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.