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Purcell - King Arthur
Hervé Niquet conducts the choir and orchestra of Le Concert Spirituel in a rendition of Henry Purcell's (1659-1695) King Arthur. The recording took place in the National Opera of Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon in March 2009. Soloists are Ana Marin Labin, Chantal Santon-Jeffery, Mélodie Ruvio, Mathias Vidal, Marc Mouillon and Joao Fernandes. King Arthur, or The British Worthy is a semi-opera in five acts. It was first performed at the Queen's Theatre, Dorset Garden, London in 1691. The plot is based on the battles between King Arthur's Britons and the Saxons, rather than the legends of Camelot. It is a semi-opera: the principal characters do not sing, except if they are supernatural or pastoral.
Mahler - Symphony No. 3
Due to its 95-minute duration, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 3 is an imposing and mysterious work. This 1992 performance, directed by Bernhard Haitink, includes the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tölzer Knabenchor, and the Ernst Senff Choir. During the six parts of this wonderful symphony, Mahler expresses his musical vision of nature and mankind's place in it. Much like he did in his second symphony, Mahler incorporates some of his song cycle Des Knaben Wunderhorn. The fourth movement ends with a magnificent solo for alto, inspired by a poem by Friedrich Nietzsche, played here by Florence Quivar, and the fifth movement concludes with a male choir. The third symphony originally consisted of seven movements, but Mahler eventually chose to cut the seventh part, which he then used as the last movement for his fourth symphony.
Heitor Villa-Lobos Music for Cello and Piano - VI
In this six-part documentary on the life and work by Heitor Villa-Lobos, director Liloye Boubli takes viewers on a journey through the life and work of the Brazilian legend of classical music. The composer, conductor, cellist, and classical guitarist was born 1887 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Growing up amongst the immense social changes Brazil went through at the time - social revolution and modernization, abolishing slavery in 1888 - Villa-Lobos went on to become one of the best-known South American composers of all time. In this sixth and final episode of the mini-series, Brazilian musicians and experts discuss Villa-Lobos' everlasting legacy and how his compositions continue to inspire Brazilian composers and artists to this day.
Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55
Les Dissonances is a collective of artists founded by violinist David Grimal in 2004. The conductorless ensemble consists of musicians from the most prestigious European orchestras, international soloists, and young talents. In this performance, Les Dissonances present Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55, ‘Eroica’. Admiring the ideals of the French Revolution, Beethoven initially dedicated the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte. However, upon hearing that Napoleon had crowned himself Emperor, Beethoven violently erased Napoleon’s name from the manuscript. Composed in 1803-04 in a style that breaks with tradition, the symphony is regarded as a turning point in Beethoven’s oeuvre as well as Western music history. Symphony No. 3 is longer in duration than any previous symphony. The work opens with two powerful chords that replace the more customary long introduction. The lower strings then introduce the main theme. The slow second movement is a Funeral March, followed by a quick Scherzo. The fourth and final movement is dominated by a theme from Beethoven’s ballet music for ‘The Creatures of Prometheus’. This performance was recorded at Opéra de Dijon, France, in 2012.
IVC 2021 - Final: Diepenbrock, Fauré a. o.
Tenor Zhuohan Sun (China, 1993) and pianist Sara Pavlovic (Serbia, 1996) perform ‘Wanderlied’ from Robert Schumann’s Kerner-Lieder, Op. 35; ‘Der Abend kommt gezogen’ from Alphons Diepenbrock’s Drie ballades, Op. 1; Gabriel Fauré’s Prison, Op. 83, No. 1; ‘Ganymed’ from Hugo Wolf’s Goethe-Lieder; Franz Schubert’s Nacht und Träume, D. 827; Zaiyi Lu’s The bridge in my homeland; ‘Mit Myrten und Rosen’ from Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 24; ‘C’ from Francis Poulenc’s Deux poèmes de Louis Aragon, FP 122; and ‘Scheiden und Meiden’ from Gustav Mahler’s Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit, during the final round of the International Vocal Competition 2021 – Lied Duo. This performance was recorded at De Verkadefabriek in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands.
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 4, Op. 40
Fabio Luisi conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in this powerful performance taken from the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Denmark’s national composer, Carl Nielsen. Alongside Nielsen’s inscrutably ironic Symphony No. 6, this performance features world-renowned French pianist Lise de la Salle as soloist in Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 4. This lesser-known concerto saw three separate iterations throughout the composer’s life and is characterized by bold chromaticism and a distinctly Jazz-like quality. Luisi and de la Salle have prior experience with this piece, having previously performed and recorded it together. This performance was recorded at the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2017.
Mozart - Symphony No. 41, K. 551
Jeffrey Tate conducts the English Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony No. 41 (K. 551). This symphony is the last of a set of three that Mozart composed in rapid succession during the summer of 1788. The symphony is known for its humour, exuberant energy and grand scale for a symphony of this period, hence its nickname “Jupiter”. Generally, Mozart composed from commissions, but scholars have found no indication of this for the 41st Symphony. It could well be Mozart composed the work in the hopes of selling them or presenting them in a concert in Vienna. Directed by János Darvos.
Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite
In this exquisite 2016 concert from Moscow's Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Russian National Orchestra and star-pianist Boris Berezovsky are led by conductor Mikhail Pletnev in a performance of magnificent works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Winner of the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Berezovsky interprets the works of Rimsky-Korsakov with a virtuosic power. The programme features The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya, suite for orchestra, as well as The Tale of Tsar Saltan, musical pictures for orchestra. It 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.
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos
During the years when Bach was in the service of the courts of Prince Leopold in Köthen, he had his own orchestra and was contracted to compose a great deal of instrumental music. This gave him an opportunity to try new techniques and to develop his own instrumental style. The six Brandenburg Concertos belongs to these masterpieces which he composed for a small ensemble . The joyously infectious performance of these masterpieces by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra demonstrates both the pleasure and the highest professional standard that can be reached with period instruments. Their decision to perform without a conductor is therefore quite deliberate, reviving a tradition practised right back in the 18th century.
CMIM Voice 2022 - Semi-final: Arvid Fagerfjäll
Baritone Arvid Fagerfjäll (Sweden, 1991) performs ‘Chanson à boire’ from Édouard Lalo’s Chansons pour voix et piano, Op. 17; ‘Was in der Schenke waren Heute’ from Hugo Wolf’s Goethe-Lieder; ‘Geselle, woll’n wir uns in Kutten hüllen’ from Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch, Vol. I; ‘And I have sat’ and ‘Yea, for this love of mine’ from Aribert Reimann’s song cycle Shine and Dark; ‘Martus’ (Stormclouds) from Gustav Holst’s Hymns from the Rig Veda, Op. 24; ‘Und hat der Tag all seine Qual’ from Alexander von Zemlinsky’s 4 Gesänge, Op. 8; ‘Le cygne’ from Maurice Ravel’s Histoires naturelles; ‘La fleur qui va sur l’eau’ from Gabriel Fauré’s 3 Mélodies, Op. 85; and ‘Mit Myrten und Rosen’ Robert Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 24, during the semi-finals of the Art Song division of the Concours musical international de Montréal 2022 (CMIM). This performance was recorded at the Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Heitor Villa-Lobos Music for Cello and Piano - II
In this six-part documentary on the life and work of Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, director Liloye Boubli takes viewers on a journey through the life and work of this legend of Brazilian classical music. The composer, conductor, cellist, and classical guitarist was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1887. Growing up during a time of immense social change in Brazil – with the abolishment of slavery in 1888, this was a time of social revolution and far-reaching modernizations – Villa-Lobos went on to become one of South America's best-known composers of all time. In this second episode, Liloye Boubli dives deeper into the oeuvre of Villa-Lobos, exploring his musical influences and scrutinizing the anatomy of some of his most famous compositions, particularly his early "Pequena Suíte" for cello and piano. This collection of dances and short pieces in six movements is indicative of the composer's heartfelt adoration for Johann Sebastian Bach.
Messiaen - Vingt regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus - X
In recent years, a new generation of Chinese pianists has emerged on the international scene. But there are many more young Chinese artists, who the Académie France-Chine aims to enable to deepen their art by introducing them to and giving them a platform within French and European culture. Four of these artists are Chen Xue-Hong, Zhang Cheng, Chen Yunjie and Chen Sa, who made their joint debut in Paris in this unique concert at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées that showcased their extraordinary talent. On the program are Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2, Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 1, Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 8 and Paysage (No. 3) and Mazeppa (No. 4) from Liszt's Études d'Exécution Transcendante. The concert closes with Messiaen's Regard de l’Esprit de la joie (No. 10) from Vingt regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus.
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9
In honor of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th anniversary in 2020, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería performed Beethoven’s symphonic cycle at the Academia de Música del Palacio de Minería in Mexico City in 2019. Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto leads the orchestra, four vocal soloists, the Vocal Essence choir, and the choir of Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in this performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125. Prieto has been serving as music director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería since 2008, and is considered the foremost Mexican conductor of his generation. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is widely considered his greatest composition. He completed this piece in 1824, when he was almost deaf. This symphony is unique, since Beethoven included a choir and vocal soloists in the last movement. Here, Beethoven set to music parts of Friedrich Schiller's poem “Ode an die Freude” (“Ode to Joy”). The symphony consists of four movements: Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso, Molto vivace, Adagio molto e cantabile, and Finale. The four vocal soloists are Katherine Whyte (soprano), Grace Echauri (mezzosoprano), Thomas Studebaker (tenor), and Kevin Deas (bass).
Brahms - String Sextet No. 1, Op. 18
Les Dissonances is a collective of artists founded by violinist David Grimal in 2004. The conductorless ensemble consists of musicians from the most prestigious European orchestras, international soloists, and young talents. In this performance, Les Dissonances perform Johannes Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18. The work is scored for two violins, two violas, and two cellos. Brahms wrote his only two string sextets at the very beginning of his career. String Sextet No. 1 was written in 1860. Brahms was one of the first to compose for this ensemble, blazing a trail for Antonín Dvořák, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Arnold Schoenberg, and others. This performance was recorded at Opéra de Dijon, France, in 2013.
The 12 Cellists - Documentary
Directed in 2012 by Enrique Sánchez Lansch, the documentary The 12 Cellists follows the 12 cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1972, this group is a staple of the international musical universe. Whether they play classical music, jazz, tango or avant-garde music, these talented musicians invariably enthrall audiences with the wide range of unique and bewitching sounds they produce with their cellos. Their combination of seriousness and humor, depth, and lightness promises to captivate listeners of all ages.
Von Zemlinsky - Clarinet Trio, Op. 3
The Valerius Ensemble, consisting of Jorge Gaona Ros (clarinet), Ksenia Kouzmenko (piano) and René Geesing (cello) plays Von Zemlinsky’s Klarinet Trio, Op. 3. It was recorded in Concordia, Enschede, on February 18, 2018. Zemlinsky was born in Vienna of a Slovak father and Sarajevan mother and studied at the Vienna Conservatoire. In his early twenties, his chamber work was performed at the Wiener Tonkünstlerverein. After the première of his String Quintet in 1896, Brahms criticized Zemlinsky for his harmonic recklessness and tonal inconsistency. Zemlinsky took Brahms's criticisms to heart in composing the Clarinet Trio. The work shows the influence of Brahms both in its form and its content.
Mozart - Violin Concerto No. 5
Les Dissonances is a collective of artists founded by violinist David Grimal in 2004. The conductorless ensemble consists of musicians from the most prestigious European orchestras, international soloists, and young talents. In this performance, Les Dissonances play Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, also known as the ‘Turkish Concerto’. Leading violinist Grimal features as the soloist. With the exception of the first violin concerto, Mozart composed his other four violin concertos in 1775 at a time when he was concertmaster at the Salzburg court. It is the third and final movement that gives Concerto No. 5 its nickname, the ‘Turkish Concerto’. This movement features a striking middle section of ‘Turkish music’, which the composer achieves not only by changing the meter, and the mode to minor, but also by letting the cellos and basses play col legno - creating a percussive sound with the wood of their bow. This performance was recorded at Cité de la Musique, France, in 2014.
Europakonzert 2011 - Madrid
For twenty years, the Berlin Philharmonic has celebrated its 1882 founding with a concert at a major European venue, and the 2011 event takes place at the magnificent Teatro Real in Madrid. Under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, the renowned orchestra performs Joaquín Rodrigo’s beloved Concierto de Aranjuez, Emmanuel Chabrier’s exuberant España, and Sergey Rachmaninov’s dramatic Second Symphony. For the first piece, the orchestra is joined by famous flamenco guitarist Cañizares, whose virtuosity and sensitivity are on full display in this multi-faceted and subtle work. The soloist's virtuosity, his technique, harmony, strength and sensitivity have distinguished Cañizares as a unique artist, considered one of the great flamenco musicians of the turn of the century. Above anything else, however, Cañizares praises simplicity and purity of sound, transmitting a message with a high emotional impact, as is proven in this splendid concert.
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 conducted by Jaap van Zweden, current music director of the New York Philharmonic.
Delibes – Coppélia
A classic French ballet, Coppélia was choreographed in 1870 at the Opera de Paris, drawing inspiration from the evolution of society and the choreographer’s imagination. Featuring 40 dancers, the action takes place in the America of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Jérôme Robbins and echoes the style and spirit of Broadway musicals and Hollywood fantasies. This modern and fast-paced version was performed by Ballet de l'Opéra national de Bordeaux at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in 2010.
Bach - Partita No. 2 and Sonata No. 3
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.
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.
Napoli - Music's forgotten capital -I
In the summer of 2019, the Utrecht Early Music Festival explored the musical legacy of Naples: a cultural metropolis of contradiction and solidarity. In the documentary 'Napoli – Music’s Forgotten Capital', festival co-curator Thomas Höft unearths riveting tales from this multi-faceted city.
Semi Final II - Liszt Competition 2017
Yonghwan Jeong (1991, South Korea) performs Epithalam zu Eduard Reményis Vermählungsfeier (S129) and Grand Duo concertant sur la Romance de 'Le Marin' (S128) during semi-final II (chamber music) of the 11th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, held in TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht 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 since has built a reputation as one of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions.
Fiesta del Tango
For the audience in the famous ballroom El Palacio in Buenos Aires, the year 2012 began with tango rhythms and Argentinean folk music. This festive broadcast opens with a tango performance by dance partners Eduardo and Gloria, accompanied by the renowned ensemble Café de los Maestros. Another highlights is a performance by bandoneon player Rodolfo Mederos and his trio. In addition, the concert features a performance by Teresa Parodi, former lead singer of the Astor Piazzolla Band, accompanied by the Fernando Suárez Paz Quintet. Also on the bill is the contemporary electronic tango formation Otros Aires. Founded by Miguel Di Genova in 2003, Otros Aires combines electronic rhythms and traditional tango instruments, such as the bandoneon, piano, and guitar. On the program are compositions by Astor Piazzolla, Pedro Maffia, Pedro Laurenz, Gustavo Mozzi, and many others. Enjoy this concert of music and dance, featuring some of Argentine's tango scene's finest artists!
Beethoven - Symphony No. 2
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.
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).