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Prokofiev - Betrothal in a Monastery
Deliberate confusion in 18th-century Seville which is entangled with three marriages blessed by the monks of the monastery. After performances at the famous 'Stars of the White Nights' Festival held in St. Petersburg and the 1991 - 92 festival dedicated to Prokofiev, this outstanding new staging of Betrothal in a Monastery was recorded at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, brilliantly performed by the Kirov Opera Company and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Valery Gergiev.
Stravinsky, Webern and Debussy
Today’s Brussels Philharmonic concert focuses on the diverse musical styles that characterized the first half of the 20th century. In addition to the impressionism of Claude Debussy's Jeux (1913), conductor Michel Tabachnik's ensemble focuses on one of the leading composers of modern music: Igor Stravinsky. His first ballet music, Firebird (1910), is a highlight of the concert. The concert opens with Anton Webern’s Five Pieces for Orchestra Op. 10 (1913). These five, ultra-short pieces are not thematically connected, nor do they include traditional formal plans or tonal relationships - prepare for a listening challenge!
Looking for Cole
The world-famous American composer and lyricist Cole Porter has long made his way into hearts and songbooks all around the globe. The documentary “Looking for Cole” by Wilfried van den Brande, which was recorded over the course of three years, gives a unique insight into the artist’s most interesting life as a “supreme sophisticate.” Van den Brande may well call himself an expert on Porter since he has completed a PhD on the topic and recorded the largest Porter anthology to date, and published concert recordings of 325 Porter songs online. In “Looking for Cole,” Van den Brande journeys in the composer’s footsteps, discusses his work and life with numerous experts, and shares the stage with musicians such as Kim Criswell, Wayne Marshall, the WDR Funkhaus Orchester, and the Brussels Philharmonic.
Rachmaninoff & Dvořák Trios
The Valerius Ensemble, consisting of Eeva Koskinen (violin), René Geesing (cello) and Ingo Lulofs (piano) plays Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque Nr. 1 and the Finale of Dvořák’s Piano Trio No.3, Op. 65. Rachmaninoff composed this Trio in 1892 at the age of 19. The work does not have an opus number and consists only of one movement, which is highly unusual for a Piano Trio. This concert was recorded at Muziekcentrum Enschede in the Netherlands on March 18, 2018.
Händel - Dettingen Te Deum (HV 283)
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago choir in a performance of The Dettingen Te Deum (HWV 283), a canticle composed by George Frideric Handel, in 1743. On June 27, 1743, the British army and its allies, under the command of King George II and Lord Stair, won a victory at the Battle of Dettingen, over the French army. On the King's return, a day of public thanksgiving was appointed, and Handel was commissioned to write a Te Deum. Soloists are Bart Uvyn (alto), Denzil Delaere (tenor), Helena Maes (soprano), and Joris Stroobants (bas). The Vox Mago is made up of a group of enthusiastic and dynamic singers. The perfromance is recorded at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk in Gent in 2018.
First Snow
One of the first Christmas carols ever written is Perotin the Great’s Salvatoris Hodie. This brilliant 12th century composition, one of the first works ever written for four voices, opens First Snow: the atmospheric Christmas concert by the Brussels Philharmonic. Straying from ‘ars antiqua’, the program also features a performance of two contemporary melodies penned by conductor Bo Holten based on texts by the Icelandic poet Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889-1975). As an added bonus, a hand-picked selection of various Polish and French Christmas songs rounds off this enjoyable yuletide program.
Glière, Op. 20 and Shostakovich, Op. 57
The Valerius Ensemble, consisting of Robert Windak (violin), Michael Rein (violin), Eva Šušlíková (viola), Judith Chapman (cello) and Ingo Lylofs (piano) played a concert in Muziekcentrum Enschede on April 15, 2018. On the concert program are the Allegro Moderato from Glières String Quartet No. 2 and the Scherzo, Intermezzo, and Finale from Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, Op. 57. The work is one of the more popular chamber music works by the composer and a year after its premiere it was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1941.
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9
Beethoven's Symphony no 9 is interpreted by the Berlin Philharmonic under former chief conductor Claudio Abbado at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2001. The recording features interpretations that are the fruit of decades of Claudio Abbado’s involvement with Beethoven. Listening to the music, one hears how the Berlin Philharmonic transforms Abbado’s musical intentions into sound – there is a sense of unity that can only be achieved through many years of shared artistic experience and attention to detail.
Bach - Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006)
Gidon Kremer’s return to J. S. Bach’s partitas is a major event. Kremer’s first recording of these works was released almost a quarter of a century ago. In this recording from 2006, Kremer once again takes on the greatest challenge for any violinist: Bach’s magnificent “Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin” (BWV 1001-1006), which Kremer himself calls the “Himalayas” of violin music. With these pieces, Bach firmly established the technical capability of the violin as a solo instrument. The partitas served as archetypes for solo violin pieces by later generations of composers. This rendition of the collection displays Kremer’s very personal sense of spontaneity and a readiness to take risks. Yet it is also marked by the structural awareness of an exceptional musician who, in a unique way, does justice both to the polyphonic wealth of the compositions and to their juxtaposition of dance elements and reflective profoundness.
Testing Mozart
Testing Mozart is a 60 minute film about the Mozart effect; the power of Mozart's music to fight disease and increase the mental ability of listeners. It is common knowledge that cows give more milk and tomatoes grow bigger when Mozart is played, but what effect does his music have on humans? In this journey into the worlds of music and medicine, Testing Mozart examines the latest scientific discoveries that shed new light on the influence the composer’s work has on the brain. The documentary by award-winning director Frederick Baker explains why Mozart is so special. Produced in 2006 as part of Mozart Year, this captivating documentary caters to a wide audience and introduces neophytes to the work of Mozart.
Carmen no longer loves Don José, but he refuses to leave her, and stabs her to death… Roland Petit, a master of narrative ballet and a skilled creative, offers the best of post-war artistic Paris. This decidedly contemporary work gives the dancers every opportunity to shine. Part of three legendary creations by Roland Petit, Carmen was performed at the Opéra national de Paris in 2005. The parts of Carmen and Don José are performed by Clairemarie Osta and Nicolas Le Riche of the Paris Opera.
Johan de Meij - Symphony No. 1 “Lord of the Rings”
This concert is the result of the collaboration between the “Giuseppe Nicolini,” Conservatory of Piacenza, and the “Giuseppe Verdi,” Conservatory of Milan, as part of the project "MIlanoPIACEnza ... suonare insieme”. On the program are works by the Dutch conductor and composer Johan de Meij. His Symphony No. 1 for woodwind and brass orchestra is titled “Lord of the Rings” and is based on the famous trilogy by writer J. R. R Tolkien. The work exists of five movements, inspired by characters and passages from the story: Gandalf, Lothlórien, Gollum, Journey in the Dark and Hobbits. The symphony premiered in Brussels in 1988. In 2001, a symphonic version was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. This concert is recorded at the Sala dei Teatini of the Teatri di Piacenza in 2018. Directed by Pietro Tagliaferri.
Mozart - Piano Concertos No. 1 & No. 4
Discover the soloist Heidrun Holtmann as she performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 1, KV 37 and Piano Concerto No. 4, KV 41, accompanied by the Orchestra della Radiotelevisione della Svizzera. Conducted by Marc Andreae, the performance took place at the historic Teatro Bibiena in Mantua.
J. S. Bach - Mass in B Minor (BWV 232)
Georg Christoph Biller conducts the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Thomanerchor in a performance of J. S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), one of the greatest works of church music ever written. Soloists are Ruth Holton (soprano), Matthias Rexroth (alto), Christoph Genz (tenor) and Klaus Mertens (bass). Recorded in the St. Thomas Church during the Leipzig Bachfest of 2000. Georg Christoph Biller is Bach’s 16th successor as cantor of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, a position Biller held from 1992 to 2015. The mass is a musical setting of the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass and is one of last compositions the Bach completed, just one year before his death in 1750. Since 1999, the Leipzig Bachfest is regarded as the world’s leading festival celebrating the music of Bach.
CMIM - Semi Finals - Gemma Summerfield
Sebastian Wybrew accompanies soprano Gemma Summerfield (UK, 1990) during the semi-finals of the Art Song competition of the Concours musical international de Montréal of 2018 (CMIM). The program features Mendelssohn’s Die Liebende schreibt, Op. 86/3 and Hexenlied, Op. 8/8, Ravel’s complete Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques, E. W. Korngold’s Drei Leider, Op. 22 and Go Not Happy Day (H. 34) and Love Went a-Riding (H. 114) by Frank Bridge. Founded in 2002, the CMIM is an annual event that draws thousands of spectators to concert halls, as well as listeners on the radio and the web. The competition seeks to discover and support musicians who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their art. It’s the only international competition in North America to be held annually and to present three disciplines (voice-violin-piano) in a three-year rotation.
Hearing the Silence
Claudio Abbado was one of the world's finest and most-respected conductors. He held the post of musical director with La Scala in Milan from 1968 to 1986, with the Vienna Opera from 1986 to 1991, and the Berlin Philharmonic from 1989 to 2002. He was strong advocate of the development of young musical talent, and was instrumental in the foundation of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the European Union Youth Orchestra, and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. He also founded the new Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Filmmaker Paul Smaczny has followed his career over the years, regularly filming and interviewing him. In this profile, Abbado talks about his life and work, his conception of music, and his favourite compositions. Discover never-before-seen interviews combined with images of the conductor during rehearsals and concerts, interviews with friends and colleagues, and archival material. The result: a complete portrait under a new and unexpected light.
CMIM - Quarter Finals - Anna-Sophie Neher
Magdalena von Eccher accompanies soprano Anna-Sophie Neher (Canada/Germany, 1990) during the first round of the Art Song competition of the Concours musical international de Montréal of 2018 (CMIM). The program features Auf dem Wasser zu singen (D. 774) and Nacht und Träume (D.827) by Schubert, Barber’s St. Ita’s Vision (from ‘Hermit Songs’, Op. 29) and Les Roses d’Ispahan and Fleur jetée from Op. 39 by Gabriel Fauré. Founded in 2002, the CMIM is an annual event that draws thousands of spectators to concert halls, as well as listeners on the radio and the web. The competition seeks to discover and support musicians who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their art. It’s the only international competition in North America to be held annually and to present three disciplines (voice-violin-piano) in a three-year rotation.
Christmas Concert
On 18 December 2017, the Valerius Ensemble played a Christmas concert in Concordia, Enschede. The ensemble consists of Robert Windak (violin), Annemarie van Vliegen (violin), Eva Šušliková (viola) and Réne Geesing (cello). The program consists of “Das neugeborne Kindelein” from Bachs Cantata BWV 122, the Largo from Vivaldi’s Winter, the Allegro from Mozart’s Divertimento in D (KV. 136), Méditation from Massenet’s opera “Thaïs,” The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, the Vilja song from Léhars “Die Lustige Witwe” and the animated Romanian folk-tune Geampara. The Ensemble closes with Piazzolla’s Ave Maria (Tanti anni prima).
Mozart - Cosi fan tutte
Stefano Montanari conducts Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte in a staging by Adrian Noble. The opera, based on a libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, is a romantic comedy about the complexity of relationships between men and women. With his sensual, spirited and passionate music, Mozart poses fundamental questions about love and brings to the libretto surprising psychological depth and an underlying seriousness not present in the original farce. The major roles are played by Lionel Lhote, Daniel Behle, Vito Priante, Maria Bengtsson, Tove Dahlberg and Elena Galitskava in this 2011 performance from the Opera de Lyon in France.