Boléro, Louis Vierne’s Carillon of Westminster and Scherzo from Symphony No. 2, Alexandre Guilmant’s Sonata No. 1, Charles-Marie Widor’s Gothic Symphony, Marcel Dupre’s Cortège, Litanie and J. S. Bach’s Passacaille & Fugue.
Orchestra Final - Liszt Competition 2017
Alexander Ullman (1991, United Kingdom) performs Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 (S125) during the final of the 11th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, held in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht 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 since has built a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 1 & Symphony No. 2
At the age of seven, Argentine pianist Martha Argerich made her debut with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15, a piece that would accompany her throughout her career. The celebrated pianist performs this signature piece at the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the baton of Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, who makes his festival debut with the orchestra. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36, is also on the program. This performance was recorded at the Lucerne Culture and Congress Center (KKL), Switzerland, in August 2020.
Shostakovich - Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77
In May 2019, the new principal conductor of the Gewandhaus, Andris Nelsons, presented Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 with his orchestra in combination with Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with outstanding violinist Baiba Skride as the soloist. In this composition, the violin does not allow itself a break, continually tells its dark story and gets into a vicious circle of ostinato Passacaglia bass lines again and again falls into beguilingly beautiful singing. Tchaikovsky initially thought his 'Symphony of Fate' was a failure and believed himself to be at the end of his creative powers. It was probably the composer's nature, plagued by self-doubt, that made it almost impossible for him to develop a self-confident attitude to his own creative power. Between this two works, Skride performs Stravinsky's Elegy for Solo Violin.
Villa-Lobos - String Quartet No. 11
Quarteto Radamés Gnattali performs Heitor Villa-Lobos's String Quartet No. 11 at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janiero, Brasil. The ensemble was founded in 2006 and consists of Carla Rincón and Francisco Roa (violins), Fernando Thebaldi (viola), and Hugo Pilger (cello). The quartet, which specializes in Brazilian music, focuses on educational activities. Their recording of all of Villa-Lobos string quartets is a major achievement and was very well received by international music critics. Except for his Bachianas brasileiras, the performance of many of the Brazilian's compositions is limited to Latin America. Highly regarded as a composer, conductor and educator in his native country, Villa-Lobos has operas, symphonies, concertos, piano repertoire, choral music, and seventeen string quartets to his credit.