Thursday, March 30, 2017
Ludwig van Beethoven: Choral Fantasy – Jan Lisiecki, Sinfonia Varsovia, Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir, Grzegorz Nowak (HD 1080p)
Jan Lisiecki performs Ludwig van Beethoven's Choral Fantasy together with Sinfonia Varsovia and Grzegorz Nowak at the 12th International Chopin Festival at the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall on August 19, 2016.
The Choral Fantasy is generally held to be a preliminary study for the 9th Symphony, even though it was composed as early as 1808, namely 16 years earlier. In the Choral Fantasy, Beethoven overcame confines and conventions of both form and orchestration to show the pleasure he derived from tonal experimentation. In contrast to the 9th Symphony, where his composition was stimulated by Schiller's verse, Beethoven was not particularly enthusiastic about the flowery kitsch of Christoph Kuffner's poem. After the first four lines, we already well understand Beethoven's express request for a different text. The piano solo with which the work commences was probably extemporized by the composer at the premiere on 22 December 1808 in Vienna – the art of improvisation was expected of any virtuoso musician of Beethoven's time.
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
♪ Fantasy for piano, choir and orchestra in C minor, Op.80 "Choral Fantasy" (1808)
ii. Finale. Allegro – Meno allegro (Allegretto) – Allegro molto – Adagio ma non troppo – Marcia, assai vivace – Allegro – Allegretto ma non troppo quasi andante con moto – Presto
Jan Lisiecki, piano
Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir
Choir director: Violetta Bielecka
Conductor: Grzegorz Nowak
12th International Music Festival "Chopin and his Europe", Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, August 19, 2016
Just 22, Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki has won acclaim for his extraordinary interpretive maturity, distinctive sound, and poetic sensibility. The New York Times has called him "a pianist who makes every note count". Lisiecki's insightful interpretations, refined technique, and natural affinity for art give him a musical voice that belies his age.
Jan Lisiecki was born to Polish parents in Canada in 1995. He began piano lessons at the age of five and made his concerto debut four years later, while always rebuffing the label of "child prodigy". His approach to music is a refreshing combination of dedication, skill, enthusiasm and a realistic perspective on the career of a musician. "I might be lucky to have talent, but it is also about dedication and hard work", says Jan.
Lisiecki was brought to international attention in 2010, after the Fryderyk Chopin Institute issued a recording of Chopin's Piano Concertos, performed live by Jan at age 13 and 14. BBC Music Magazine wrote of the "mature musicality" of his playing and commended the "sensitively distilled" insights of his Chopin interpretations; the release was awarded the prestigious Diapason Découverte. Confirming his status among the most imaginative and poetic pianists of his generation, Deutsche Grammophon signed an exclusive contract with Jan in 2011, when he was just 15 years old. Lisiecki's first recording for DG, released in 2012, features Mozart's Piano Concertos K.466 and 467. It was followed in 2013 by Chopin's Études Op.10 and 25, praised by Gramophone magazine for being "played as pure music, given as naturally as breathing". His third album was released in January 2016 and features Schumann's works for piano and orchestra, and as ClassicFM wrote, "he may be young but Jan Lisiecki plays Schumann like a legend". In early 2017, Jan Lisiecki's rendition of Chopin's seldom performed works for piano and orchestra with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Krzysztof Urbański will be published by Deutsche Grammophon.
Jan says his aim is to always perform in a way that carries forward the beauty and brilliance of the original work. He has demonstrated that he is capable of rendering compositions remarkably close to the way they were intended. "Going into a concert hall should be like going into a sanctuary. You're there to have a moment of reflection, hopefully leaving feeling different, refreshed and inspired."
In March 2013, Lisiecki substituted at short notice for Martha Argerich, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4 in Bologna with the Orchestra Mozart under Claudio Abbado. He crowned that season with a sensational account of Schumann's Piano Concerto at the BBC Proms. The following year he performed three Mozart concertos in one week with the Philadelphia Orchestra, making his debuts as concerto soloist with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala in Milan, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, and with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. The same season, Jan gave debut recitals at Wigmore Hall, Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and in San Francisco. The pianist's development has taken place in company with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Orchestre de Paris, New York Philharmonic, and BBC Symphony, at venues such as Suntory Hall, the Kennedy, Lincoln, and Barbican Centres, and Royal Albert Hall. Jan has cultivated relationships with prominent conductors including Sir Antonio Pappano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniel Harding, and Pinchas Zukerman.
The remarkable 22-year-old musician made his debut in the main auditorium at New York's Carnegie Hall in January 2016 with Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In its rave review, the New York Times noted that it was an "uncommonly sensitive performance". Other significant dates in his 2015/2016 schedule were performances with the Bamberger Symphoniker in Lucerne, subscription series debuts with the Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and multiple tours, including one of Europe with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, which Jan lead from the piano.
In the 2016/2017 season, Jan will perform extensively across the world. Highlights include a tour with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski and performing in the opening festival of the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg with Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
Foremost radio and television networks in Europe and North America have extensively broadcast Lisiecki's performances, he was also the subject of the CBC National News documentary The Reluctant Prodigy. In 2013 he received the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and was also named as Gramophone magazine's Young Artist of the Year.
Jan is involved in charity work, donating his time and performance to such organizations as the David Foster Foundation, the Polish Humanitarian Organization and the Wish Upon a Star Foundation. In 2012 he was named UNICEF Ambassador to Canada having been a National Youth Representative since 2008.
Jan Lisiecki at Carnegie Hall with Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor – Jan Lisiecki, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Stanisław Skrowaczewski
Frédéric Chopin: Études - Jan Lisiecki (Audio video)
Jan Lisiecki plays Ignacy Paderewski, Johann Sebastian Bach & Frederic Chopin
Frédéric Chopin: Étude Op.10, No.4, in C sharp minor - Jan Lisiecki
Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor – Jan Lisiecki, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano
Frédéric Chopin: 3 Études from Op.25 – Jan Lisiecki
Frédéric Chopin: Waltz in C sharp minor – Jan Lisiecki
Frédéric Chopin: Nocturne in C sharp minor – Jan Lisiecki
Jan Lisiecki – Life and career, Discography, Awards
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major – Alexander Warenberg, Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Judith Kubitz
The young Dutch cellist Alexander Warenberg (b. 1998, Voorburg) plays Dmitri Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107, with Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under τhe German-born, Sorbian musician and conductor Judith Kubitz. Recorded in Concert Hall of the 21st Century in Amsterdam, on October 25, 2016.
Alexander Warenberg has won the National Cello Competition 2016. He also won the Audience Prize. The jury praised his exceptional talent and musicality. Alexander studied with Monique Bartels at the Sweelinck Academy for young talents and the preparatory programme and currently studies in Germany.
The National Cello Competition is inextricably linked to the Cello Biennale Amsterdam. Dutch or in The Netherlands studying cello talent may present themselves in three rounds to an international jury.
The Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107, was composed in 1959 by Dmitri Shostakovich. It is perhaps the most popular 20th Century cello concerto. Shostakovich wrote the work for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich, who committed it to memory in four days and gave the premiere on October 4, 1959, with Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in the Large Hall of the Leningrad Conservatory. The first recording was made in two days following the premiere by Rostropovich and the Moscow Philharmonic, under the baton of Aleksandr Gauk.
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
♪ Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107 (1959)
iii. Cadenza – Attacca
iv. Allegro con moto
Alexander Warenberg, cello
Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam
Conductor: Judith Kubitz
National Cello Competition, Cello Biennale Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Concert Hall of the 21st Century, Amsterdam), October 25, 2016
Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, & Symphony No.1 in F minor | Benjamin Britten: Sinfonietta, Op.1 – Steven Isserlis, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Teodor Currentzis (HD 1080p)
Monday, March 27, 2017
Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor – Truls Mørk, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Edward Gardner (HD 1080p)
The famous Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk plays Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under English conductor Edward Gardner. Recorded in Concertgebouw on January 22, 2017.
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
♪ Cello Concerto in E minor, Op.85 (1919)
i. Adagio – Moderato
ii. Lento – Allegro molto
iv. Allegro – Moderato – Allegro, ma non troppo – Poco più lento – Adagio
Truls Mørk, cello
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Edward Gardner
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, January 22, 2017
Edward Elgar's Concerto for cello and orchestra in E minor, from the year 1919, is the last major work the composer penned (a Third Symphony remained in draft form at his death in 1934). While the instrumental forces remain basically equivalent to those used in the Violin Concerto, Elgar has amplified the tender, searching intimacy of that earlier work to such a degree that one might call the Cello Concerto not just introspective but searing and almost ascetic. It is an exceedingly complex but immediately touching work that makes a fitting epilogue to Elgar's lifetime in music.
The Concerto is poured into a four-movement mold, yet still takes only about half an hour to perform – far less than any of Elgar's other large instrumental works. This restraint is mirrored by remarkably transparent orchestration. The work begins with four bars of solo cello recitative that firmly outline the home key of E minor. The subsequent Moderato entrance of the orchestra offers little immediate support for that key, really winding down to the tonic only after six bars of restless 9/8 melody built on a single rhythmic cell. During the 12/8 middle section Elgar makes good use of the contrast between E minor and E major. A recapitulation of the opening is made, but soon enough the movement has dissolved into a handful of uncertain pizzicati.
Elgar brings back the opening recitative, much altered (and buoyantly beginning where the first movement's pizzicati left off), to begin the following Scherzo. After twice pleading with the orchestra to join its cause, the cello finally rouses the group into an eighth note driven perpetual motion (Allegro molto). Elgar paints a miniature portrait of his own very characteristic lyric style in the relatively brief E flat major second theme.
A wonderful melody in B flat major is sung by the soloist throughout the Adagio third movement. Here Elgar's indebtedness to Schumann, the slow movement of whose own cello concerto also employs this song without words approach, is clearly evident. The life span of this one melodic strand is a bare 60 bars, yet it conveys deeper passion than do five times that many bars of the composer's earlier music. The movement ends on the dominant, paving the way for an attacca opening of the Finale.
After initially falling in with the B flat major of the Adagio, the Finale makes an eight-bar move back to its rightful E minor tonal center. The main idea of the movement (marked, like so many of the composer's favorite thoughts, "nobilmente") is given out first by the soloist in half-recitative and then, after a rude tutti interruption and a brief pause, by the entire ensemble, Allegro non troppo. A second theme recalls both the G major tonality and the impish sentiment of the Scherzo movement. As the Finale draws near its finish, Elgar undertakes an extended and very moving reminiscence: first on the melody of the Adagio movement and then reaching back to the recitative that began the entire half-hour journey. Two terse chords re-energize the movement's fast-twitch muscle fiber, and 16 bars later the curtain comes down.
Source: Blair Johnston (allmusic.com)
Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk is particularly noted for his romantic, emotional approach. His parents were professional musicians; his father was a cellist, and his mother a pianist. His parents taught him first, trying him on the piano and violin before John Mørk decided to teach Truls his own instrument, the cello. Truls liked the instrument because of its larger size, and insisted on starting his studies with the Bach Cello Suite No. 1 and the Brahms E minor Cello Sonata. "This turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be", he says, but he kept working at it. He says his father did not push him for fear that he would practice too much and become a musician.
At the age of 17, Mørk began studying with Frans Helmerson. Later he studied with Austrian cellist Heinrich Schiff, then in Moscow with Natalia Shakhovskaya, a pupil of Mstislav Rostropovich, whom Mørk had admired for his broad range of color and his flexible, melodic use of vibrato. Mørk dislikes the German style of even vibrato, which, he says, drains the music of its vitality.
In 1982 at the age of 21, Mørk became the first Scandinavian to win the International Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition. He also won the Naumberg Competition in New York in 1986, the Cassado Cello Competition in Florence in 1983, and the UNESCO Prize at the European Radio-Union Competition in Bratislava.
His international touring career commenced in 1989 when he was selected to travel with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons on their 1994 North American tour. Since then he has appeared with many of the world's best-known orchestras and conductors, in both evergreen concertos and in new works by composers such as Pavel Haas, Krzysztof Penderecki, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, and Einojuhani Rautavaara.
Mørk is also an active chamber musician and appears frequently in festivals throughout the world. He was the founder of the International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, which he directed for its first 13 years.
Mørk plays a rare 1723 Domenico Montagnana cello purchased for him by the SR Bank.
Source: Joseph Stevenson (allmusic.com)
Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.2 – Truls Mørk, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Francois Xavier Roth
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major | Igor Stravinsky: Les Noces – Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Nadine Koutcher, MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis (Download 96kHz/24bit)
Testament to the versatility and musical command that Teodor Currentzis and his unique orchestra and choir possess, this new album brings together two diverse masterworks from two titans of Russian music. Although they have been acquainted for a long time prior, this recording represents the first musical collaboration between Teodor Currentzis and the exceptional violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The instant artistic rapport (an "artistic wedding" of sorts) between these two maverick musicians can be heard in this dynamic new recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto – one of the most popular works in the violin repertory. Currentzis' authentic approach to the folk influences in Stravinsky's music (as revealed in Le Sacre du Printemps) is again very present in his interpretation of Les Noces. This work for percussion, pianists, chorus, and vocal soloists – originally composed as ballet music – is probably one of Stravinsky's most rarely recorded works. The work is based on a Russian peasant wedding, which the cover artwork references. Exceptional to this new recording is that the MusicAeterna choir members are all native-Russian speakers who bring another level of understanding and authenticity to the work. After her prominent participation in the "Rameau – The Sound of Light" recording, Nadine Koutcher – freshly crowned "2015 Cardiff Singer of the Year" – returns to sing the leading soprano solo part in Les Noces.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
♪ Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1878)
i. Allegro moderato
ii. Canzonetta. Andante
iii. Finale. Allegro vivacissimo
Patricia Kopatchinskaja, violin
Conductor: Teodor Currentzis
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
♪ Les Noces (1922)
4. Scene 1: The Tresses (At the Brides’s House) 04:59
5. Scene 2: At the Bridegroom’s House 05:44
6. Scene 3: The Departure of the Bride 02:48
7. Scene 4: The Wedding Feast
Nadine Koutcher, soprano
Natalya Buklaga, mezzo-soprano
Stanislav Leontieff, tenor
Vasiliy Korostelev, bass
Chorus Masters: Vitaly Polonsky, Arina Zvereva
Pianists: Mikhail Mordvinov, Artem Abashev, Alexander Osminin, Oksana Pislegina
Percussion: Nikolay Dulskiy, Roman Romashkin, Igor Grishkin, Andrey Nikitin, Vladislav Osipov, Vadim Yashin, Alibek Kabdurakhmanov
Conductor: Teodor Currentzis
Recordings: P. I. Tchaikovsky State Opera and Ballet Theater, Perm, April 27 - May 1, 2014 (Tchaikovsky); Teatro Real, Madrit, October 24, 25 & 27, 2013 (Stravinsky)
Sony Classical 2016
Photos by Aleksey Romanov Nikolaevich
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Download links: Part 1 & Part 2
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Marrying Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Les noces makes for a bizarre mismatch. Teodor Currentzis and his Perm orchestra MusicAeterna are on pungent form in the Stravinsky, a worthy successor to their terrific recent Rite of Spring (11/15). Indeed, it would have made a more sensible coupling there, as Sony issued The Rite all by itself. Rhythms are accented with punch and there’s a feel of Old Russia about the way the chorus intones the toasts of the final wedding tableaux. In this version for four pianos and percussion, the singers include the excellent Nadine Koutcher, winner of the 2014 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. No texts are provided, alas, for this wedding breakfast.
Take a closer look at the black and white wedding photo which adorns the cover, however, and you spy Currentzis and Patricia Kopatchinskaja as the happy couple. Kopatchinskaja is the soloist for Tchaikovsky's Concerto and the booklet features a pair of quirky billets-doux between them in which they expound their musical philosophies and, in particular, her route into "understanding" a concerto that had often felt alien to her.
I'm a huge admirer of Kopatchinskaja and Currentzis as risk-takers. Inevitably, there are going to be times when those risks don't come off. Alas, this is one of those occasions. First violins immediately signal what's in store – stealing in very softly, with crotchets played like quavers, giving a clipped, businesslike statement. Kopatchinskaja's opening phrase doesn't swell to a forte and the theme is whispered on the lightest bow-hair. Yes, Tchaikovsky asks for piano playing, but he also asks for dolce, and sweetness is definitely missing from this glassy, scratchy introduction. At best, it could be described as skittish.
Every time things pick up – fireworks erupt when Kopatchinskaja hits her stride at 4'47" – something else comes along to dampen any mounting enthusiasm. She daintily tiptoes over the score when a mezzo-forte is called for and the cadenza contains much sul ponticello playing and chirruping high quavers, more Bartók than Tchaikovsky.
Lovely woodwind-playing opens the Canzonetta. Kopatchinskaja plays con sordino, but it is far too quiet, more akin to crooning. She tests the bounds of audibility in her dialogue with the clarinet and oboe in the finale (tr 3, 2'40") and drags back the tempo. Swollen notes and slurs in the solo line give the impression of a drunken Cossack, although Currentzis draws steely pizzicatos and stamps from his strings to really make this movement dance.
In short, this amounts to a total rethinking of Tchaikovsky's Concerto and you may well find it more to your taste than mine. If you are able to sample this disc, the first two minutes will tell you all you need to know.
Source: Mark Pullinger (gramophone.co.uk)
Iconoclastic conductor Teodor Currentzis and his MusicAeterna orchestra, way out in Perm (the hometown of Diaghilev, among others), are never dull in the least, and Currentzis deserves credit for rethinking Mozart, Rameau, and other music of the 18th century in fundamental ways. His Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35, isn't dull, either, but with Tchaikovsky he enters a terrain where performance traditions have come down directly from the original performers of the music, and he disregards them. Reactions to this music are going to depend on the original, and the magic of Internet sampling will pretty quickly let you determine whether you find it brilliantly original or hopelessly idiosyncratic: in the first movement, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja enters quietly, in the manner of a strolling violinist. It's hard to imagine that Tchaikovsky would have felt this made any sense, but it hangs together on its own terms as Kopatchinskaja explodes into fireworks soon enough. The graphics emphasize a kind of spiritual meeting of the minds between conductor and soloist, and this is actually conveyed in this music and gives it a hard-to-pin-down positive X factor. Elsewhere, Kopatchinskaja continues to flirt with dynamic extremes, which is arguably in the general spirit of Tchaikovsky even if not of this particular work. So: there's a lot to chew on here, but be sure you know what you're getting into. The punchy performances of Stravinsky's Les Noces is another plus, although pairing it with the Tchaikovsky may well be taken as another example of Currentzis' propensity for the outrageous. A worthwhile outing from one of the most controversial conductors of the 2010s.
Source: James Manheim (allmusic.com)
Teodor Currentzis is the Artistic Director of the Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Artistic Director of the ensemble MusicAeterna and of the MusicAeterna Chamber Choir, both formed in 2004, during his tenure as Music Director of the Novosibirsk State Opera and Orchestra (2004-2010).
MusicAeterna, now resident in Perm, has been granted the status of the first orchestra of Perm State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. In 2016-2017, Teodor will travel across Europe with MusicAeterna, touring semi-staged performances of Purcell's The Indian Queen, as well as a programmes of music by Rameau, Mozart and Beethoven. He will also debut at Salzburg Festival with MusicAeterna in a new production of La clemenza di Tito. More European dates follow in 2016, including appearances with Camerata Salzburg and a new production of Mozart's Entfuhrung aus dem Serail with Zurich Opera. As an Artistic Partner of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Teodor will join with the orchestra on tour with Pekka Kuusisto, Barbara Hannigan and MusicAeterna Choir. Further highlights include performances with Vienna Symphony and Patricia Kopatchinskaja.
Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna are exclusive Sony artists and this year will release the final disc of the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy, Don Giovanni. Earlier this year, they released a disc of Stravinsky's Les Noces and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, with Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Previous recordings include Shostakovich's Symphony No.14, Mozart's Requiem and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas all on the Alpha label and the Shostakovich Piano Concertos with Alexander Melnikov and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra on the Harmonia Mundi label.
In 2016, the ECHO Klassik for "Symphonic Recording (20th/21st century music)" was awarded to Teodor and MusicAeterna, for their recording of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps released on Sony Classical. Teodor was also nominated along with his brother, Vangelino Currentzis, for a daytime Emmy Award, in the category of Outstanding Music Direction and Composition, for the recording and composition of the soundtrack of the Europeon Games opening ceremony in Baku, 2002. Since 2005, Teodor has received Russia's prestigious Golden Mask theatrical award many times, most recently in 2015 together with the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre he received five awards for Indian Queen including Best Opera Conductor. In 2013 the Theatre received four Awards, two of which for Best Opera Conductor and Best Ballet Conductor. Previous awards include the Best Opera Conductor award (Wozzeck, Bolshoi 2009), for a "brilliant performance of Prokofiev's score" (Cinderella, 2007) and for "outstanding results in the area of authentic performance" (The Marriage of Figaro, 2008).
In 2006, combining his knowledge and passion for early music with contemporary composers and new music, Teodor started the Territoria Modern Art Festival, which in a short space of time has become the most prestigious and progressive annual music festival in Moscow. For the past three years, Teodor has also curated the Diaghilev Festival, held in the home of the composer's birth town in Russia.
Born in Greece, Russia has become Teodor's home since the beginning of the 1990s, when he began studying conducting at the state conservatory of St Petersburg, under the tutelage of Professor Ilya Musin, whose pupils, among others, were renowned conductors Odyseuss Dimitriadis, Valery Gergiev, and Semyon Bychkov.
Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, & Symphony No.1 in F minor | Benjamin Britten: Sinfonietta, Op.1 – Steven Isserlis, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Teodor Currentzis (HD 1080p)
Friday, March 24, 2017
Hector Berlioz: Roméo et Juliette (Scène d'amour) | Gabriel Prokofiev: Saxophone Concerto | Sergei Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite – Branford Marsalis, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Andrey Boreyko – Friday, March 24, 2017, 08:00 PM EDT (UTC-4) / Saturday, March 25, 2017, 02:00 AM EET (UTC+2) – Live on Livestream
An incredible musical legacy inspires a new generation! Dynamic Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko leads Sergei Prokofiev's timeless suite from Romeo and Juliet, plus the spectacular premiere of composer/DJ Gabriel Prokofiev's Saxophone Concerto performed by the great Branford Marsalis.
Gabriel Prokofiev's Saxophone Concerto commissioned by Naples Philharmonic and the DSO.
Friday, March 24, 2017, 08:00 PM EDT (UTC-4)
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 02:00 AM EET (UTC+2)
Live on Livestream
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)
♪ Roméo et Juliette, H 79 (1839)
vi. Scène d'amour (Love scene)
Gabriel Prokofiev (b. 1975)
♪ Saxophone Concerto (2016) (DSO premiere)
Branford Marsalis, alto saxophone
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
♪ Romeo and Juliet Suite (1935)
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Andrey Boreyko
Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit
Friday, March 24, 2017, 08:00 PM EDT (UTC-4)
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 02:00 AM EET (UTC+2)
Live on Livestream
Known for his skills on the saxophone, Branford Marsalis is a jazz musician who has won three Grammy Awards, worked on acclaimed albums and toured around the world.
Born in Louisiana in 1960, Branford Marsalis followed his father into the world of jazz, as did three of his five younger brothers. A brilliantly innovative saxophonist, Marsalis has worked with brother Wynton, Sting, Miles Davis and many other musicians. From 1992 to 1995, he served as musical director of Jay Leno's Tonight Show. In 2002, he founded his own music label, Marsalis Music.
Branford Marsalis was born on August 26, 1960, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. The eldest of six brothers, he grew up in New Orleans in a musical family that was led by his pianist father, Ellis Marsalis. Though he wasn't into jazz in high school – instead playing in an R&B band – Branford would go on to become a noted jazz musician, as would three of his brothers.
After studying at the Berklee College of Music, Branford began his professional career playing the baritone saxophone with Art Blakey's big band in 1980. The following year, Branford and his brother, Wynton Marsalis, both played in Blakey's Jazz Messengers, with Branford moving on to the alto sax.
Branford joined Wynton's quintet in 1982. In this group, he played tenor and soprano sax, the instruments that would define the rest of his career. Branford soon released his first album, Scenes In the City (1984). On other recordings, he partnered with legendary musicians like Miles Davis (1984's Decoy) and Dizzy Gillespie (1984's New Faces).
In 1985, Branford left Wynton's quintet in order to work with Sting. The departure caused problems between the two brothers, though they later mended fences. Branford contributed to The Dream of the Blue Turtles, Sting's first solo endeavor. He credits his work with Sting with helping him learn how to effectively end his jazz solos, thus making them more powerful.
In 1986, Branford created the Branford Marsalis Quartet with pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Bob Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. He also started to work in films, appearing in Throw Momma From the Train (1987) and School Daze (1988), and composing the soundtrack for Mo' Better Blues (1990). However, it was signing on to be the musical director for Jay Leno's Tonight Show in 1992 that made Branford a national celebrity.
Even while working on other projects, Branford continued to put out music. In 1993, he won his first Grammy for I Heard You Twice The First Time, an album whose guests included B.B. King and Linda Hopkins. With Bruce Hornsby, Branford won another Grammy in 1994 for "Barcelona Mona". That same year, he formed Buckshot LeFonque, a group whose goal was to combine jazz and hip-hop.
In 1995, Branford left the Tonight Show, ostensibly because he wanted to spend more time with his son and be able to tour more often. However, leaving the job was likely a relief, as he reportedly didn't enjoy the requisite late-night banter or the type of music he was asked to perform. The decision did not seem to hurt his music career; Branford and the other members of his quartet won a Grammy Award for the album Contemporary Jazz (2000).
Though he had been recording with Columbia since 1983, Branford left them and started his own label, Marsalis Music, in 2002. Performers for Marsalis Music have included Harry Connick Jr. and Miguel Zenón. Branford also continues to tour, appearing in venues that range from clubs to concert halls. He added Broadway to his resume when he composed the music for the 2010 revival of August Wilson's Fences.
After Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, Branford contributed to fundraising efforts and worked to create a music center in the city's Upper Ninth Ward. He has also taught students at institutions such as San Francisco State, Michigan State and North Carolina Central.
In 2011, Branford, Ellis, Wynton and the other two jazz musicians in the Marsalis family – Delfeayo and Jason – were named "Jazz Masters" by the National Endowment for the Arts. It was the first group award for the program, and an indication of how great an impact Branford and his family have had in the world of jazz.
Russian conductor Andrey Boreyko is one of the most exciting and dynamic conductors to emerge from Eastern Europe in recent years. In addition to his post as Music Director of Orchestre National de Belgique, in 2014 he began his tenure as Music Director of the Naples Philharmonic in Florida. Additionally, he holds the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi.
A passionate advocate for less widely-known works, Boreyko conducted the much anticipated world premiere of Górecki' s Symphony No.4 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the US premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Current and future European highlights include appearances with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Gothenburg Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Netherlands and Warsaw philharmonic orchestras. Also in Europe he has conducted orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Münchner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Wiener Symphoniker, Filharmonica della Scala, Royal Concertgebouw, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, London Symphony, the Philharmonia and Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Equally in demand in North America, he has worked with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Toronto, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. 2016/2017 sees re-invitations to the Toronto and Detroit Symphony orchestras and appearances at both the Aspen and Ravinia Festivals – the latter with the Chicago Symphony.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Richard Strauss: Don Quixote – Pablo Ferrández, Francisco Regozo, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Dennis Russell Davies (HD 1080p)
The award-winning Spanish cellist Pablo Ferrández plays Richard Strauss's Don Quixote with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia under the baton of internationally acclaimed American conductor Dennis Russell Davies. The viola is played by Francisco Regozo. The work was performed in the Palacio de la Ópera de A Coruña, on November 7, 2014.
Ο βραβευμένος σε πολλούς σημαντικούς μουσικούς διαγωνισμούς, 25χρονος Ισπανός βιολοντσελίστας Pablo Ferrández ερμηνεύει το έργο του Ρίχαρντ Στράους, «Δον Κιχώτης». Τον συνοδεύει ο βιολίστας Francisco Regozo. Τη Συμφωνική Ορχήστρα της Γαλικίας διευθύνει ο διεθνούς φήμης Αμερικανός μαέστρος Dennis Russell Davies. Η συναυλία δόθηκε στο Palacio de la Ópera, στην πόλη Α Κορούνια της Ισπανίας, στις 7 Νοεμβρίου 2014.
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
♪ Don Quixote, Romance in F major for cello and orchestra, Op.35, TrV 184 (1897)
i. Introduktion. Mäßiges Zeitmaß / Don Quixote Sinks into Madness
ii. Thema. Mäßig / The Knight of the Doleful Countenance
iii. Maggiore / Sancho Pansa
iv. Variation 1. Gemächlich / The Adventure of the Windmills
v. Variation 2. Kriegerisch / The Battle with the Sheep
vi. Variation 3. Mäßiges Zeitmaß / Dialogue of Knight and Squire
vii. Variation 4. Etwas breiter / The Adventure with the Procession of Penitents
viii. Variation 5. Sehr langsam / Don Quixote's Vigil
ix. Variation 6. Schnell / Dulcinea's Enchantment
x. Variation 7. Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher / The Ride through the Air
xi. Variation 8. Gemächlich / The Adventure of the Enchanted Boat
xii. Variation 9. Schnell und Stürmisch / The Contest with the Magicians
xiii. Variation 10. Viel breiter / Joust with the Knight of the White Moon; The Defeated Don Quixote's Journey Home
xiv. Finale. Sehr ruhig / The Death of Don Quixote
Pablo Ferrández, cello
Francisco Regozo, viola
Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies
Palacio de la Ópera, A Coruña, November 7, 2014
The German composer and conductor Richard Strauss represents a remarkable extension of the work of Liszt and Wagner in the symphonic poems of his early career. Born in Munich, the son of a distinguished horn-player and his second wife, a member of a rich brewing family, he had a sound general education at there, while studying music under teachers of obvious distinction. Before he left school in 1882 he had already enjoyed some success as a composer, continued during his brief period at Munich University with the composition of concertos for violin and for French horn and a sonata for cello and piano. By the age of twenty-one he had been appointed assistant conductor to the well-known orchestra at Meiningen under Hans von Bülow, whom he succeeded in the following year.
In 1886 Strauss resigned from Meiningen and began the series of tone-poems that seemed to extend to the utmost limit the extra-musical content of the form. The first of these works, Aus Italien (From Italy), was followed by Macbeth, Dan Juan, Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration) and, after a gap of a few years, Till Eulenspiegel, Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra), Don Quixote and Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life). Meanwhile Strauss was establishing his reputation as a conductor, directing the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for a season and taking appointments in Munich and then at the opera in Berlin, where he later became Court Composer.
The new century brought a renewed attention to opera, after earlier relative failure. Salome in Dresden in 1905 was followed in 1909 by Elektra, the start of a continuing collaboration with Hugo von Hoffmannsthal. Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose), a romantic opera set in the Vienna of Mozart, was staged at the Court Opera in Dresden in 1911, followed by ten further operas, ending only with Capriccio, mounted at the Staatsoper in Munich in 1942. His final years were clouded by largely unfounded accusations of collaboration with the musical policies of the Third Reich and after 1945 he withdrew for a time to Switzerland, returning to his own house at Garmisch only four months before his death in 1949.
Don Quixote, Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character, was written in 1897 and first performed on 8th March the following year in Cologne at the Gürzenich under Franz Wüllner. The work is the whimsical counterpart of Ein Heldenleben, first performed a year later. Don Quixote was not originally conceived as a concerto and the solo cello part was at first intended for the leader of the cello section. Eventually, however, Strauss conceded the part to a soloist, in view of the technical demands it made and the prominence of the instrument through much of the work.
The picaresque novel by Miguel Cervantes, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Moncha, was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. A simple country gentleman has his head turned by reading too many romantic tales of chivalry and misguidedly sets out as a knight errant, dedicated to the righting of wrongs. The book itself has been seen most as a criticism of contemporary romances of chivalry and, indeed, of the pastoral romance, offering at the same time a contrast between the real and the ideal, the reality of Don Quixote's actual world and that of his imagination. There is humour and pathos in Don Quixote himself, his delusions and his nobility of Intention. On his second expedition he is accompanied by Sancho Panza as his squire, a villager who combines a degree of common sense and sententiousness with care for his master.
The Introduction at first offers three themes associated with the protagonist. The first, marked ritterlich und galant (knightly and gallant) is introduced by the woodwind. Second violins and violas follow with Don Quixote the courteous gentleman and a descending clarinet figure introduces a glimpse of his way of thinking. The violas continue with his reading of romances of chivalry, leading to an oboe theme suggesting courtly love for a noble mistress and muted trumpets reflect a challenge to rescue her from dangers suggested by the monsters of the lower register brass and strings. Their idealised love dissolves, as delusion follows delusion in a contrapuntal complexity of motifs and themes. The theme of Don Quixote, the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance, is now stated by the solo cello, with the help of the solo violin, a sorrowful transformation of the opening material. This is followed by Sancho Panza, with a rustic bass clarinet and tenor tuba, a chatterbox solo viola and a sententious conclusion, three aspects of his character.
The first variation depicts the adventure of the windmills. Don Quixote sees on the plain below some thirty or forty windmills which he takes for giants and resolves to attack, in spite of Sancho Panza's assurance that these are windmills and that what Don Quixote thinks are arms are their sails, turning in the wind. The knight falls at the first encounter with a sail that shatters his lance, leading him to believe that the giants had been transformed by a wicked magician. The second variation represents the adventure of the sheep in which Don Quixote, represented now by three cellos, sees clouds of dust approaching from each side, clearly the opposing armies of the Emperor Alifanfaron and of Pentapolin of the Bare Arm. Even Sancho is persuaded that these are not the flocks of sheep they seem, bleating in the woodwind, with the dust cloud of the violas and the pipes of the shepherds. The disastrous conclusion of the episode is omitted. The third variation brings a conversation between Sancho and his master, the earthy common sense of one contrasted with the quixotic love of knight errantry of which the squire is almost persuaded. The fourth variation finds Don Quixote set on rescuing a supposed lady in distress, in fact a statue of the Madonna carried by a procession of penitents. Provoked, one of the bearers aims a blow at the knight, who falls to the ground, apparently dead, mourned by Sancho as the flower of chivalry, as the procession moves on. The meditative fifth variation finds Don Quixote, at the start of his adventures, keeping vigil over his sword and armour, and thinking of his imagined lady, the peasant girl to whom he would give the title of Dulcinea del Toboso. In the sixth variation Don Quixote attempts to pay his respects to his supposed Dulcinea, a country girl, apparently bewitched and transformed. Sancho, however, assures his master that this is his lady. They are entertained in the seventh variation by the Duke and Duchess, who convince both squire and master, blindfold, that they are traveling on a flying horse to save from enchantment the Afflicted Waiting-Woman, to the amusement of the whole court. The eighth variation is the adventure of the enchanted boat, in which they find a boat moored by the river-bank and allow it to take them downstream, to some great exploit, but in fact to a weir, from which millers, earlier supposed to be devils, rescue them, an outcome for which Sancho gives thanks in a final prayer. From earlier in the book comes the adventure in which Don Quixote attacks two Benedictine monks, whom he takes for magicians, providing the excitement of the ninth variation. The final variation brings Don Quixote almost to his senses, when Sampson Carrasco disguises himself as the Knight of the White Moon, engaging Don Quixote in combat and defeating him, persuading him to spend a year of relative repose as a shepherd rather than a knight errant. The tale ends with the final illness and death of the hero, as earlier events are recalled in relative tranquility.
Strauss wrote his Romance for cello and orchestra in the summer of 1883, dedicating it to his uncle, Anton, Ritter von Knözinger, Chief Public Prosecutor in Munich. The work was also arranged for cello and piano and in one form or another received some contemporary exposure in performances by the cellist Hans Wihan, to whom Strauss dedicated his Cello Sonata of the same year. It is scored for woodwind, strings and solo cello, and opens with a singing cello melody, framing a more dramatic central section.
Source: Keith Anderson (naxos.com)
Ως «φανταστικές παραλλαγές πάνω σε ένα θέμα ιπποτικού χαρακτήρα» είχε περιγράψει ο Ρίχαρντ Στράους το έκτο κατά σειρά συμφωνικό του ποίημα, «Δον Κιχώτης», έργο 35, το οποίο βέβαια εμπνεύστηκε από το ομώνυμο μυθιστόρημα του Θερβάντες. Το συνέθεσε το 1897, ενώ εργαζόταν ως πρώτος αρχιμουσικός στην Όπερα του Μονάχου. Η πρεμιέρα του έργου δόθηκε τον Μάρτιο του 1898 στην Κολωνία, από την Ορχήστρα Gürzenich, υπό τη μουσική διεύθυνση του Φραντς Βύλνερ.
Σκοπός του Στράους είναι η «σπουδή» πάνω στους κεντρικούς ήρωες του αριστουργήματος του Θερβάντες: τον Δον Κιχώτη (ο οποίος εκπροσωπείται από το σόλο βιολοντσέλο), τον ακόλουθό του, τον αφελή Σάντσο Πάνθα (που εκπροσωπείται από τη σόλο βιόλα με τη συνδρομή του μπάσου κλαρινέτου και της τούμπας), και την αγαπημένη του ονειροπόλου ιππότη, Δουλτσινέα (σόλο όμποε). Το έργο αποτελείται από τρεις ενότητες: Εισαγωγή, Θέμα με παραλλαγές, και Φινάλε.
Recently awarded the coveted ICMA 2016 "Young Artist of the Year", and prizewinner at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition and at the V Paulo International Cello Competition, Pablo Ferrández announces himself as a musician of stature. His emotional intensity and personality on stage have wowed audiences around the globe.
Praised by his authenticity and hailed by the critics as "one of the top cellists" (Rémy Louis, Diapason Magazine), the 25-year-old Pablo Ferrández continues building a brilliant career through collaborations with international renowned artists and world leading orchestras.
He has appeared as a soloist with the Mariinsky Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Kremerata Baltica, Helsinki Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, Mexico National Symphony Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, RTVE Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and collaborated with such artists as Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Adam Fischer, Heinrich Schiff, Dennis Russell Davies, John Storgårds, Gidon Kremer, Ivry Gitlis and Anne-Sophie Mutter.
An avid chamber musician, Pablo is frequently invited to international festivals such as Verbier, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Intonations Festival, La Folle Journée, Casals, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Spivakov, Piatigorsky, Kronberg, Santander, and the Rheingau Music Festival, where Pablo Ferrández was awarded with the Music Festival Award 2015. Ferrández has recently appeared in recital at the Louvre Museum in Paris, at the Palau de la Música de Barcelona, and at the Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid, obtaining rave reviews.
A captivating performer with a compelling technique, he is described as "an inspirational and expressive soloist who always places his skills at the service of the composer. Personal vanity is alien to Ferrández" (Rheingau Festival Award Jury).
Pablo Ferrández recorded his first CD, featuring Dvorak and Schumann cello concertos, with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Radoslaw Szulc, which was received with great acclaim: "Pablo Ferrández is a fine performer, with a warm tone and an impulsive, if refined, lyricism that makes him a natural interpreter for Schumann's Concerto, with its melancholic elegance and flashes of mercurial wit" (Tim Ashley, The Guardian), "It is in Dvorak that Ferrández announces himself as a cellist of stature" and "(he) manages to play with huge emotion while still keeping his interpretation light and free from overindulgence" (Janet Banks, The Strad).
Ferrández is proud of his long-standing artistic friendship with Gidon Kremer, one of his major supporters. Pablo's second recording featured Italian works by Rossini and Menotti with the Kremerata Baltica, conducted by Heinrich Schiff.
Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include his debut at the Berliner Philharmonie with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the appereance with BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena, collaborations with Christoph Eschenbach playing Schumann's Cello Concerto with the HR-Sinfonieorchester and the Spanish National Symphony, the return to Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Zubin Mehta, recitals at Schloss Elmau and the Mariinsky Theater, a European tour with Kremerata Baltica and Gidon Kremer, appearances at the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival and the Rostropovich Festival, debuts with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Castilla y Leon Symphony, Gran Canaria Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Estonian National Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica Brasileira, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the performance of Brahms' Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Born in Madrid in 1991, in a family of musicians, Pablo Ferrández joined the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía when he was 13 to study with Natalia Shakhovskaya. After that he completed his studies at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson.
Pablo Ferrández plays the Stradivarius "Lord Aylesford" (1696) thanks to the Nippon Music Foundation.