Mahler - Symphony No. 2
Bernhard Haitink conducts the Berlin Philharmonic and the Ernst Senff Choir in a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. This concert took place at the Berliner Philharmonie in 1992. The final chorus of Mahler's beautiful and impressive second symphony never fails to move its listeners. The epic character of the work is not only due to the impressive size of the orchestra and the use of an organ and soloists, but also due to the themes of life and death that are addressed. The listener may recognize a number of Mahler's earlier compositions from his song collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Soloists are Sylvia McNair (soprano) and Jard van Nes (contralto).
Yutaka Sado in Paris
Yutaka Sado, the Artistic Director of the Pacific Music Festival of Sapporo and Grand Prix of the coveted International Bernstein Competition in Jerusalem, conducts the Orchestre de Paris and pianist Boris Berezovsky in a program consisting of Jacques Ibert’s Divertissement, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, and excerpts of Giuseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller, I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata, and Macbeth. This concert was recorded at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, in 2013.
Music by Beethoven
Three of classical music's most beloved stars gather for a concert devoted entirely to Beethoven's music, recorded in 1995 at the Berliner Philharmonie by Barrie Gavin. Daniel Barenboim (piano), Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and Itzhak Perlman (violin) perform the Triple Concerto, op. 56 and the Fantaisie chorale, op. 80. Daniel Barenboim then takes the baton to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Choir of the Staatsoper and soloists Carola Höhn, Katharina Kammerloher, Andrea Bönig, Endrik Wottrich, Pär Lindskog, and René Pape.
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.
Europakonzert 1996: Saint Petersburg
The beautiful Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg formed the background for the 1996 edition of the annual Europakonzert of the Berliner Philharmoniker. In honour of the Russian hosts, the concert opened with highlights from Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet', followed by the Cavatina from Rachmaninoff's opera 'Aleko'. After the intermission, Kolja Blacher featured in the two 'Violin Romances' by Beethoven, followed by a performance of his 'Seventh Symphony'. The orchestra is led by maestro Claudio Abbado.
J. S. Bach - Mass in B Minor (BWV 232)
Georg Christoph Biller conducts the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Thomanerchor in a performance of J. S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), one of the greatest works of church music ever written. Soloists are Ruth Holton (soprano), Matthias Rexroth (alto), Christoph Genz (tenor) and Klaus Mertens (bass). Recorded in the St. Thomas Church during the Leipzig Bachfest of 2000. Georg Christoph Biller is Bach’s 16th successor as cantor of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, a position Biller held from 1992 to 2015. The mass is a musical setting of the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass and is one of last compositions the Bach completed, just one year before his death in 1750. Since 1999, the Leipzig Bachfest is regarded as the world’s leading festival celebrating the music of Bach.
CMIM - Finals - John Brancy
Peter Dugan accompanies baritone John Brancy (USA, 1988) during the finals of the Art Song competition of the Concours musical international de Montréal of 2018 (CMIM). The program starts off with The Things Our Fathers Loved, In Flanders Fields and Tom Sails Away by Charles Ives and Bleuet (FP 102) and Priez pour paix (FP 95) by Poulenc. These are followed by three Schubert songs: Der Schiffer (D. 536), Der Wanderer (D. 493) and Du bist die Ruh (D. 776). Brancy closes the competition with two works by Rachmaninov: Zdes khorocho, Op.21/7 and Vesennié vody, Op. 14/11. Founded in 2002, the CMIM is an annual event that draws thousands of spectators to concert halls, as well as listeners on the radio and the web. The competition seeks to discover and support musicians who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their art. It’s the only international competition in North America to be held annually and to present three disciplines (voice-violin-piano) in a three-year rotation.
A Salute to Brasil
The Orchestre de Paris, under the baton of Kristjan Järvi, Music Director the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Founder and Music Director of the Absolute Ensemble, pay tribute to Brazil in a program that includes Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2, Paulo Aragão Concerto Nazareth, and Yamandu Costa’s Passeios Suite. This concert, recorded at Paris’ Salle Pleyel in 2014, includes guest appearances from guitarist Yamandu Costa and accordionist Alessandro “Bebê” Kramer.
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.
CMIM - Quarter Finals - Rihab Chaieb
Martin Dubé accompanies mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb (Canada/Tunisia, 1987 during the first round of the Aria competition of the Concours musical international de Montréal of 2018 (CMIM). The program features Il padre adorato from Mozart’s Idomeneo, Offenbach’s Vois sous l’archet frémissant (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and the famous L’amour est un oiseau rebelle from Bizet’s Carmen. Founded in 2002, the CMIM is an annual event that draws thousands of spectators to concert halls, as well as listeners on the radio and the web. The competition seeks to discover and support musicians who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their art. It’s the only international competition in North America to be held annually and to present three disciplines (voice-violin-piano) in a three-year rotation.
Teatro Regio behind the scenes
Few Italian theatres can boast of being an absolute point of reference for national and world culture. The Teatro Regio in Turin is both a symbol of excellence in the national operatic tradition and a prestigious stage hosting operas, ballets, concerts, and musicals of great substance. This short documentary offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the Teatro Regio Torino and bears witness to the enviable reputation that has prevailed since its opening in 1740.
A Tango Night - Live from Buenos Aires
2006 closed with a spectacular festival of Argentinean music broadcast live from Buenos Aires. At the height of the Argentinean summer, the Orquesta Filarmónica del Teatro Colon under Daniel Barenboim (conductor & soloist) join bandoneon virtuoso Leopoldo Federico and his Orquesta Tipica for an extraordinary New Year’s Eve show with popular tangos and Latin American orchestra classics. The old master of tango, José Carli, created enchanting new arrangements of works by Argentinean artists Astor Piazzolla, Carlos Gardel, Julio de Caro, Alberto Ginastera and Horacio Salgán. Performances by leading tango dancers Mora Godoy and Junior Cervilla from Buenos Aires add atmosphere and round off the night.
Rossini - La Cenerentola
Gioachino Rossini's opera La Cenerentola ('Cinderella'), with a libretto by Jacopo Ferretti, was first performed in February 1816 following the success of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Interestingly, much like its predecessor, the first performance of the opera was received with some hostility, but the work soon became popular throughout Italian theaters and beyond. The opening of La Cenerentola is one of the most famous Rossini pieces, evoking a spirit of lightness and freshness. The work’s originality lies in the violent contrast between the heroin’s tenderness and the plot’s sentimentalism mixed with Rossini’s virtuosity and unbridled sense of humor. This 2015 performance of La Cenerentola at the Opéra de Rennes is conducted by Darrell Ang and features the Symphonic Orchestra of Brittany and choir of the Opéra de Rennes and José Maria Lo Monaco, Daniele Zanfardino, Marc Scoffoni and Bruno Pratico.
Europakonzert 1995 - Palazzo Vecchio
Every year, the Europakonzert is hosted by the Berliner Philharmoniker at a notorious concert hall or at a special location. This year’s concert is held at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. This old palace used to be the town hall of Florence, but now serves as a museum. This edition’s conductor is Indian Zubin Mehta, son of the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. For this concert, he invites American violinist Sarah Chang to play Paganini’s Violin Concerto. Other works on the program are Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 in G minor.
CMIM - Quarter Finals - Julien van Mellaerts
João Araújo accompanies baritone Julien van Mellaerts (New-Zealand/UK, 1988) during the first round of the Art Song competition of the Concours musical international de Montréal of 2018 (CMIM). The program features Ravel’ s Le Paon (from Histoires Naturelles), A Poison Tree (from Songs and Proverbs of William Blake, Op. 74) by Britten, Schubert’s Wandrers Nachtlied II (D.768) and Abschied (from Mörike-Lieder) by Wolf. Founded in 2002, the CMIM is an annual event that draws thousands of spectators to concert halls, as well as listeners on the radio and the web. The competition seeks to discover and support musicians who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their art. It’s the only international competition in North America to be held annually and to present three disciplines (voice-violin-piano) in a three-year rotation.
Beethoven - Symphony No. 1
Performing Ludwig van Beethoven's nine symphonies is the highlight of Claudio Abbado's 12-year tenure as chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker. This monumental feat was lauded as "the most wonderful symphonic cycle of the past decade" by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung was also full of praise: “Abbado releases all the conflicting elements of Ludwig van Beethoven's cosmos - nothing works anymore, the music threatens to explode once and for all, deliverance has to come from somewhere. A powerful moment of unsparing analysis of Beethoven and his own self…”