Haydn - Orlando Paladino
For more than 25 years, René Jacobs has dedicated his life to baroque operas and works with the best ensembles for early music. On occasion of the 2009 Haydn Year the renowned Freiburger Barockorchester and outstanding baroque opera singers such as Marlis Petersen, Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Pietro Spagnoli and Tom Randle present Haydn’s most successful opera at the Berlin Staatsoper. ‘Orlando Paladino’, written in 1782, was Haydn’s most famous opera during his lifetime, with thirty performances in Esterháza in the first two years after its composition. The libretto, a ’drama eroicomico’, gives scope to Haydn’s frequently puckish sense of humour, as well as his inventive melodic expression. Most semi-serious operas of the period typically inserted comic characters into an essentially serious story but Haydn expanded the comedy even into the more serious scenes.
Gala from Berlin - 2009
At the gala concert of 2009, the Berlin Philharmonic under its musical director Sir Simon Rattle and Lang Lang present works by two Russian composers. The concert starts with a performance of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, one of the composer’s most enduring popular pieces, which demands a virtuoso pianist and a huge supple orchestral sound. Both it gets from the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic and the gifted Chinese piano star Lang Lang. The orchestra continues with ballet music from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, perhaps the most popular of all ballets. The concert concludes a few following encores: Tchaikovsky ‘Waltz of the Snowflakes’ from The Nutcracker and Chopin’s Etude No. 1, Op. 25.
Celebrate Saint-Patrick 2019
Armagh is one of the oldest cities of Ireland and also the place St-Patrick choose to build his first stone church. Nowhere in the world is the connection with Saint-Patrick more meaningful than in this city and the neighbouring counties in which he lived. This program brings the viewers to places most associated with Saint-Patrick and brings highlights of the annual concert, held in the cathedral that bears his name. Join composer and presenter John Anderson as he conducts a celebratory and reflective event honoring Saint-Patrick. A range of choirs unite in a unique evening of music and spoken words in the beautiful cathedral setting. Recorded March 9th, 2019.
Celebrate St. Patrick 2018
Join composer and presenter John Anderson as he conducts a reflective and celebratory event honouring Saint Patrick. Set in the magnificent St Patrick's RC Cathedral, choirs from all over the island of Ireland and further join in a unique evening of music and spoken word. Nowhere is the commemoration of Saint-Patrick more meaningful as in the city of Armagh in Northern Ireland, where Saint Patrick built his first stone church. From this city, all along the Saint Patrick’s pilgrimage trail to Downpatrick, there are many sights connected to his life. In the cathedral that bears his name, an evening with music and entertainment is presented to celebrate Saint Patrick. The concert and film, which featured choirs, musicians and performers from the North, South, East and West of Ireland, takes viewers on a journey through Saint Patrick’s former home via songs and musical pieces from both religious and secular traditions, showcasing not only the cathedral but also the landscapes of Armagh and Ireland’s Ancient East.
The Leuven song book
The sensational Sollazzo Ensemble gives us two concerts of unique Burgundian repertoire. The Leuven Song Book, only recently discovered and now in the safe hands of the Alamire Foundation, is a revelation; not only does it contain long-forgotten repertoire, but also an exquisite collection of late Burgundian polyphony. Nowhere is the sombre melancholy described by Huizinga more perfectly illustrated than in this chansonnier.
Ullrich Böhme plays organ works by Bach
The German organist Ullrich Böhme performs various organ works by J.S. Bach at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. On the program are five chorales from Orgelbüchlein; the plays Jesu meine Freude, Nun Danket alle Gott, Jesu bleibet meine freude, and Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit; as well as the Toccata in D minor, BWV565, the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV543, and the Toccata and Fugue in F major, BWV 540. The Church of St. Thomas is associated with many known composers, including Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and Richard Wagner, but especially Bach, who was music director from 1723 until his death in 1750. The church still houses the remains of the famous composer and the Thomanerchor, his choir founded in 1212, still exists today.
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.
The World of Opera - Teatro di San Carlo, Napoli
Discover the finest opera houses. Travel with us to Italy in this episode, and get the insider's perspective on the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. After being destroyed by fire, Naples’s royal opera house was rebuilt in record time under the direction of architect Antonio Niccolini (1772-1850), reopening on January 12, 1817. The building exemplifies Italian opera house architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries. Its design did not differ substantially from that of other theatres despite having over three thousand seats and being the world’s largest opera house in Italy’s largest city at the time. When the six-tiered lodge theatre reopened to the public after the tragic blaze, the architecture enraptured opera lovers far beyond the city’s borders. Naples is one of the birthplaces of Italian opera and thus of opera in general. The city developed into a center of the bel canto school of singing due to famous conservatories that produced musicians and composers like Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736). With its outstanding orchestra, the royal theatre was a magnet for both virtuoso singers and champions of bravura song. This documentary features the most recent premiere of Verdi’s Il trovatore (1853) in Naples and presents an historical overview of illustrious Italian composers. Starting in 1815, Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) served as artistic director of the San Carlo where many of his works were premiered. Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) headed the house for sixteen years, composing sixteen operas for it, including the immortal Lucia di Lammermoor (1835). The most distinguished Italian opera composer of the 19th century, Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), succeeded him, becoming a legend of the San Carlo with his 1842 premiere of Alzira. He later continued his affiliation with the institution, serving as artistic director for one year. It was he who suggested building an orchestra pit.
The German network ZDF called Scandale “classical music for the pop age,” a great way to describe the piano collaboration between German Alice Sara Ott and Francesco Tristano from Luxembourg. The program radiates energy and joy as these two artists go on stage to perform together. This recording of a performance at the Heidelberger Frühling of 2015 - a renowned festival for contemporary classical music - brings all that and more to the table. On the program are piano arrangements of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero and La Valse, “Nuages” and “Fêtes” from Debussy’s Trois Nocturnes and Igor Stravinsky’s famous ballet music from “Le sacre du printemps.” The duo also introduces a composition by Tristano himself, titled “A Soft Shell Groove Suite.”
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.
Händel - Dettingen Te Deum (HV 283)
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago choir in a performance of The Dettingen Te Deum (HWV 283), a canticle composed by George Frideric Handel, in 1743. On June 27, 1743, the British army and its allies, under the command of King George II and Lord Stair, won a victory at the Battle of Dettingen, over the French army. On the King's return, a day of public thanksgiving was appointed, and Handel was commissioned to write a Te Deum. Soloists are Bart Uvyn (alto), Denzil Delaere (tenor), Helena Maes (soprano), and Joris Stroobants (bas). The Vox Mago is made up of a group of enthusiastic and dynamic singers. The perfromance is recorded at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk in Gent in 2018.
Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique
Berlioz let his imagination run wild in his music, finding inspiration in all manner of sources, including his own turbulent personal life. His experience of powerful, unrequited love finds its expression in the emotionally charged Symphonie Fantastique, the story of an artist’s ‘hopeless love’, complete with waltzes, witches and a hallucinogenic nightmare. There are few orchestras with the music of Berlioz more thoroughly in their blood than the LSO, and here Valery Gergiev brings to bear his opulent interpretation of this landmark piece.Featuring the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, this triple header also includes Hector Berlioz' Waverley Overture and Les nuits d'été.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 11, Op. 22
Italian pianist Riccardo Schwartz was born in Milan in 1986, and completed his studies at Conservatorio of Milan as a student of acclaimed musicians such as Riccardo Risaliti, Leonardo Leonardi, and Annibale Rebaudengo. He graduated with Honorable Mention and continued his piano studies at the Accademia Pianistica of Imola. Throughout his career, he has had the privilege of performing as a soloist under the baton of outstanding conductors, among the likes of Gustav Kuhn and Yuri Temirkanov. His acclaimed performances include recitals and concertos for piano and orchestra in many prestigious concert halls. One of his best-known successes is the acclaimed concert cycle of Beethoven's 32 Sonatas. This performance features Piano Sonata No. 11 in B major, Op. 22. The sonata with four movements was composed in 1800, and published two years later. Beethoven himself perceived it as the best of his early sonatas, though some of its companions within the cycle gained the same popularity in the eyes of the public. This recital was recorded in March 2019 at the Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile.
Brahms - The 3 Violin Sonatas, Op. 78, 100 & 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.
Haydn - String Quartet in D minor Op. 42
One of the most famous Austrian composers of the Classical period is Joseph Haydn. During his career he composed over a hundred symphonies which gave him the title ‘Father of the Symphony’, but he has also been a key figure in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. Haydn is still very famous for his 68 string quartets that he wrote between 1762 and 1803. ‘Father of the String Quartet’ is therefore also a title that describes Haydn as a composer. The British String Quartet The Lindsays have recorded all substantial Haydn String Quartets during their active years, from 1965 to 2005. Besides Haydn, there are an extensive list of highly praised recordings such as Beethoven String Quartets, but also String Quartets by Mozart, Schubert and Dvorak. In 2004 they recorded seven Haydn String Quartets for television at the Kuhmo Arts Centre in Finland. One of them is Haydn's String Quartet in D minor Op. 42. Opus 42 is an isolated quartet composed in 1784. This Quartet No. 35 is a bit of a mystery within Haydn's series of string quartets. He didn't clearly write it for someone. Some theorists suggest that it is a string quartet for younger performers, because the work is quite simple and doesn't contain very high notes for the violins.
Young Euro Classic 2017
Over the course of 19 days, the best youth orchestras in the world led by great conductors, and flanked by virtuoso soloists, guaranteed exciting and inspiring concert performances at the Young Euro Classical 2017. The festival is known to be the most important platform for international young orchestra musicians in the European classical music tradition, and for its development. This highlight version is a collection of infectiously energizing and outstanding performances by musicians from across the globe. Their repertoire includes renowned classical works as well as local composers. On the program: Verdi - La forza del destino, Beethoven - Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt, Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1, Tchaikovsky - Six Romances, Kohji - Georgian, Mingrelian Songs, Weinberg - Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes Op. 47 and Wong - As the Heart Soars.
Claudio Abbado & Orchestra Mozart
In 2004, Claudio Abbado founded the Orchestra Mozart in Bologna, Italy. The orchestra collects the best classical music performers of the world by gathering promising young talents and well-established artists. Among them are Johani Gonzales, a young double bass player from one of Caracas’ worst quarters, and the famous German trumpeter Reinhold Friedrich. The documentary follows the orchestra's European tour of 2012-2013, offering a unique glance at Maestro Abbado's work, as well as on the work of today’s classical musicians. The film describes, both from a musical and a human point of view, the public and the private life of a group of musicians: Maria Francesca Latella, Federica Vignoni, Lucas Navarro, Alois Posch, Reinhold Friedrich, Alessio Allegrini, and Johane Gonzalez. The documentary includes a long and previously unreleased interview with Maestro Abbado, and concert and rehearsal footage from Bologna, Lucerne, Vienna, Madrid and Palermo.
Rossini - L'occasione fa il ladro
L'occasione fa il ladro is one of the five one-act operas - farsa giocosa - in which the young Rossini first demonstrated his operatic genius. This farce about arranged marriages, role reversals and other amorous confusions is, in musical terms, by far the most riotous of these five operatic jewels. Director Michael Hampe created a perfect realization of the opera in the small, jewel-like Rococo Theatre of Schwetzingen Palace in 1992. The staging is perfectly suited to the screen and the cast of principals, led by Susan Patterson, Robert Gambill, Natale de Carolis, Monica Bacelli, Alessandro Corbelli, Stuart Kale provide musical excellence. The Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gianluigi Gelmetti maintain the light musical touch of this joyous farce while at the same time setting a benchmark for the reading of these tiny gems among Rossini's operas.
Haydn - Symphony No. 45 'Farewell'
Under the direction of Conrad van Alphen, the Sinfonia Rotterdam Orchestra performs Haydn's Symphony No. 45 at the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in The Hague. This piece is nicknamed "Farewell" because of a funny anecdote. Haydn and his musicians stayed every year from May to October at the magnificent Esterháazy Palace, at the request of Prince Nicholas. In early November 1772, the prince announced his intention to remain at the palace for two more months. The musicians then told Kapellmeister Haydn their disagreement with this forced extension of their stay. The solution proposed by Haydn was to compose a piece delivering a clear message: at the end of the last movement of the Symphony, the musicians were called to blow the candles on their lectern and leave the room one after the other. Prince Nicholas understood the message; the next day a car was waiting for the musicians to take them home.