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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.
Nelsons conducts Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich
In May 2019, the new principal conductor of the Gewandhaus, Andris Nelsons, presented Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 with his orchestra in combination with Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with outstanding violinist Baiba Skride as the soloist. In this composition, the violin does not allow itself a break, continually tells its dark story and gets into a vicious circle of ostinato Passacaglia bass lines again and again falls into beguilingly beautiful singing. Tchaikovsky initially thought his 'Symphony of Fate' was a failure and believed himself to be at the end of his creative powers. It was probably the composer's nature, plagued by self-doubt, that made it almost impossible for him to develop a self-confident attitude to his own creative power. Between this two works, Skride performs Stravinsky's Elegy for Solo Violin.
Modena - The Belcanto School
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 9, Op. 70
The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Neeme Järvi presents the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin's Double concerto for cello, piano and orchestra. Soloists are Martha Argerich (piano) and Mischa Maisky (cello). The concert program features Antonín Dvořák's Scherzo capriccioso Des-Dur Op. 66, B 131, Shchedrin's aforementioned Double concerto "Romantic Offering", César Franck's Sonata for piano and cello in A, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 9, Op. 70. This première performance was recorded at the Culture and Congress Centre of Lucerne, KKL, on February 9, 2011. The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra is orchestra-in-residence at KKL Luzern. The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra is Switzerland’s oldest symphony orchestra and has won an international standing that extends far beyond its home base.
CMIM - Final - Konstantin Lee: Gounod, Verdi
South Korean tenor Konstantin Lee (1988) performs 'Ah! Lève-toi, Soleil!' from Charles Gounod's opera Roméo et Juliette, 'È la solita storia del pastore' from Francesco Cilea's L’Arlesiana, and 'Lunge da lei… De’ miei bollenti spiriti… O mio rimorso!' from Giuseppe Verdi's opera La traviata, during the Aria division finals of the Concours musical international de Montréal, 2018.
Buxtehude - Abendmusik
Dietrich Buxtehude is one of the founding fathers of the 17th century German school, whose influence on composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, his spiritual son, cannot be overestimated. Not only was he an indisputable master of organ music, but also a prolific composer whose oeuvre consists of more than 200 works. Buxtehude spent his life traveling between Lübeck and Helsingborg, Hamburg and Copenhagen. Very innovative, at a pivotal time in the history of music, Buxtehude established the ‘Abendmusiken’ (Evening Concerts) that were introduced by his predecessor Franz Tunder on the five Sundays preceding Christmas. Let’s us join the Masques ensemble and the Vox Luminis choir and discover 17th century baroque music and the composer Buxtehude through his vocal compositions, ranging from spiritual concert, choral, aria to cantata parties. The ensembles are led by Olivier Fortin and Lionel Meunier. This concert was recorded in 2017 at Centre Amuz in Antwerp, Belgium.
Beethoven - Symphony No. 2 & Symphony No. 7
In September 2016, we celebrated the birthday of one of Japan's best-known conductors: Seiji Ozawa. Renowned for his advocacy of modern composers, Ozawa founded the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in 1992. As of 2015, it is better known as the Seiji Ozawa Festival. Seiji Ozawa appeared on stage himself with 63 Saito Kinen Orchestra members, passionately conducting Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 and No. 7. Beethoven's Second Symphony was mostly written during the composer's stay at Heiligenstadt, at a time when his deafness was becoming more pronounced. The work premiered in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on April 5, 1803. The Seventh Symphony premiered with Beethoven himself conducting in Vienna in 1813 at a charity concert for wounded soldiers. The Allegretto was the most popular movement and had to be encored.
Haydn - String Quartet in F minor Op. 20 No. 5
One of the most famous Austrian composers of the Classical period is Joseph Haydn. During his career he composed over a hundred symphonies which gave him the title ‘Father of the Symphony’, but he has also been a key figure in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. Haydn is still very famous for his 68 string quartets that he wrote between 1762 and 1803. ‘Father of the String Quartet’ is therefore also a title that describes Haydn as a composer. The British String Quartet The Lindsays have recorded all substantial Haydn String Quartets during their active years, from 1965 to 2005. Besides Haydn, there are an extensive list of highly praised recordings such as Beethoven String Quartets, but also String Quartets by Mozart, Schubert and Dvorak. In 2004 they recorded seven Haydn String Quartets for television at the Kuhmo Arts Centre in Finland. One of them is Haydn's String Quartet in F minor Op. 20 No. 5. Opus 20 consist of six quartets that are considered a milestone in the history of composition. Haydn developed techniques in this composition that were to define the string quartet for the next 200 years. The quartets were composed in 1772 when Haydn was already an established composer in Europe.
Martinů - Double Concerto, H 271
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic in a concert program dedicated to Czech composers, recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in 2018. On the program are Overture and dances 'Polka', 'Furiant', and 'Skočná' from Bedřich Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride. The program continues with Bohuslav Martinů's Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano, and Timpani (H. 271). Soloists are Ivo Kahánek (piano) and Michael Kroutil (timpani). The concert closes with Antonín Dvořák's well-known Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, "From the New World".
Sibelius – Symphony No. 3
In 2013, the Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu was appointed principal conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Lintu studied piano and cello at the Sibelius Academy and the Turku conservatorium in Sweden’s southeast. He started conducting at the Sibelius Academy. His many concerts with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2012 made him the obvious replacement for Sakari Oramo, who, after many years as conductor and concert master, terminated his contract in 2012. The orchestra specializes in the performance of Finnish music, but also performs the great masterpieces of Gustav Mahler and Béla Bartók. The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is the orchestra’s favourite, as well as the conductor. In cooperation with Finland’s national public broadcasting company Yle, all seven Sibelius symphonies are recorded and broadcast. After a brief spoken introduction about the piece, the orchestra performs the complete symphony. Sibelius Symphony No. 3 (1907) was to be the composer’s least popular. In this piece, he opted for a smaller orchestra with a more modest, clear sound. As is common with smaller orchestras, the strings dominate; they play new thematic material in each movement.
Legato - World of the Piano
We live in a "renaissance of the piano”, as the New York Times has recently put it. With virtuosic flair and an eagerness to expand the repertoire, a new generation of pianists has revitalized the instrument’s appeal. In addition to the usual classics, they perform formerly scorned works or discover neglected composers. Legato is a series dedicated to presenting some of this new movement's most fascinating pianists – their individual approaches, their fresh ideas and their music. Each episode portrays an artist and shows an aspect of the world of the piano. The sum of these portraits provides viewers with an overall picture of the art of the pianist. Montréal native Marc-André Hamelin is internationally renowned for his musical virtuosity and refined pianism. The Times described one of his performances as “ultimate perfection”. He plays works by Haydn (Piano sonata in E major), Chopin (Piano sonata No. 3), Debussy (‘Préludes’, book two), Hamelin (Etude No. 7), as well as two short pieces by Gershwin (‘Do, Do, Do’ and ‘Liza’).
Discovering Masterpieces – Symphonie Fantastique
Watch the series ‘Discovering Masterpieces’, your audio-visual concert guide to the great masterpieces of classical music. The series brings you 20 half-hour documentaries on 20 classical masterpieces: acclaimed experts, famous soloists and outstanding conductors take you on a journey back to the time and place of composition. In today’s documentary, Hector Berlioz’ ‘Symphonie Fantastique’. This ‘Fantastic Symphony’ is widely regarded as one of the most important and representative pieces of the early Romantic period. Leonard Bernstein once called it “the first musical expedition into psychedelia” because of its hallucinatory and dream-like nature. The German musicologist Wulf Konold describes the idea behind and the realization of this fascinating work.
Haydn - String Quartet in D minor Op. 42
One of the most famous Austrian composers of the Classical period is Joseph Haydn. During his career he composed over a hundred symphonies which gave him the title ‘Father of the Symphony’, but he has also been a key figure in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. Haydn is still very famous for his 68 string quartets that he wrote between 1762 and 1803. ‘Father of the String Quartet’ is therefore also a title that describes Haydn as a composer. The British String Quartet The Lindsays have recorded all substantial Haydn String Quartets during their active years, from 1965 to 2005. Besides Haydn, there are an extensive list of highly praised recordings such as Beethoven String Quartets, but also String Quartets by Mozart, Schubert and Dvorak. In 2004 they recorded seven Haydn String Quartets for television at the Kuhmo Arts Centre in Finland. One of them is Haydn's String Quartet in D minor Op. 42. Opus 42 is an isolated quartet composed in 1784. This Quartet No. 35 is a bit of a mystery within Haydn's series of string quartets. He didn't clearly write it for someone. Some theorists suggest that it is a string quartet for younger performers, because the work is quite simple and doesn't contain very high notes for the violins.
Glass - Double Concerto for Two Pianos
As part of a new collaboration with the famous composer of "music with repetitive structures" Philip Glass, French pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque perform the European premiere of Glass's Concerto for two pianos with the Orchester de Paris. The program continues with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 with the Orchester de Paris, directed by Jaap van Zweden, current music director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the next musical director of the New York Philharmonic.
Sibelius - Kullervo, Op. 7
Finnish percussionist and conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali leads the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Orphei Drängdar Men's Choir in a performance of Jean Sibelius's Kullervo, Op. 7. Soloists are soprano Johanna Rusanen-Kartano and baritone Ville Rusanen. The work, often called a choral symphony, is a suite of symphonic movements. However, it avoids the traditional symphonic structure: the five movements constitute a set of independent tone poems. The work was performed only four times in Sibelius's lifetime. The composer refused to publish it: he only gave permission in 1957, at the very end of his life. This performance was recorded at the Gothenburg Concert Hall in 2018.
Berio - Sinfonia
Soviet-born conductor Semyon Bychkov leads the Czech Philharmonic and London Voices in a concert recorded at the Rudolfinum, Dvořák Hall, Prague in October 2018. On the program are Luciano Berio's Sinfonia for eight voices and orchestra and Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 7 in D Minor, Op. 70. When Bychkov selected the program for his first subscription concert as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, he suggested Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 without hesitation, thus honoring the orchestra’s national tradition from the very start of his tenure at the helm of the Czech Philharmonic. His choice for Berio’s Sinfonia presents a striking contrast: this major, ground-breaking work in twentieth-century music had not been performed in the Czech Republic for 20 years.
The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres
The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, also known simply as Tafelmusik, is a Toronto-based Canadian baroque orchestra, specialised in early music. The ensemble is directed by violinist Jeanne Lamon. In ‘The Galileo Project: Music of the Spheres’ they perform music by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Bach and Handel to a backdrop of high-definition images from the Hubble telescope, NASA and Canadian astronomers. Explore the fusion of arts, science and culture in the 17th and 18th centuries in this imaginative concert commemorating Galileo’s first public demonstration of the telescope. Actor Shaun Smyth narrates a compelling script while the musicians weave in and around a magical stage set by Marshal Pynkoski. Created and scripted by Alison Mackay.
Concerts in Quarantine - Liszt, Chopin et. al
Russian pianist Zlata Chochieva performed live at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on April 13, 2020. The program opens with a selection of Felix Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words: Op. 67, No. 5 and No. 2. Then she performs Frédéric Chopin's Etudes Op. 10, No. 3 and No. 5 and Opus 25, No. 2, No. 6, No. 7 and No. 10. The program continues with Franz Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 2, S. 515, and four pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff: his Canon in e minor, Prelude in F, Op. 2, 'Fragments', and 'Oriental Sketch'. The recital closes with Nikolai Medtner's Canzona Serenata in F minor, Op. 38 No. 6.
Europakonzert 2012 - Vienna
Every year, the Berliner Philharmoniker commemorate their founding in 1883 with the Europa Konzert at a venue of cultural importance in a different European city. This year, the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of internationally acclaimed conductor Gustavo Dudamel welcomes one of the world's leading young cellists, Gautier Capuçon. On the program are Johannes Brahms' Variations on a Theme by Haydn in B flat Major, Op. 56a; Joseph Haydn: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in C Major Hob. VIIb: 1 and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67. Filmed at the Spanische Hofreitschule, (Spanish Riding School), in Vienna, Austria.
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.
Evgeny Kissin plays Chopin, Schumann & Debussy
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
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.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 31, Op. 110
Can we get into Beethoven’s creative mind, especially in the last phase of his life, when he was coping with severe hearing loss? Tom Beghin’s new recording of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas Opus 109, 110, and 111 is an artistic exploration of how Beethoven’s musicking was shaped by the work environment he created with the help of colleagues and friends. Not only does pianist Tom Beghin perform Beethoven’s trilogy of pianistic masterpieces on a magnificent new replica of Beethoven’s Broadwood piano, he uses a reconstruction of the Gehörmaschine that was mounted on the composer’s piano so he could continue to create music as his hearing declined. ‘You do hear better when you bring your head under this machine, don’t you?’ André Stein asked Beethoven. Two centuries later, we too can bring our heads under the machine and wonder: Do we hear Beethoven differently? Beghin draws us inside the hearing machine, where we feel as well as hear the essence of Beethoven’s rambunctious and irresistibly poetic musical vibrations. Inside the Hearing Machine invites us into the multisensory playground of a deaf composer for whom the machine was more than a hearing aid and who interacted with his instrument through much more than sound.