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Lully - Persée
Hervé Niquet conducts the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir in a stage production of Jean Baptiste Lully's opera Persée (1632-1687) by Opera Atelier in Toronto, Canada’s Baroque Theatre Company recorded at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre in 2004. Among the soloists are Olivier Laquerre, Stephanie Novacek, Monica Whicher, Marie Lenormand, Alain Coulombe, and Curtis Sullivan. Composed by Jean Baptiste Lully for Louis XIV, Persée is widely recognized as Lully’s greatest creation and was considered the crowning achievement of 17th century French music theatre. Filled with dancing, fight scenes, monsters and special effects, this truly spectacular opera recounts the thrilling story of Perseus, son of Zeus and heroic vanquisher of the snake-haired Gorgon Medusa.
Gala from Berlin - 2012
On New Year’s Eve the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle invite us to join them together with Cecilia Bartoli, who graced their annual concert at the Philharmonie, Berlin with arias selected from her extraordinary repertoire. Also featured: exhilarating dances by Brahms and Dvořák that happily combine characteristics of their own idioms with Slavonic and Hungarian folk music. The program features following works: Rameau’s Dances Suite, Gavotte and Entr’acte from Les Boréades; Handel’s “Scherza in mar la navicella" from Lotario, “Ah che sol...M'adoro l'idol mio” from Teseo and “Lascia la spina” from Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. This is followed by orchestral performances such as Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances Op. 46/1, No. 4, Op.72/4 and Op. 46/3, Suite No. 2 from Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 1.
The Violin's Voice
How can we describe the intimate connection between an instrument and its player? World renowned violinist Frank Peter Zimmerman refers to his 1711 Stradivarius "Lady Inchiquin" as the "love of his life," but what does it take for a piece of wood to achieve such reverential status? After having to return his beloved instrument, which was owned by West LB, Zimmerman turned to Martin Schleske, a violin maker considered by many to be a "21st Century Stradivari." This documentary intertwines Zimmerman's tale of separation and reunion with behind the scenes demonstrations of Schleske's work, charting the life of the violin from workshop to concert hall.
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.
Stingray Originals - Seljan Nasibli
Azerbaijan-born artist Seljan Nasibli moved to England at an early age, where she was encouraged to take up music. Although Nasibli chose to sing jazz, her Oxford teachers heard an operatic tendency in her voice and advised to train classically. Nasibli completed her studies at The Royal College of Music, where she graduated with a master's degree in Vocal Performance. In this episode of Stingray Originals, Nasibli performs three of Giacomo Puccini's most beautiful arias: 'Signore, ascolta!' and 'Tu, che di gel sei cinta' from the opera Turandot, and 'Quando m'en vo' (Musetta's Waltz) from the opera La bohème.
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.
Beethoven - Piano Sonatas No. 1, 14 & 32
French pianist Anne Queffélec performs solo piano music by Ludwig van Beethoven at the atmospheric Basilique Saint-Sauveur, recorded during the Festival de Rocamadour on August 17, 2020. On the program are Beethoven's Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2/1; Piano Sonata No. 14 ("Moonlight") in C-sharp minor, marked Quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2; and Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 - the very last of Beethoven's piano sonatas.
Concerts in Quarantine: Transcriptions and songs
Between March and May 2020, Schinkel Pavillon Berlin opened its unexpectedly vacated exhibition space for a concert series in isolation titled Concerts in Quarantine. As part of this series, baritone Roman Trekel and pianist Francesco Piemontesi perform a chamber music program alternating between Gustav Mahler's Sieben lieder aus Letzer Zeit and piano arrangements of works by J. S. Bach. The full program is as follows: J. S. Bach/Ferruccio Busoni – Prelude, BWV 552; Gustav Mahler – I. Revelge; J. S. Bach/Wilhelm Kempff – Wachet auf, rust uns die Stimme, BWV 645; Mahler – II. Liebst du um Schönheit; III. Blicke mir nicht in die Lieder; Bach/Busoni – Nunn komm' der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659; Mahler – IV. Ich atmet' einen linden Duft; Bach – Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650; Mahler – V. Um Mitternacht; Bach/Kempff – Siciliano, BWV 1031; Mahler – VI Der Tamboursg'sell and MVII – Ich bin der Welte abhanden gekommen; Bach/Busoni – Fugue, BWV 552.
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.
Beethoven - Last Sonatas, Op. 109, 110 & 111
Beethoven’s last three sonatas – Opus 109, 110 and 111 – explore the intimate meanders of the human soul, from despair to transfiguration. At the time of their composition, Beethoven was already locked in himself by his deafness. This deeply affected his relationship to others and to the world. This "psychological framework" is explored by director Mariano Nante, setting pianist Alexandre Tharaud in a film inspired by the universe of Tarkovski. Filmed in abandoned castles, and lit by director of photography Yorgos Arvanitis, this work evokes solitude and introspection and offers an inner journey through images and music.
Pianomania - Daniil Trifonov
Hannu Lintu conducts the Gulbenkian Orchestra in a Finnish flavoured concert program, since the concert features Cantus Articus, Op. 61 by Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Jean Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. Furtermore, Daniil Trifonov (1991) is star soloist in Schumann’s Piano Concerto, Op. 54, which was premiered in 1841 by Clara Wieck, wife of the composer. Trifonov rose to fame after winning prizes at both the Tchaikovsky International Chopin competition in Moscow as well as the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. Trifonov has been called "arguably today's leading classical virtuoso,” and “without question the most astounding pianist of our age." This concert is recorded at the Grand Auditorium of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Lisbon, in 2018.
Summertime at the Domaine Forget
The documentary Summertime at the Domaine Forget introduces internationally renowned treasure: Domaine Forget festival in Saint-Irénée, Québec. Domaine Forget is one of Canada's leading music academies and hosts this annual festival to promote music and dance. Every summer, 500 music students from around the world gather for an intensive course program featuring: masterclasses, individual lessons, chamber music sessions, lectures, and special workshops.
Brahms - Clarinet sonata No. 2, Op. 120
Clarinettist Sharon Kam, soprano Jacquelyn Wagner and pianist Matan Porat bundle their forces in this recital from Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on May 11, 2020. The program opens with Claude Debussy's Première Rhapsodie for clarinet and piano, followed by Johannes Brahms's Sonata for clarinet and piano, Op. 120 No. 2. Porat then performs Maurice Ravel's Une barque sur l'océan for piano. Following Francis Poulenc's Clarinet Sonata, the concert closes with Franz Schubert's Lied 'Der Hirt auf dem Felsen' in an arrangement for clarinet, soprano and piano.
Saint-Saëns - Intro and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
The Waldbühne in Berlin, one of the most appealing outdoor amphitheatres on the European continent, is the home of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s summer concerts. With over 22.000 in attendance, they are some of the most popular classical music concerts in the world. This year the outstanding orchestra under the baton of Neeme Järvi take us on a trip to Arabian “Thousand and One Nights”, with soloist Janine Jansen, a rising star who quickly gained the reputation of one of the foremost young violinists on the international concert stages. On the program are Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, Symphonic Suite, op. 35, Grieg's 'Peer Gynt' Suite No.1, op. 46, excerpts from Nielsen's Aladdin Suite for Orchestra op. 34, Saint-Saëns's Introduction und Rondo capriccioso and "Meditation” from 'Thais' by Massenet.
Gaming in Symphony
Eímear Noone conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Concert Choir in a spectacular performance of some of the most well-known video game soundtracks of the last forty years. This programme showcases the depth and breadth of the video game music genre, featuring pieces from Nintendo legend Koji Kondo, DOOM veteran Mick Gordon and a whole host of contemporary game composers including Noone herself. Key soundtracks featured include Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, Assassin's Creed, Halo and World of Warcraft. Soloists for this performance are Tuva Semmingsen (mezzo) and Christine Nonbo Andersen (soprano). Recorded at the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2018.
Bruckner - Symphony No. 4
When it comes to shaping a musical event for the ears and the eyes, the monumental majesty of Anton Bruckner’s (1824-1896) symphonies and the exhilarating vibrancy of St. Florian’s monastery are a perfect match – especially when they are captured on film so thrillingly by such an eminent director as Brian Large in 2012. Bruckner became acquainted with the monastery’s organ in his childhood and served as the organist there from 1845 to 1855. Welser-Möst, the principal conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera, is an acknowledged Bruckner specialist who has developed a passion for the composer’s Fourth Symphony – called the “Romantic” by its creator – in its infrequently played first edition (1888/89). More slender, dynamic and finely shaded than the more commonly performed version, this score is also more daring, with its sharper contrasts and boldly exposed dissonances. Recorded at the St. Florian Monastery in Austria, in 2012.
Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 4, Op. 7
Beethoven's Sonata No. 4 in E-flat major, Op. 7 was referred to by the composer himself as the “Grande” – indeed, it is the largest sonata before the “Hammerklavier.” It was published in 1797 and dedicated to his student, the Countess Babette von Keglewics, later the Princess Odescalchi. This performance is taken from Daniel Barenboim's highly esteemed complete rendition of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, recorded at the Schloss Hetzendorf, Vienna, Austria, in 1983.
Jaroussky sings Bach & Telemann
The film Jaroussky sings Bach & Telemann is a portrait of a very special vocalist, and of two exceptional composers. When Philippe Jaroussky - whose angelic voice seems almost timeless, not belonging to any one epoque or decade - sings works by Telemann and Bach, it becomes abundantly clear that the sheer emotional force and the purifying power of their music have not diminished over the centuries. The works performed in this film are Telemann's Jesus liegt in letzten Zügen and Sinfonia from Brockes-Passion; Der am Ölberg zagende Jesus, and Bach's Sinfonia from Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis and Ich habe genug.
Liszt - Totentanz S.525
Dina Ivanova (1994, Russia) performs Liszt’sTotentanz (S525), Schubert/Liszt - Auf dem wasser zu singen (S558/2) and Erlkönig (S558/4) during the Solo Finals of the 11th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, held in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, in 2017. The competition actively presents, develops, and promotes piano talents from around the world. In doing so, it has become one of the prominent gateways to the international professional classical music scene for young musicians. The International Franz Liszt Piano Competition was founded in 1986 in the Netherlands and has since built a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
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".
Fauré - Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 13
Over the course of eleven days in August 2020, the French town of Rocamadour hosted the fifteenth edition of Festival de Rocamadour, a music festival dedicated to sacred music from the classical, baroque, and romantic periods. On August 26, the French violinist Renaud Capuçon and his compatriot pianist Guillaume Bellom performed an intimate concert at the atmospheric, medieval Basilique Saint-Sauveur. On the program are Gabriel Fauré's Sonata No. 1, Opus 13 (1876), and César Franck's Sonata for violin and piano (1886).
Hans Zender - Thinking with your senses
In the documentary 'Thinking with your senses', German composer, conductor, and essayist Hans Zender (1936-2019) gets the exhaustive Reiner E. Moritz treatment. As a conductor, Zender was associated with several German opera houses and orchestras, including Theater Bonn, Opernhaus Kiel, and the Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is probably most widely remembered for his 'composed interpretation' of Franz Schubert’s song-cycle ‘Winterreise’, which he adapted for tenor and small orchestra. In 'Thinking with your senses', Zender opens up about his life, reflecting on his long and successful career. He discusses his collaborations with composers as John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Moreover, the film includes numerous excerpts of Zender conducting classical as well as and contemporary repertoire by composers such as Helmut Lachenmann, Isang Yung, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann.
Tchaikovsky - Iolanta
‘Iolanta’ and ‘Perséphone’ – A double bill consisting of two stage works that “represent an ideal of beauty, poetry and hope” forms this new production by Peter Sellars in Madrid from the Teatro Real from 2012. In both works, the progression from darkness to light acts as an initiation rite that completely transforms the existential attitude of the leading characters. This broadcast features ‘Iolanta’, a mature composition by Tchaikovsky, which was premiered in 1892. It contains all aspects of the composer’s mastery: beautiful melodies, clear structure, and genuine passion in its many varieties. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real are conducted by Teodor Currentzis. The soloists in this production are Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Iolanta), Alexej Markov (Robert), Pavel Cernoch (Vaudémont), Dmitry Ulianov (King René), Willard White (Ibn-Hakia), Vasily Efimov (Alméric), Pavel Kudinov (Bertrand), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Marta), Irina Churilova (Brigita) and Letitia Singleton (Irina Churilova).