Haydn - Orlando Paladino
For more than 25 years, René Jacobs has dedicated his life to baroque operas and works with the best ensembles for early music. On occasion of the 2009 Haydn Year the renowned Freiburger Barockorchester and outstanding baroque opera singers such as Marlis Petersen, Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Pietro Spagnoli and Tom Randle present Haydn’s most successful opera at the Berlin Staatsoper. ‘Orlando Paladino’, written in 1782, was Haydn’s most famous opera during his lifetime, with thirty performances in Esterháza in the first two years after its composition. The libretto, a ’drama eroicomico’, gives scope to Haydn’s frequently puckish sense of humour, as well as his inventive melodic expression. Most semi-serious operas of the period typically inserted comic characters into an essentially serious story but Haydn expanded the comedy even into the more serious scenes.
Berlioz - The Damnation of Faust
Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra mark 150 years since the death of Hector Berlioz with his tempestuous oratorio, La damnation de Faust. La damnation de Faust is a work born of the composer’s obsession with Goethe’s legendary tale. Once a righteous scholar, Faust allows himself to be corrupted by the devil, and drags the innocent around him into desperation and death. It’s a fable that defies definition – both a tragedy and dark comedy, with a central character both wise and despicable, and a play and epic poem in one.
Sons of Vienna: Part 4 - Cherchez la Femme
The six-part series Sons of Vienna explores stories through the eyes of musicians, professors and musicologists. It portrays extraordinary composers who were active in the cultural city of Vienna and deserve the label of genius. In Cherchez la Femme (Part 4) we follow the lives and works of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Both were born into well-to-do families and unlike Mozart, the vaudeville-style tour as a child prodigy was refused for the young Brahms. As Brahms grew to maturity, his nights were in dance halls and Inns. Schumann was the son of an intellectual, with little interest in music. Schumann’s crippling mental condition certainly had a strong role in his death. Was Schumann’s mental anguish heightened by the ever-deepening relationship between his wife Clara and his friend Brahms? Although Brahms died a bachelor, he considered Clara his true love. How much did the relationship of these two gifted composers, their mutual respect, and their rivalry, help inspire the threads and patterns of the fabric of classical music?
Brahms - Symphony No. 3, Op. 90
Franz Welser-Möst conducts The Cleveland Orchestra in this performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 3. A late-romantic treasure, this work demonstrates the evolution of the composer's modest symphonic output, balancing the brightness of his Second Symphony with the monumentality of his Fourth Symphony. Strangely enough, even though the Third reaches several glorious outpourings of massed winds and strings, the work ends in pianissimo, leaving the listener taken aback, reflective rather than jubilant. This performance was recorded at the Vienna Musikverein, Austria, in 2014.
Francesco Durante Missa per I Morti
In the impressive Jacobikerk, artist in residence Marco Mencoboni will make Francesco Durante’s magnificent Requiem shimmer, with orchestra, soloists, two choirs, and a pair of French horns in the main role. With the breathtaking vocal control of soprano Valentina Mastrangelo – rising star of bel canto – this concert will be a highlight of the Festival.
Khachaturyan Piano Concerto & Borodin
The Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia and pianist Boris Berezovsky are led by conductor Vladimir Verbitsky in a performance of works by Aram Khachaturyan and Alexander Borodin. The concert was recorded in December of 2016 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow and features Borodin´s In the Steppes of Central Asia, and Khachaturyan’s Piano Concerto in D-flat Major and “Adagio from Spartacus and Phrygia” (transcription for piano and orchestra). The programme is produced by the Moscow Philharmonic Society, which Saint Petersburg-born composer Dmitri Shostakovich himself once described as playing a significant role "in the development of musical life [in Russia]. It is a kind of university which is attended by millions of music lovers and thousands of musicians.” The Moscow Philharmonic Society was founded in 1922 by then-Commissar for Culture, Anatoly Lunacharsky, and has over the years come to be Russia's leading concert organizing institution.