Fridays in January
Every Friday evening in January, Stingray Classica premieres an impressive documentary. On January 7, Stingray Classica broadcasts ‘Heavenly Voices – The legacy of Farinelli’, a revealing film about the castrato voice in seventeenth and eighteenth-century music. On January 14, Stingray Classica shows ‘Music in the air’, shedding light on the historical relation between classical music and television. On January 21, the German composer and conductor Hans Zender (1936-2019) reflects on his distinguished career in ‘Thinking with your senses’. Stingray Classica’s documentary special comes to a close on January 28 with ‘Dance on screen’, which explores how twentieth-century modern media have influence the development of dance, and vice versa.
Heavenly Voices – The legacy of Farinelli
Friday, January 7 | 21:00
The documentary 'Heavenly Voices – The Legacy of Farinelli' (2012) tells us the story of the castrato in music – male singers who were castrated at a young age in order to preserve their high vocal range, a cruel practice that was in place mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries. For two centuries, castrati's performances held European audiences spellbound, with successful castrati such as Farinelli ranking among the most influential and highest-earning musicians of those days. Today, roles originally written for castrati are often performed by countertenors. In this documentary, countertenors Max Emanuel Cenčić, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl, Franco Fagioli, and Jochen Kowalski discuss Baroque-era operatic entertainment. 'Heavenly Voices' is a film by Gino Pennacchi (writer) and Alessandro Scillitani (director).
Music in the air
Friday, January 14 | 21:00
Television plays a crucial role in popularizing classical music. Not only has it preserved precious moments of music making, but it also helps shape the future of music. The Vienna-based IMZ International Music + Media Centre, a global association for all those involved in any aspect of classical and contemporary music, world music, jazz, and dance, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015. To commemorate this, renowned film maker Reiner E. Moritz produced the documentary 'Music in the air' to shed light on the history of classical music on television. The film dives into television's archives to demonstrate what the medium has done for the dissemination of music. It features rare footage of Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in one of the first televised concerts, and captivating fragments from Leonard Bernstein’s Young People Concerts. Moreover, the film contains excerpts of great performances from the past, including those by Glenn Gould, Herbert von Karajan, Igor Stravinsky, and Pierre Boulez.
Hans Zender - Thinking with your senses
Friday, January 21 | 21:00
In the documentary 'Thinking with your senses', German composer, conductor, and essayist Hans Zender (1936-2019) gets the exhaustive Reiner E. Moritz treatment. As a conductor, Zender was associated with several German opera houses and orchestras, including Theater Bonn, Opernhaus Kiel, and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is probably most widely remembered for his 'composed interpretation' of Franz Schubert’s song-cycle ‘Winterreise’, which he adapted for tenor and small orchestra. In 'Thinking with your senses', Zender opens up about his life, reflecting on his long and successful career. He discusses his collaborations with composers as John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Moreover, the film includes numerous excerpts of Zender conducting classical as well as and contemporary repertoire by composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Isang Yung, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann.
Dance on screen
Friday, January 28 | 21:00
In 'Dance on screen', renowned film maker Reiner E. Moritz explores how twentieth-century modern media influenced the development of dance, and vice versa. The invention of the film camera and television has allowed audiences to see not only beautiful dancing and wonderful choreography, but it also brought the dancers’ facial expressions and stage presence to the screen. These technical developments allowed this essentially ephemeral art form to be preserved. 'Dance on screen', about both classical ballet and modern dance, features interviews with recognized choreographers and directors. Moreover, many of the great dancers of the twentieth century are seen in performance, including Alvin Ailey, Anna Pavlova, and Pina Bausch.