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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.
Europakonzert 2010 - Oxford
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 performed a program including Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. The young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who has attracted widespread attention for her passionate yet precise musicianship, joined the orchestra for a breathtaking performance of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto.
Looking for Cole
The world-famous American composer and lyricist Cole Porter has long made his way into hearts and songbooks all around the globe. The documentary “Looking for Cole” by Wilfried van den Brande, which was recorded over the course of three years, gives a unique insight into the artist’s most interesting life as a “supreme sophisticate.” Van den Brande may well call himself an expert on Porter since he has completed a PhD on the topic and recorded the largest Porter anthology to date, and published concert recordings of 325 Porter songs online. In “Looking for Cole,” Van den Brande journeys in the composer’s footsteps, discusses his work and life with numerous experts, and shares the stage with musicians such as Kim Criswell, Wayne Marshall, the WDR Funkhaus Orchester, and the Brussels Philharmonic.
Brahms - Symphony No. 1, Op. 68
Fabio Luisi conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in a performance of two great works. Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1. is paired with Brahms’ dramatic symphonic debut, Symphony No.1. Paganini’s concerto dates from the mid-to-late 1810s, written as the composer was touring Italy with his remarkable violin technique. This piece is a quintessential expression of Paganini’s extraordinary skill and ability, demanding much from the soloist. It is also characterized by the notably operatic “bel canto” style adopted by many of the composer’s contemporaries, including Gioachino Rossini. This exceptional performance features the dazzling virtuosity of violinist In Mo Yang, winner of the 2015 Paganini Competition. It was recorded at the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2017.
Celebrate St. Patrick 2020
Celebrate St. Patrick 2020 was filmed in March 2020 at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, Northern Ireland. Choirs from far and near seized the opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and perform with local Irish musicians for the congregation of this historic cathedral. The concert merges sacred music, traditional Irish instruments and music from the Irish diaspora. Performances from the highly acclaimed Voices of Ireland, jig dancers, and the rendition of Christ Be Beside Me by the combined choirs are among the many emotional highlights. Readings from the words of St. Patrick and footage of Ireland's glorious landscape make Celebrate Saint Patrick 2020 a feast for the ears and eyes!
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: Couperin, Chopin & Haydn
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, Israeli pianist Iddo Bar-Shaï performs – on a Steinway grand – several excerpts from François Couperin's 'Pièces des Clavecin': Les Ombres Errantes, Soeur Monique, Les Tambourins, Le Rossignol en amour, La Muse Plantine, Les Roseaux, Le Tic-Toc Choc ou Les Maillotins, La Couperin, and Les Barricades Mystérieuses. This is followed by Frédéric Chopin's Mazurkas Op. 17, No. 1 & 4, Op. 24, No. 2 & 3, and Op. 33, No. 4. Joseph Haydn's Piano Sonata in D, Hob. XVI:24 rounds off the concert.
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5, Op. 47
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 - Symphony No. 4
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. After Sibelius was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1908, he changed his lifestyle as well as his approach to composition. Fearing death, he quit using alcohol and tobacco. Simultaneously, the harmonies in his works grew darker and more sombre. Devils and death are among the images conjured up by the gloomy sounds of this Symphony.
Beauty is a Crime: Mendelssohn & Brahms
Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis leads his ensemble MusicAeterna alongside Austrian-Moldovan violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in a performance showcasing young, accomplished and energetic musicians. For this concert, they went searching for a new definition of the meaning of the word beauty. Thus, this 2015 performance from the renowned Musikfest Bremen sheds an entirely new light on two beloved classics by Brahms and Mendelssohn. The concert programme features Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor and Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 3 in F Major.
Mariinsky on Track
Join the acclaimed Mariinsky Orchestra on a train journey across the vastness of Russia in the documentary Mariinsky on Track. The orchestra's current chief conductor Valery Gergiev co-founded the Moscow Easter Festival in 2002. The 2013 edition of this music festival included performances in large cities across Russia’s different regions. In addition to outstanding concert footage, Mariinsky on Track shows us the musicians' approach to the project and informs us of hardships on the road. Watch and share these unforgettable musical moments with one of Russia’s oldest and finest musical organizations.
Haydn - String Quartet in D Major Op.76 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 D Major Op.76 No. 5. Opus 76 the 'Erdödy' quartets were composed between 1796 and 1797 for the Hungarian count Joseph Georg von Erdődy. They form the last complete set of string quartets that Haydn composed.
Schubert - Four Impromptus, Op. 90
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.
Gabriela Montero plays Ravel & Montero
Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is accompanied by the Youth Orchestra of the Americas conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto. On the program are Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, as well as two of Montero’s own works: the “Latin Concerto” and Improvisations. The performance took place in one of the world's most beautiful concert halls, the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, located in the middle of the Patagonian plains. The concert hall, which opened its doors in 2010, stands on the banks of Chile's second-largest lake overlooking a volcano that is capped with snow the entire year. In an accompanying interview, Montero speaks about composing, improvising, and performing works of her own alongside those of others. She discusses her home country of Venezuela, where she no longer performs for political reasons.
Johan de Meij - Echoes of San Marco & Fellini
This concert is the result of the collaboration between the Giuseppe Nicolini Conservatory of Piacenza and the Giuseppe Verdi of Milan as part of the project "MIlanoPIACEnza ... suonare insieme.” On the program are works by the Dutch conductor and composer Johan de Meij. “Echoes of San Marco” is a tribute to the Venetian Renaissance composer Giovanni Gabrieli (1555-1612). Echoes of San Marco opens with a quote from Gabrieli’s “Canzon Septimi Toni” from the “Sacre Sinfoniae”, and is just like the original work composed for two choirs of brass instruments. “Fellini” is composed for solo saxophone and orchestra and is a tribute to Italian film director Federico Fellini (1920-1993). De Meij composed the work for saxophone player Hans de Jong, who during this concert is dressed as a melancholic clown to intensify the dreamy and imaginary worlds present in Fellini’s films. This concert is recorded at the Sala dei Teatini of the Teatri di Piacenza in 2018. Directed by Pietro Tagliaferri.
Rachmaninov - The Last Romantic
In 2013, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic closes the fourth edition of the Annecy Festival with a programme exclusively dedicated to Sergei Rachmaninov, led by Yuri Termikanov. The orchestra enchants, with multi-gifted musician Denis Matsuev, with performances of favorites like Rachmaninov’s famous Piano Concerto No.2, the Symphonic Dances, and many more. Denis Matsuev, co-artistic director of the festival and artistic director of the Sergei Rachmaninov Foundation, interprets the Piano Concerto No. 2 virtuously and passionately. The tradition of the Annecy Classic Festival was born in 1967, initiated by the renowned French pianist Eliane Richepin. What started out as intimate performances by local musicians for local audiences has become a relevant cultural collaboration between France and Russia over the years.
Glière, Op. 20 and Shostakovich, Op. 57
The Valerius Ensemble, consisting of Robert Windak (violin), Michael Rein (violin), Eva Šušlíková (viola), Judith Chapman (cello) and Ingo Lylofs (piano) played a concert in Muziekcentrum Enschede on April 15, 2018. On the concert program are the Allegro Moderato from Glières String Quartet No. 2 and the Scherzo, Intermezzo, and Finale from Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, Op. 57. The work is one of the more popular chamber music works by the composer and a year after its premiere it was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1941.
Veerhavenconcert 2018
The Veerhavenconcert is a classical open-air concert held every year in the attractive harbor of Rotterdam. Little boats and ships float on the water next to a transparent stage flanked by antique sailboats. In this edition from 2018, the Veerhavenconcert offers an accessible program with operatic works by Verdi, Ponchielli, and Puccini. Maxim Emelyanchec leads the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toonkunst Amsterdam choir. Soloists are Soojin Moon- Sebastian (soprano), Maria Riccarda Wesseling (mezzo-soprano), Paulo Ferreira (tenor) and Hawijch Elders (violin).
Mozart on Tour - Episode 12: Munich
The 13-part Mozart on Tour series chronicles the journey of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart across Europe. The Bavarian capital of Munich was always one of Mozart's favorite places - it saw important performances of many of his major instrumental works and hosted the world premiere of his monumental opera seria Idomeneo, re di Creta. The first edition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26, KV 537, also written for the coronation of Emperor Leopold II in 1790, is remarkable because it doesn't contain all the notes for the solo part. This method prevented the music from falling into the hands of dishonest copyists, but more importantly, it shows that pianists had to improvise the necessary harmonies, sometimes at sight based on musical sketches. Soloist Homero Francesch performs Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 26, KV 537 with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Wilhelm Keitel. This performance was recorded at Munich's residence.
Riccardo Chailly conducts Mendelssohn
Riccardo Chailly’s inaugural concert as Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra captures the full atmosphere of a unique musical occasion. The concert centers round composer Felix Mendelssohn, who founded the Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1743. It includes an overwhelming performance of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, Lobgesang with its celebratory choral last movement, as well as the ever-popular overture A Midsummer Night’s Dream with outstanding vocal soloists including Anne Schwanewilms and Peter Seiffert. The Gewandhaus Orchestra can look back with pride at its 250-year history. It has made music history and evolved into one of the world’s best-known and most renowned orchestras.
Mozart - Symphony No. 35
Conrad van Alphen conducts Sinfonia Rotterdam in a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385, recorded at the Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague, in 2020. Van Alphen founded Sinfonia Rotterdam in 2000. Under his passionate leadership, this orchestra has developed into one of the Netherland’s best-known orchestras. Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 is also known as the “Haffner Symphony”. In 1782, the Haffner family from Salzburg commissioned Mozart to write a new piece on the occasion of the ennoblement of Sigmund Haffner. Mozart agreed, and initially composed a serenade before recasting it as a symphony a few months later: the “Haffner Symphony”. One of his revisions was the addition of more instruments in the first and last movement, resulting in a fuller sound. The symphony consists of four movements: Allegro con spirito, Andante, Menuetto, and Presto.
Paganini - Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6
Fabio Luisi conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in a performance of two great works. Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1. is paired with Brahms’ dramatic symphonic debut, Symphony No.1. Paganini’s concerto dates from the mid-to-late 1810s, written as the composer was touring Italy with his remarkable violin technique. This piece is a quintessential expression of Paganini’s extraordinary skill and ability, demanding much from the soloist. It is also characterized by the notably operatic “bel canto” style adopted by many of the composer’s contemporaries, including Gioachino Rossini. This exceptional performance features the dazzling virtuosity of violinist In Mo Yang, winner of the 2015 Paganini Competition. It was recorded at the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2017.
Ravel - Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano
In this beautiful concert from the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall of Moscow, two exceptional Russian soloists join forces. Violinist Vadim Repin, who at the age of 17 became the youngest winner of the violinist section of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition 1987 in Brussels, is specialized in interpreting works of Russian composers. Together with renowned pianist Nikolay Lugansky, he brings to the stage a performance of prestige and virtuosity. The programme features Ravel's Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano in G-major. 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.