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Franck - Stradella
On September 19, 2012, Liège, the economic and cultural centre of Wallonia, reopened its Opera house, anchoring one of Europe's most important Operas in modernity. The season opens with Stradella, the uncompleted work of the youth of the composer César Franck, who was born and raised in Liège, the 1842 manuscript of which was found in the National Library of France in 1984. The world's first production is therefore performed at the Royal Opera House of Wallonia, orchestrated by Luc Van Hove and directed by the film maker Jaco Van Dormael. The opera tells the story of the Duke of Pesaro. He has ordered his lieutenant Spadoni to abduct the beautiful maiden Leonor in the middle of the Carnival in Venice. Having locked her away in his mansion, the Duke tries to win her love by employing the famous singer Stradella to woo her, unaware that Stradella and Leonor are actually an item. Music by César Franck, Libretto by Emile Deschamps and Emilien Pacini.
Mahler - Symphony No. 2
Bernhard Haitink conducts the Berlin Philharmonic and the Ernst Senff Choir in a performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. This concert took place at the Berliner Philharmonie in 1992. The final chorus of Mahler's beautiful and impressive second symphony never fails to move its listeners. The epic character of the work is not only due to the impressive size of the orchestra and the use of an organ and soloists, but also due to the themes of life and death that are addressed. The listener may recognize a number of Mahler's earlier compositions from his song collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Soloists are Sylvia McNair (soprano) and Jard van Nes (contralto).
My heart is burning
René Pape perfectly embodies the new generation of opera singers: with a current and relaxed appearance, he craves new challenges and demonstrates an openness to ambitious experimentation. In the musical film My Heart Is Burning, René Pape sings and plays various roles that showcase the impressive versatility of his voice and the many facets of his personality. Directed by Sibylle Muth.
Janáček - Glagolitic Mass
Mariss Jansons conducts the chorus and instrumental ensemble of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass (1926) at the Lucerne Easter Festival of 2012. The work is divided into eight sections that give the greatest prominence to the chorus while also containing impressive solos, especially for soprano and tenor. Completely unexpected is the startlingly wild and furious organ solo (Iveta Apklana at the organ) that follows the Ordinary of the Mass and precedes the final movement. Janáček, who achieved worldwide celebrity late in life, wanted to emphasize the common bonds between the Slavic nations by writing the text in Old Church Slavonic, which used an alphabet devised by Saints Cyril and Methodius called ‘Glagolitic’. The choice of this ancient language also reflects the Moravian composer’s sympathies with the Slavic nations that were under the yoke of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
J.D. Heinichen - Magnificat in A
Patrick Debrabandere conducts the Vox Mago chamber choir in a performance of J. D. Heinichen's Magnificat in A. This performance is part of the concert program In Tempus Adventus, consisting of three beautiful baroque cantatas. Recorded in December 2018 in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Presentatiekerk, Ghent, Belgium. The Magnificat has a typical baroque sound, with a string section, basso continuo, and two oboe parts.
Saint-Saëns - Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 22
Pianist Mikhail Pletnev is accompanied by the Russian National Orchestra led by Kirill Karabits in a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns's Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 22. At its premiere in 1868, the orchestra was led by Anton Rubinstein, with the composer himself at the piano. The current concert was recorded at the Moscow Philharmonic Society and opens with a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's symphonic picture 'Dreams'. The concert was part of the Ninth Russian National Orchestra Grand Festival from 2017.
Sergiu Celibidache - The Triumphant Return
Maestro Sergiu Celibidache conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1945 to 1954, and once in 1992. Wolfgang Becker's documentary The Triumphant Return documents Celibidache's long-awaited return to the Berlin Philharmonic after a 38-year-absence. Discover extensive footage from the rehearsals of Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 (the only video recording in existence of Celibiadache), interviews with former orchestra members, and Celibidache's final concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Lucerne Festival - Abbado conducts Mahler No. 1
Claudio Abbado conducts the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. The principal motif of this symphony, “Like a cry of Nature”, gave the Lucerne Festival 2009 its central theme. To Mahler, nature and art are not opposed but are rather symbiotic, with one informing the other. Abbado and the orchestra are joined by a special guest for a spectacular début: twenty-two-year-old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang performs Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. In her Lucerne performance, Wang steps into the spotlights to display the full range of her artistry - the piano concerto demands not only lyricism and intimacy, but also brilliancy and virtuosity.
CMIM Piano 2021 - Semi-final: Ji-Hyang Gwak
Ji-Hyang Gwak (South Korea, 1991) performs Carl Vine’s Piano Sonate No. 1, J.S. Bach’s Ricercar in three voices from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079, Franz Schubert’s Piece No. 2 in E-flat major (Drei Klavierstücke, Op. posth., D. 946), and Franz Liszt’s Les jeux d’eau à la villa d’Este (Années de pèlerinage, Third year, S. 163), during the semi-finals of the 2021 Piano Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). This performance was recorded at Britton Recital Hall at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
England, my England - I
From August 28 to September 6, 2015, the Early Music Festival Utrecht focused on England, my England. On the basis of the festival theme, presenter Lex Bohlmeijer takes the viewer in a two-part documentary on an intriguing journey through England of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque, and relates this to the city of Utrecht. Episode 1 offers a peek into the inner city churches of Utrecht, visiting the source of inspiration if this year's festival: the English estate Boughton House, where the Duke of Buccleuch shows us around.
Schubert - Four Impromptus, Op. 90: - I.
Roberto Prosseda (1975) performs Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 5 (KV. 283) and four Impromptus Op. 90 by Franz Schubert. The performance ends with Chopin's technically demanding Ballade No. 4, Op. 52. Prosseda is particularly noted for his performances of newly discovered works by Mendelssohn and has recorded a nine-CD series for Decca of the piano works of Mendelssohn. Since 2012, Prosseda also gives lecture-concerts with the robot pianist TeoTronico, as educational or family concerts, to demonstrate differences between a literal production of music and human interpretation.
Dvořák - Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95
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".
Mozart - Violin Sonata, K 454 & Schubert - D. 850
German violinist Veronika Eberle and Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi meet in a concert program featuring works by W. A. Mozart and Franz Schubert, recorded at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on April 6, 2020. The program opens with a rendition of Mozart's Violin Sonata No. 32 in B-flat major, K. 454. Piemontesi closes the concert with a rendition of Schubert's Piano Sonata in D major D. 850, Op. 53, 'Gasteiner'.
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.
Villa-Lobos - String Quartet No. 8
Quarteto Radamés Gnattali performs Heitor Villa-Lobos's String Quartet No. 8 at the Palácio das Laranjeiras in Rio de Janiero, Brasil. The ensemble was founded in 2006 and consists of Carla Rincón and Francisco Roa (violins), Fernando Thebaldi (viola), and Hugo Pilger (cello). The quartet, which specializes in Brazilian music, focuses on educational activities. Their recording of all of Villa-Lobos string quartets is a major achievement and was very well received by international music critics. Except for his Bachianas brasileiras, the performance of many of the Brazilian's compositions is limited to Latin America. Highly regarded as a composer, conductor and educator in his native country, Villa-Lobos has operas, symphonies, concertos, piano repertoire, choral music, and seventeen string quartets to his credit.
Bach - Violin Sonata No. 3 (BWV 1005)
Celebrated German violinist Isabelle Faust performs two of J. S. Bach’s incredible works for solo violin: Partita No. 2 in D minor (BWV 1004), and Sonata No. 3 in C major (BWV 1005). Both works are part of the composer’s well-known Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006). Partita No. 2 is made up of four dance movements, concluded by its famous Chaconne, a monumental piece within the violin repertoire. In this Chaconne, Bach develops a series of continuous variations from a theme, exploring a complex range of harmonic possibilities. Sonata No. 3 includes an extensive fugue in which Bach employs many contrapuntal techniques. In this wonderful performance, Faust shows her mastery of Bach’s technically challenging pieces. This performance was recorded at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, in 2020.
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.
Smetana – My Country
For the 2016 edition of the Waldbühne, the Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili and the Québécois conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin join the Berliner Philharmoniker for a beautiful concert. They present an all Czech program! We always think of Germany, Austria, and Italy when we name great classical composers, but the Czech Republic also delivered some master composers such as Antonin Dvorák, Bedrich Smetana, Leos Janacek, and Bohuslav Martinu. This concert starts with Smetana’s famous Vltava from Má Vlast. Lisa Batiashvili plays Dvorák’s Violin Concerto in A minor, and the concerts centerpiece is Dvorák’s Symphony No. 6.
Shostakovich - Preludes and fugues
Compagnia Simona Bucci presents an extraordinary concert in scenic form: 'Preludi e Fughe - Geografia antropica'. Dmitri Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 inspired choreographer Simona Bucci to take on this project. Seven dancers of Compagnia Simona Bucci dance to Shostakovich’s Preludes and Fugues Nos. 1, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 24, played by Italian pianist Roberto Prosseda. The performance was recorded at the Teatro Il Maggiore in Verbania, Italy, in the context of the Stresa Festival in August 2019.
Concerts in Quarantine: Debussy, Brahms et al.
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.
Berio's Sinfonia & Dvořák's Symphony No. 7, Op. 70
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.
In the Organ's Stomach
Olivier Latry is the current holder of the Great Organ of Notre Dame. Between its original religious function and the interest of composers of all times, the great organ Cavaillé-Coll reveals its absolute modernity. Latry is considered one of the greatest organists of his generation, both in France and internationally. He sees himself as an ambassador of French music from the 17th through the 20th centuries as well as an advocate for the art of improvisation. Pieces played in the film are: Pierre Cochereau’s Boléro, Louis Vierne’s Carillon of Westminster and Scherzo from Symphony No. 2, Alexandre Guilmant’s Sonata No. 1, Charles-Marie Widor’s Gothic Symphony, Marcel Dupre’s Cortège, Litanie and J. S. Bach’s Passacaille & Fugue.
Solo Finals - Liszt Competition 2017
Minsoo Hong (1993, South Korea) performs Liszt’s Sposalizio from Années de Pèlerinage: Deuxième Année (S161/1) and Bellini/Liszt’s Réminiscences de Norma (S394) during the Solo Finals of the11th 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.
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 1 & Symphony No. 2
At the age of seven, Argentine pianist Martha Argerich made her debut with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15, a piece that would accompany her throughout her career. The celebrated pianist performs this signature piece at the Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under the baton of Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, who makes his festival debut with the orchestra. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 36, is also on the program. This performance was recorded at the Lucerne Culture and Congress Center (KKL), Switzerland, in August 2020.
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3,Op 30
The legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz (1903-1989) won his first praise on his interpretation of Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto from the composer himself. When Rachmaninoff heard the young Kiev-born pianist play his work shortly after Horowitz's arrival in New York in 1928, he exclaimed: "He swallowed it whole." Fifty years later, on September 24, 1978, Horowitz electrified his audience once again with this monumental work. Accompanied by the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, he gave a special performance of this work as part of the celebrations honoring his U.S. debut 50 years earlier. His unforgettable account was recorded live on video and broadcast simultaneously throughout the United States. It was the last time Horowitz played the Third in his lifetime. The work itself, reverently called "Rach 3" by pianists brave enough to tackle its monstrous technical challenges, achieved international celebrity of a different kind in recent years.
Elgar - Concerto for Cello, Op. 85
For over two decades, the Berlin Philharmonic has celebrated its creation on May 1 with the annual Europakonzert, which in 2010 was held in Oxford. Led by Daniel Barenboim, the orchestra and the young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who has attracted widespread attention for her passionate yet precise musicianship, perform a breathtaking rendition of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Op. 85