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Bizet - Carmen
Louis Langrée conducts the Metropolitan Opera in a performance of Bizet’s masterpiece of the Gypsy seductress, who lives by her own rules, no matter the cost. The opera’s melodic sweep is as irresistible as the title character herself, a force of nature who has become a defining cultural figure. This drama—of a soldier torn between doing the right thing and pursuing the woman that he cannot resist—bursts with melody and seethes with all the erotic vitality of its unforgettable title character. Carmen was a scandal at its premiere and was much denounced in the press for its flagrant immorality. The power of the music and the drama, however, created an equally vocal faction in favour of the work. The composer Tchaikovsky and the philosopher Nietzsche both praised the opera, the latter identifying in the robustness of the score nothing less than a cure-all for the world’s spiritual ills. This performance features Clémentine Margaine (soprano), Roberto Alagna (tenor), and Alexander Vinogradov (bass) and was recorded at the Metropolitan Opera Hall in New York City, USA, in 2019.
Abbado conducts Prokofiev, Berg & Tchaikovsky
Claudio Abbado conducts the Símon Bolívar Youth Orchestra at the Lucerne Easter Festival of 2010. Soloist is the young and talented Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska. On the program are Sergei Prokofiev's “Scythian Suite”, Op. 20, Alban Berg's Lulu Suite for soprano and orchestra, and Pamina's Aria from W. A. Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. The orchestra concludes with a performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Op. 74.
Sons of Vienna: Part 4 - Cherchez la Femme
The six-part series Sons of Vienna explores stories through the eyes of musicians, professors and musicologists. It portrays extraordinary composers who were active in the cultural city of Vienna and deserve the label of genius. In Cherchez la Femme (Part 4) we follow the lives and works of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Both were born into well-to-do families and unlike Mozart, the vaudeville-style tour as a child prodigy was refused for the young Brahms. As Brahms grew to maturity, his nights were in dance halls and Inns. Schumann was the son of an intellectual, with little interest in music. Schumann’s crippling mental condition certainly had a strong role in his death. Was Schumann’s mental anguish heightened by the ever-deepening relationship between his wife Clara and his friend Brahms? Although Brahms died a bachelor, he considered Clara his true love. How much did the relationship of these two gifted composers, their mutual respect, and their rivalry, help inspire the threads and patterns of the fabric of classical music?
Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
Conductor Mariss Jansons, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mussorgsky's “Pictures at an Exhibition” were predestined to come together. The lavish colors of Ravel's orchestration of the Russian work, the breathtaking inventiveness of the wildly different movements that are all interconnected through a recurring “Promenade” – few conductors are as adept as Jansons to savor all the richness and colorfulness of the paintings and sketches by Victor Hartmann. Today, the work is universally celebrated in its dazzling orchestral transcription by Maurice Ravel. It was the great conductor Serge Koussevitzky who commissioned the orchestration by Ravel in 1922. Recorded at Herkulessaal, Munich in 2014.
Telemann - Der am Ölberg zagende Jesus, TWV 1: 364
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.
Gala from Berlin 2004: Orff - Carmina Burana
A joyful celebration welcoming the New Year with one of the best orchestras in the world. The Gala from Berlin 2004 presents the outstanding Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, with Carl Orffs well-known ‘Carmina Burana’ as well as Beethoven's ‘Leonore Overture No. 3’. ‘Carmina Burana’ is intensely dramatic and one of the twentieth century's most widely performed works for chorus and orchestra. Orff himself once said that “Everything which I've written so far and which you've unfortunately published you can now pulp: my collected works begin with Carmina Burana.” Conductor Simon Rattle is a musical force of nature and the interaction between his unique, varied musical gifts and the great performing traditions of the Berlin Philharmonic is one of the most exciting features of our present cultural life.
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 4 & Nielsen 6th
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.
Villa-Lobos - String Quartet No. 9
Quarteto Radamés Gnattali performs Heitor Villa-Lobos's String Quartet No. 9 at the Theatro Municipal 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.
Tchaikovsky - Overture-Fantasy Romeo and Juliet
Conrad van Alphen conducts Sinfonia Rotterdam in a performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Overture-Fantasy “Romeo and Juliet”. Van Alphen founded Sinfonia Rotterdam in 2000. Under his passionate leadership, this orchestra has developed into one of the Netherland’s best-known orchestras. Tchaikovsky based his composition on Shakespeare’s famous play “Romeo and Juliet”. After finishing a first version of Romeo and Juliet in 1870, Tchaikovsky rewrote sections of the composition twice, completing the third and final version ten years later. The Overture-Fantasy opens with a slow introduction, primarily led by the clarinets and bassoons. The composition is dominated by its famous love theme, representing the love between Romeo and Juliet. This beautiful theme is introduced in the first half of the piece, played by the English horn and violas, and recurs in different sections of the composition. At the end, the love theme is heard in minor mode, which emphasized the tragic element of the story of the two lovers.
Arvo Pärt - Kanon Pokajanen
Arvo Pärt based his ‘Kanon Pokajanen’ (from ‘Canon of Repentance to Our Lord Jesus Christ’, 1995-97) on the canon of repentance as handed down in the earliest Slavic-Christian manuscripts, dating back to the sixth century after Christ. The canon symbolizes the change, the transformation from day to night, the Old and New Testament, prophecy and the fulfillment, the here and now and the hereafter. This deals with the human and the divine, weakness and strength, suffering and redemption, mortality and immortality. In this broadcast, ‘Kanon Pokajanen’ is performed by the chamber choir Aquarius. This Flemish chamber choir is a trailblazer where new music and new concert formats are concerned. ‘Kanon Pokajanen’ is a great example of this: the singers are positioned in a circle in the center of a church. This dark church is only lit by candles and the music stand lights. After the choir has entered in procession, they sing for close to two hours. Performed by the Aquarius Choir led by Michael de Smet in 2008.
Debussy's Images Book II & Franck's Violin Sonata
German violinist Christian Tetzlaff and Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi bundle their forces in a concert program featuring works by Claude Debussy and César Franck, recorded at Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin on April 3, 2020. Piemontesi opens with several excerpts from Debussy's Images Book II: 'Cloches à travers les feuilles', 'Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut', and 'Poissons d'or'. After, Piemontesi accompanies Tetzlaff in Franck's Violin sonata in A Major.
Documentary: Gianandrea Noseda
Although the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi applied unsuccessfully to study at the Milan Conservatory, this renowned college of music was eventually named after him. Today, the ‘Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi’ counts numerous successful musicians among its alumni: from Giacomo Puccini, Alfredo Catalani, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Luigi Einaudi and Daniele Gatti, to Gianandrea Noseda. The acclaimed conductor Noseda (*1964) is one of the most important conductors of his generation. Recently, he taught a conducting masterclass at his alma mater for promising students from all over the world. For three days, Noseda joined forces with a hand-picked group of students to work on a varied concert programme. This documentary shows you these young, talented musicians rehearse compositions by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky under the enthusiastic guidance of Maestro Gianandrea Noseda himself.
Villa-Lobos - String Quartet No. 16
Quarteto Radamés Gnattali performs Heitor Villa-Lobos's String Quartet No. 16 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.
Dvorák - Scherzo capriccioso in D♭ major, Op. 66
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.
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.
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.
Gala from Berlin - 2009
At the gala concert of 2009, the Berlin Philharmonic under its musical director Sir Simon Rattle and Lang Lang present works by two Russian composers. The concert starts with a performance of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, one of the composer’s most enduring popular pieces, which demands a virtuoso pianist and a huge supple orchestral sound. Both it gets from the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic and the gifted Chinese piano star Lang Lang. The orchestra continues with ballet music from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, perhaps the most popular of all ballets. The concert concludes a few following encores: Tchaikovsky ‘Waltz of the Snowflakes’ from The Nutcracker and Chopin’s Etude No. 1, Op. 25.
Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances
This concert entitled 'Liszt Mosaics' is dedicated to the rich traditonal of Hungarian Folk Music. The concert opens with a selection of Bartók's 44 Duos for 2 Violins (No. 17, 18, 36 and 44) performed by Shlomo Mintz and Radics Ferenc. Furthermore, Pál Eszter is accompanied by the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble and Cameristi della Scala in vocal performances of Hungarian Folk Music from the Kalotaszeg region. The ensembles conclude the concert by performing Romanian Folk Dances by Bartók, led by musical director István Pál Szalonna. Solo violinist is Agnese Ferraro.
CMIM - Final - John Brancy: Rameau, Verdi
US baritone John Brancy (1988) performs 'Nature, amour, qui partagez mon cœur' from Jean-Philippe Rameau's opera Castor et Pollux, 'Ya vas lyublyu' from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's opera Pique Dame, and 'Per me giunto… O Carlo ascolta' from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Don Carlo, during the Aria division finals of the Concours musical international de Montréal, 2018.
De Falla - El sombrero de tres picos - Suite No. 2
During the New Year’s Gala 2010, the Berlin Philharmonic perform under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel, whose infectious energy and exceptional artistry have made him one of the most sought-after conductors by orchestras and opera companies around the world. They welcome mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, who has become one of the world’s most famous singers within just a few years. On the program are various works by French composers, like Berlioz’ Le Carnival Romain, Overture, Op. 9 and D’Amour l’ardente flamme’ from La Damnation de Faust (Op. 24), Saint-Saëns’ ‘Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix’ and ‘Danse Bacchanale’ from his opera Samson et Dalila and the ‘Habanera’, ‘Seguidilla’ and ‘Chanson Bohème’ from Bizet’s Carmen. The concert concludes with de Falla’s Suite No. 2 from the ballet ‘El sombrero de tres picos’.
Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini
The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia is joined by acclaimed Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky in an interpretation of works by Rachmaninov and George Gershwin. Conductor Konstantin Khvatynets directs this concert, filmed at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. The programme includes George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and 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.
CMIM Piano 2021 - Final: Ying Li
Ying Li (China, 1997) performs Allegro energico, Spring Thaw, and Off-beat Waltz from John Burge’s Twenty-Four Preludes, Johannes Brahms’s Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major, K. 333, during the finals of the 2021 Piano Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). This performance was recorded at Merkin Hall of Kaufman Music Center in New York City, NY, USA.
CMIM Piano 2021 - Final: Dimitri Malignan
Dimitri Malignan (France, 1998) performs J. S. Bach’s Adagio in G major, BWV 968, and Fantasia in C minor, BWV 906, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109, Nikolai Medtner’s Improvisation, Op. 31 No. 1, and La Campanella, Op. 20 No. 2, followed by Bruyères, Général Lavine – Excentric, and Feux d'artifice from Claude Debussy’s Préludes, Book 2, L. 131, and John Burge’s Allegro energico, Spring Thaw, and Off-beat Waltz of the Twenty-Four Preludes, during the finals of the 2021 Piano Edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM). This performance was recorded at Salle Cortot of the École Normale de Musique in Paris, France.
The Burgundian Dukes
The Burgundian Dukes: lovers of music, art, fine dining, beauty, and splendor. But also: tough and strategic power politicians, who were constantly expanding their influence and territory. Four dukes headed the richest court of their time and left their stamp on a period that was nearing its end: the Autumn of the Middle Ages. In the documentary 'The Burgundian Life', humanities professor Frits van Oostrom, conductor Paul Van Nevel, and culinary journalist Onno Kleyn shed light on the lives of the last Dukes of Burgundy.
Classical:NEXT 2019 - Dublin Guitar Quartet
Strange to think that until the formation of The Dublin Guitar Quartet (DGQ) there had never been a guitar ensemble that specialised in contemporary classical music. The quartet consists of Brian Bolger, Pat Brunnock, Tomas O’Durcain, and Chien Buggle. Not deterred by the scarcity of repertoire, the DGQ set about creating their own collection of work by focusing on transcriptions and new commissions. Their performances now boast a dynamic mix of celebrated masterpieces by the likes of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt and Bryce Dessner alongside new commissions by composers such as Nico Muhly, Michael Gordon, and Marc Mellits. During this showcase at Classical:NEXT 2019 in Rotterdam they perform the following program: Aheym by Bryce Dessner, Rachel Grimes' Book of Leaves (“Every Morning,” “My Dear Companion,” “Every Morning,” “Birds”), an arrangement of Philip Glass' Saxophone Quartet movement I and “Changing of the Guard” by Nikita Koshkin.