Saturdays in July
Music festivals around the world have been cancelled due to uncertainty regarding the Covid pandemic, but Stingray Classica broadcasts highlights from the most prestigious classical music festivals as part of the Festival Rewind-special, every Saturday evening in July. On July 3, enjoy the premiere of ‘Elena Bashkirova and Friends’, a fascinating concert-documentary about the rich history of the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. The following Saturday features a performance by cellist Sol Gabetta and a rendition of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, recorded at recent editions of the Lucerne Festival. On July 17, Stingray Classica premieres a performance of J. S. Bach’s popular Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, performed by Zhu Xiao-Mei at Bachfest Leipzig 2014. This recording took place in the actual St. Thomas church, where Bach spent most of his career as a musical director. The Festival Rewind-special closes on July 24 with two concerts recorded in the beautifully located Swiss city of Verbier, featuring a solo recital by Russian piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin, and András Schiff conducting works by Mozart, Schumann, and Beethoven.
Bashkirova and Friends: Jerusalem Festival 2016
Saturday, 3 July | 21:00
During late summer every year, some of the world's best musicians meet in Israel for the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival (JCMF), established by pianist Elena Bashkirova and Yeheskell Beinisch. In 2016, the 19th festival was dedicated to the music of interrelated composers, such as Brahms and Schumann, and Schubert and Beethoven – performed by outstanding artists such as Sir András Schiff, Baiba Skride, Menahem Pressler and Emmanuel Pahud in the halls of the Jerusalem YMCA. This documentary film features excerpts from performances of the following works: Johannes Brahms's String Sextet no. 1, Op. 18; Franz Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata in A minor, D. 821; Antonín Dvořák's Piano Quintet no. 2 in A major, Op. 81; Ferruccio Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica; Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Trio no. 1, Op. 49; and Ludwig van Beethoven's Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op. 16.
Sol Gabetta at the Lucerne Festival 2018
Saturday, 10 July | 21:00
Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta returned to the Lucerne Festival to perform Bohuslav Martinů’s Cello Concerto No. 1 (H. 196), followed by Manfred Grafe’s arrangement of ‘Lensky’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. She is accompanied by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra led by François-Xavier Roth. This concert opens with Bartók’s Divertimento for String Orchestra (Sz 113) and closes with Georges Bizet, Children's Games - Petite Suite for Orchestra, Op.22 and Haydn’s Symphony No. 83. Recorded at the Lucerne Festival Hall in 2018.
Janáček - Glagolitic Mass
Saturday, 10 July | 22:40
Mariss Jansons conducts the chorus and instrumental ensemble of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (1926) at the Lucerne Easter Festival of 2012. The work is divided into eight sections that give the greatest prominence to the chorus while also containing impressive solos, especially for soprano and tenor. Completely unexpected is the startlingly wild and furious organ solo (Iveta Apklana at the organ) that follows the Ordinary of the Mass and precedes the final movement. Janáček, who achieved worldwide celebrity late in life, wanted to emphasize the common bonds between the Slavic nations by writing the text in Old Church Slavonic, which used an alphabet devised by Saints Cyril and Methodius called ‘Glagolitic’. The choice of this ancient language also reflects the Moravian composer’s sympathies with the Slavic nations that were under the yoke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Bach - Goldberg Variations (BWV 988)
Saturday, 17 July | 21:00
Chinese pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei performs J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) at the Leipzig Bach Festival. This June 2014 concert was recorded at St. Thomas Church, where Bach spent most time of his career as 'Thomaskantor', the musical director of the Thomanerchor church choir. The Goldberg Variations consist of one aria and a set of 30 variations. The work was first published in 1741 and was named after harpsichordist Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. In contrast to melodic variations on a theme, the Goldberg Variations do not follow the melody, but rather use the aria's bass line and chord progression. Every third variation in the series of 30 is a canon that follows an ascending pattern. The Goldberg Variations are among Bach's most celebrated works, which gained an even larger audience thanks to Glenn Gould's legendary recordings of the work in 1955 and 1981.
Evgeny Kissin plays Chopin, Schumann & Debussy
Saturday, 24 July | 21:00
Evgeny Kissin enchants with a magnificent piano recital of works by Chopin, Schumann and Debussy at the 25th anniversary edition of the Swiss Verbier Festival in 2018. The Russian pianist's recitals are always a highlight of the Verbier festival. Always played to a full house, they are anticipated by the audience. This year was no exception with a programme devoted to Debussy Preludes on the occasion of the centennial of the composer’s death and, above all, to Schumann’s seldom played Sonata No.3 Op.14. Schumann composed the piece in 1836 but revised it in 1853. Kissin carefully scrutinized both versions and has allowed himself to borrow the best from both. The 30-minute long work is challenging both physically and technically, ending in a spectacular finale.
Frang, Schiff & Zimmermann play Mozart and Brahms
Saturday, 24 July | 22:15
Vilde Frang, Tabea Zimmermann and conductor/pianist András Schiff team up for a concert at the 25th anniversary edition of the Swiss Verbier Festival in 2018. András Schiff’s versatile artistry excels both as pianist and conductor, as this program illustrates. He is joined by Vilde Frang, a superlative Mozart interpreter, and master violist Tabea Zimmermann for Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante. The work exemplifies the vast range of emotion Mozart is capable of instilling in one single work: from serene and joyful in the outer movements, to thoughtful and sad in the central movement. Schumann and Brahms - Schiff accompanies Tabea Zimmermann in the core 19th century viola repertoire. Unlike Schumann, whose Märchenbilder were written with the viola in mind, Brahms’ wrote his Op. 120 for clarinet and piano. He soon provided a viola transcription, which has become as popular than the original.