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Purcell - King Arthur
Hervé Niquet conducts the choir and orchestra of Le Concert Spirituel in a rendition of Henry Purcell's (1659-1695) King Arthur. The recording took place in the National Opera of Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon in March 2009. Soloists are Ana Marin Labin, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Mélodie Ruvio, Mathias Vidal, Marc Mouillon and Joao Fernandes. King Arthur, or The British Worthy is a semi-opera in five acts. It was first performed at the Queen's Theatre, Dorset Garden, London in 1691. The plot is based on the battles between King Arthur's Britons and the Saxons, rather than the legends of Camelot. It is a semi-opera: the principal characters do not sing, except if they are supernatural or pastoral.
Legato - World of the Piano
We live in a "renaissance of the piano”, as the New York Times has recently put it. With virtuosic flair and an eagerness to expand the repertoire, a new generation of pianists has revitalized the instrument’s appeal. In addition to the usual classics, they perform formerly scorned works or discover neglected composers. Legato is a series dedicated to presenting some of this new movement's most fascinating pianists – their individual approaches, their fresh ideas and their music. Each episode portrays an artist and shows an aspect of the world of the piano. The sum of these portraits provides viewers with an overall picture of the art of the pianist. Montréal native Marc-André Hamelin is internationally renowned for his musical virtuosity and refined pianism. The Times described one of his performances as “ultimate perfection”. He plays works by Haydn (Piano sonata in E major), Chopin (Piano sonata No. 3), Debussy (‘Préludes’, book two), Hamelin (Etude No. 7), as well as two short pieces by Gershwin (‘Do, Do, Do’ and ‘Liza’).
Bruckner - Symphony No. 4
When it comes to shaping a musical event for the ears and the eyes, the monumental majesty of Anton Bruckner’s (1824-1896) symphonies and the exhilarating vibrancy of St. Florian’s monastery are a perfect match – especially when they are captured on film so thrillingly by such an eminent director as Brian Large in 2012. Bruckner became acquainted with the monastery’s organ in his childhood and served as the organist there from 1845 to 1855. Welser-Möst, the principal conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera, is an acknowledged Bruckner specialist who has developed a passion for the composer’s Fourth Symphony – called the “Romantic” by its creator – in its infrequently played first edition (1888/89). More slender, dynamic and finely shaded than the more commonly performed version, this score is also more daring, with its sharper contrasts and boldly exposed dissonances. Recorded at the St. Florian Monastery in Austria, in 2012.
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 13, K. 415
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, he performs in one of W.A. Mozart’s less frequently performed Viennese concertos: Piano Concerto No. 13 in C major, K. 415.
Mozart - Piano Concerto No. 27, KV 595
Soloist Aleksander Madzar and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Andre Previn join forces in a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27, KV 595, recorded at Vienna's Schönbrunn palace. In 1791, with his life cruelly and rapidly ending, Mozart once again turned to the compositional style which reflected his personality: the concerto for piano and orchestra. His last piano concerto, which turned out to be an uplifting composition, regales its audience with a lyrical children's song, invoking the joys of youth and springtime.
Rocamadour: Duruflé's Requiem
Over the course of eleven days in August 2020, the French town of Rocamadour hosted the fifteenth edition of Festival de Rocamadour, a music festival dedicated to sacred music from the classical, baroque, and romantic periods. On August 16, the young British organist Jeremiah Stephenson performed at the medieval Basilique Saint-Sauveur with the French chamber choir Dulci Jubilo under the direction of its founder, Christopher Gibert. The organ plays a central role in this atmospheric concert, which opens with Trois motets by composer and organist Thierry Escaich (*1965). The three-part suite is made up of Eaux natales, Le Masque, and Vers l’espérance. Requiem by composer and organist Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) follows. The concert concludes with Timor et tremor, from Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963).
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.
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.
Beethoven - Last Sonatas, Op. 109, 110 & 111
Beethoven’s last three sonatas – Opus 109, 110 and 111 – explore the intimate meanders of the human soul, from despair to transfiguration. At the time of their composition, Beethoven was already locked in himself by his deafness. This deeply affected his relationship to others and to the world. This "psychological framework" is explored by director Mariano Nante, setting pianist Alexandre Tharaud in a film inspired by the universe of Tarkovski. Filmed in abandoned castles, and lit by director of photography Yorgos Arvanitis, this work evokes solitude and introspection and offers an inner journey through images and music.
Concerts in Quarantine: Songs and piano works
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.
The Boy with the Wig: Kids on Mozart
The Boy with the Wig - Kids on Mozart explores children’s fascination with the composer. The 30-minute film by Claus Wischmann features boys and girls aged between eight and eleven recounting his life through humour and serious interpretations of Mozart’s biography. Discover Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of children.
Scriabin - Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 6
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.
Two Lutes with Grace
The lute in the limelight: no better opportunity to get a taste of 15th-century music for two lutes and soprano! These three musicians bring popular dances, chansons and cantus firmi from Burgundian repertoire back to life: the echo of popular music practice from the era of the mighty House of Valois.
Mahler - Symphony No. 9
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in a performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9, recorded at Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in April 2019. The Czech Philharmonic under the baton of Czech composer and conductor Otakar Ostrčil gave the first performance of this work in Prague in November 1918. The period when Mahler created his Ninth Symphony presented an important turning point in the composer's life. In 1907 he decided to end his ten-year tenure as artistic director of the prestigious Vienna Court Opera and to depart for America. His Symphony No. 9 tends to be viewed as Mahler’s farewell to this world. Whichever way it was intended, it is not only the composer’s last completed work: more generally, it was the last word in the symphonic genre for the entire nineteenth century.
Penderecki - Symphony No. 7: 7 Gates of Jerusalem
The 2017 Prague Spring festival is brought to a powerful close as Krzysztof Penderecki conducts the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and Slovak Philharmonic Choir in a performance of his monumental seventh symphony "Seven Gates of Jerusalem". This work bears witness to an introspective thought about faith, written in honour of the city of Jerusalem, for soloists, choir and orchestra, with libretto taken from Old Testament. For expressive purposes, Penderecki uses specific instruments: the tubaphone, percussive objects designed by the composer himself, and the shofar, an ancient Jewish liturgical instrument. Soloists for this performance include Iwona Hossa (soprano), Karolina Sikora (soprano), Anna Lubanska (mezzo-soprano), Adam Zdunikowsk (tenor), Piotr Nowacki (bass) and David Švehlík (speaker). Also featured in the programme is a rendition of the "Serenade for Orchestra" by Czech composer Isa Krejci. Recorded at Smetana Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.
Khachaturyan Piano Concerto & Borodin
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.
Beethoven - Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47
In this beautiful concert from the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall of Moscow, two exceptional Russian soloists join forces to interpret pieces for violin and piano by Debussy, Ravel and Beethoven. Violinist Vadim Repin, who at the age of 17 became the youngest winner of the violinist section of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition 1987 in Brussels, is specialized in interpreting works of Russian composers. Together with renowned pianist Nikolay Lugansky, he brings to the stage a performance of prestige and virtuosity. The programme features Debussy's Sonata for Violin and Piano in G-minor (L 140), Ravel's Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in G-major, Beethoven's Sonata No.9 in A-major, Op. 47. 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.
Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
Who could imagine that a failed job application would lead to some of the most beautiful classical music ever written? Employed by Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, an unsatisfied Johann Sebastian Bach craved a career change in 1721. Wishing to join the court of Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg, Bach presented him with six new concertos in the hopes of securing a position. Unfortunately, Christian Ludwig never even thanked the composer for his majestic and superbly beautiful work. Concerto No. 4 places the violin on a pedestal.
IVC 2021 - Recital: Stanford, Warlock and Wallen
As part of the International Vocal Competition 2021 – Lied Duo, IVC Laureates soprano Harriet Burns (United Kingdom, 1989) and pianist Ian Tindale (United Kingdom, 1990) perform a recital consisting of English songs. The program opens with ‘Joy, shipmate, joy!’ from Charles Villiers Stanford’s Songs of Faith, Op. 97. This is followed by Peter Warlock’s My own country, and Errollyn Wallen’s Jesus on a train. Lastly, the duo brings of magnificent performance of Sylvia Maessen’s Oh che tranquillo mar, the Prize Song of IVC’s 2019 edition, that was best interpreted by Burns and Tindale. This performance was recorded at Het Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.
IVC 2021 - Recital: Brahms, Wolf, Gurney a. o.
Mezzosoprano Dame Sarah Connolly and pianist Roger Vignoles perform a recital as part of the International Vocal Competition 2021 – Lied Duo. On the program are: Johannes Brahms’ Ständchen, Op. 106 No. 1; ‘Mignon: Kennst du das Land?’ from Hugo Wolf’s Goethe-Lieder; Ivor Gurney’s By a Bierside; and ‘A charm’ from Benjamin Britten’s song cycle A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41. This performance was recorded at Willem Twee Toonzaal in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.
IVC 2021 Lied Duo - Final: Prize Song II
Bass-baritone Matthias Hoffmann (Austria, 1991) and pianist Lisa Ochsendorf (Germany, 1991) perform Bart Visman’s ’Vermeer’s Gold’ during the final round of the International Vocal Competition 2021 – Lied Duo. This compulsory piece was performed by all duos in the semi-finals of the competition. The two duos that best interpreted the work, were selected to perform the composition during the finals. The piece is written by composer Bart Visman and lyricist Marc Pantus. This performance was recorded at De Verkadefabriek in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.
Historical and Hysterical Guide to the Orchestra
Join this whimsical and informative time travelling journey, discovering both the sound and historical context of each orchestral instrument. This piece was commissioned and given its world premiere by the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for their 150th anniversary Celebration Concert, is narrated by Aleksey Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo and conducted by Joshua Weilerstein. Did you know that flutes used to be made of mammoth bone and vulture wings? Or that timpani used to be played on horses? And is it a coincidence that cellos were made fatter than violins just around the same time as chocolate was brought over to Europe from Mexico? Packed with original music to showcase each instrument, well-researched historical facts, and the trademark goofiness of Igudesman and Joo, audiences and listeners of all ages will feel inspired to discover more about the orchestra.
Heitor Villa-Lobos Music for Cello and Piano - II
In this six-part documentary on the life and work of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, director Liloye Boubli takes viewers on a journey through the life and work of this legend of Brazilian classical music. The composer, conductor, cellist, and classical guitarist was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1887. Growing up during a time of immense social change in Brazil – with the abolishment of slavery in 1888, this was a time of social revolution and far-reaching modernizations – Villa-Lobos went on to become one of South America's best-known composers of all time. In this second episode, Liloye Boubli dives deeper into the oeuvre of Villa-Lobos, exploring his musical influences and scrutinizing the anatomy of some of his most famous compositions, particularly his early "Pequena Suíte" for cello and piano. This collection of dances and short pieces in six movements is indicative of the composer's heartfelt adoration for Johann Sebastian Bach.
Dvořák - Symphony No. 9, Op. 95
Andris Nelsons, together with his then-wife, the great soprano Kristine Opolais and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig present a program dedicated to Antonin Dvořák, singing the melodies that the composer hid in all layers of his music with tender, warm, soft colors. Nelsons’ tempos remain calm and relaxed, allowing the omnipresent beauty of Dvořák’s music to unfold and flood the Gewandhaus. The program opens with Othello, a Concert Overture for Orchestra, Op. 93. Opolais performs “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka, “Songs my Mother Taught Me” from Gypsy Songs, Op. 55/4. This is followed by the Polonaise and 'O, marno, marno to je' from Rusalka and 'Dobrá! Já mu je dám!... Jak je mi?' from Smetana's opera Dalibor. The concert closes with a performance of Dvořák's Symphony no. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 (“From the New World”). Recorded at the Gewandhaus, Leipzig in May 2017.
Classical:NEXT 2019 - Lost Heritage
François Vasseur and Pierre Chataignon make up the French electronic and contemporary music duo Lost Heritage. Living in the region of Geneva, they are two music lovers interested in jazz, classical, urban, and electronic music. François Vasseur is an electronic composer and pianist. He has been working on electronics for many years, starting as a DJ, then as a musician and composer, while also working in the field of cultural mediation and public engagement for organisations like the Verbier Festival, the Geneva Opera and the Lyon Baroque Music Festival. Pierre Chataignon works on various projects across many musical styles, from world music to electronic, as well as in film sound production and voice-over projects that require high quality sound recording, mixing, and production. Together, they offer a unique musical experience and a sensitive touch to electronic beats. During this showcase recorded at Classical:NEXT 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands they perform a set list consisting of their own works.