Verbier Festival 2018 Special
October 7 - 12
In 2018, the magnificent international Verbier Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of virtuso performances held in the picturesque Swiss mountain town of Verbier. This October, Stingray Classica gives viewers the opportunity to re-live the celebration and feel part of the audience of this stunning event! On six subsequent days, Stingray Classica broadcasts some of the most prestigious performances. The special begins on Monday, October 7, with Violinist Kristof Barati and Pianist Lucas Debargue pairing up for the first time in a duo concert, followed by the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and RIAS Kammerchor performing Joseph Haydn's The Creation on Tuesday. Concluding on October 12, with an exhilarating piano recital from Evgeny Kissin, whose performances are highly anticipated by the festival’s audience every year, this Verbier Festival special provides a star-studded programme including Andrea Marcon, Andras Schiff, Seong-Jin Cho and many others.
Barati & Debargue perform Debussy, Brahms & Franck
Monday, October 7
Violinist Kristof Barati and Pianist Lucas Debargue pair for the first time in a duo concert at the 25th anniversary edition of the Swiss Verbier Festival in 2018. Although this was their inaugural collaboration, the two young artists found a perfect understanding around this romantic programme. The two featured works were written very few years apart from one another (Brahms’ first sonata for violin and piano in 1879 and Franck’s sonata in A in 1886). The Brahms sonata was recorded by Kristof Barati a few years ago, while Franck’s is known to be a favourite of Lucas Debargue. The virtuoso piano part suits his gigantic hands and the fantasy of the third movement his love for improvisation. The cyclic form and the many echoes between the piano and violin parts unite the two artists, like accomplices in possession of the best assets to bring in all the emotion these romantic works have to offer. The listener is suddenly in a position to re-discover the scores and cannot but join the admiration marks that escape from the audience in between the movements. A very moving performance which deserves its benchmark status.
Haydn - The Creation
Tuesday, October 8
Together with the RIAS Kammerchor and several vocalists, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra performs Joseph Haydn's The Creation at the 25th anniversary edition of the Swiss Verbier Festival in 2018. The performance is conducted by Gábor Takács. The Creation is one of Haydn’s masterpieces. Despite its biblical subject (the seven days of the creation of the world), it remains a secular work, written for a concert hall rather than a church. It also takes a few liberties with the libretto, notably by including angels (the 5 solo parts and choir) alongside God. This libretto and the instrumentation, very often imitative of the described action, give The Creation much humour, in addition to the joyousness characteristic of most of Haydn’s works. In this Verbier version, the 5 solo parts are beautifully sung by Miah Persson (singing both Gabriel and Eve), Bernard Richter (Uriel), Andreas Bauer (Raphaël) and Peter Mattei (Adam), joined by the extremely powerful Rias Kammerchor: an impressive cast up to the greatness of the work.
Andrea Marcon conducts La Cetra Barockorchester
Wednesday, October 9
Andrea Marcon conducts the La Cetra Barockorchester of Basel, accompanied by mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená at the 25th anniversary edition of the Swiss Verbier Festival in 2018. Kožená’s musical range seems expandable to infinity: whether adopting Cole Porter or Duparc, Mahler or Martinu, her mezzo-soprano voice works wonders. However, within the richness of her career, baroque music remains a favourite repertoire, as proven once more by this recital in the Church of Verbier filmed in the summer of 2018. It demonstrates a remarkable simplicity: alternation of vocal and short sparkling instrumental works. The programme illustrates “blindness in love”, a theme which is best embodied by the magnificent Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda. Magdalena Kožená here changes the Church into a theater hall: on a sleekly decorated stage, with a moving naivety, the singer seizes a few accessories to improvise the narrative and the medieval legend is revived by her hallucinated expression. An extremely beautiful moment.
Frang, Schiff & Zimmermann play Mozart and Brahms
Thursday, October 10
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.
Seong-Jin Cho plays Debussy, Schumann & Chopin
Friday, October 11
In this performance from the 25th anniversary edition of the Verbier Festival, Seong-Jin Cho pays tribute to Debussy on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the French composer’s death. Cho’s refined palette of color and superb technical mastery is perfectly suited for revealing the subtle harmonic invention of Images. Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, Op.12 are rarely featured in concert programs. This half-hour long cycle is a challenge for the performer who has to demonstrate an extreme versatility of moods ranging from the dark “Des Abends”, the angst-filled “In der Nacht” to the virtuous “Traumeswirren”. With Chopin’s Op.58, Cho shows his ability in the grand sonata form and his affinity for the composer that earned him the distinction by winning the First Prize of the 2015 Chopin competition. Recorded at the 2018 edition of the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Evgeny Kissin plays Chopin, Schumann & Debussy
Saturday, October 12
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.