Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra
Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Deer's Cry – William Byrd, Arvo Pärt, Thomas Tallis – The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)






















Whilst coming from very different eras, William Byrd and Arvo Pärt are both considered masters of sacred music despite having faced considerable persecution for their work. This programme presents six of William Byrd's works from the Cantiones sacrae including the monumental Tribue, Domine, and the mighty eight-voice motet Ad Dominum cum tribularer. Also featured are works by Thomas Tallis including Miserere nostri which is now believed to have been written in collaboration with Byrd. The three works by Arvo Pärt speak in his unmistakable voice, with its unique blend of ancient and modern, and include his mesmerising Nunc dimittis which is crafted in his bell-like "tintinnabuli" style.



A lthough separated by over four centuries, the music of William Byrd and Arvo Pärt makes for a perfect match. Both spent many years facing adversity and persecution and both sought solace through their sacred music.

Byrd's later life was lived under constant threat of religious persecution – a devout Catholic and, moreover, a practising Catholic in a country where only the Anglican faith could be celebrated. However, Queen Elizabeth I not only loved music but also possessed a private empathy for Catholicism and in 1575 she granted a patent to William Byrd (now in his 30s) and the aged Tallis to publish music. The result was Cantiones sacrae, containing 17 pieces by each of them. Six of the works included in this programme come from this collection, the most monumental of which is Tribue, Domine. Its long text comes from the book of Meditations attributed to St Augustine, and Byrd treats us not only to a variety of vocal combinations, but also clear codes to his unswerving Catholic faith. In Ad Dominum cum tribularer the urgent words of the psalmist are heard: "I speak peace to them and they clamour for war" (Ego pacem loquebar et illi bellum conclamabant), while in Tribue, Domine Byrd portrays the word "kingdom" (imperium) with a certain triumphalism.

Pärt spent most of his life in Soviet-controlled Estonia – remember, it was not until the summer of 1994 that the last Russian troops withdrew from that country. For the young Pärt it all seemed normal. "We had what we had... it wasn't until I was older that I began to appreciate what it was to live in the Soviet Union, everything enclosed or forbidden." In 1979 Pärt and his family acquired exit visas to leave the Soviet Union and moved to Berlin; it was around this time that he began to experiment with tintinnabulation – which is what? Perhaps best for Pärt himself to explain: "it is an area I sometimes wander into when I am searching for answers – in my life, my music, my work. Here I am alone with silence. I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements – with one voice, with two voices. I build with the most primitive materials – with the triad. The three notes of the triad are like bells. And that is why I called it tintinnabulation".

The result is music where the text has total clarity but is highly charged in a very specific manner. Pärt's setting of the Nunc dimittis is at times tender and serene – "for mine eyes have seen thy salvation" (quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum) but then bursts out into exhilarating joy at "a light to lighten the gentiles" (lumen ad revelationem gentium). The Woman with the Alabaster Box is even more extraordinary, with Jesus' words eloquently delivered and made even more powerful by the silences.

Unlike Byrd, Pärt did not write for the liturgy, but that does not mean his music is any less sacred – far from it. I have no doubt his music will resonate for years to come just as Byrd's has done for centuries.

Harry Christophers


Harry Christophers & The Sixteen (Photo: Molina Visuals)















The Deer's Cry

1. William Byrd (c.1540-1623): Diliges Dominum
2. William Byrd: Christe qui lux es et dies
3. Arvo Pärt (b.1935): The Deer's Cry
4. William Byrd: Emendemus in melius
5. Arvo Pärt: The Woman with the Alabaster Box
6. William Byrd: Miserere mihi, Domine
7. William Byrd: Ad Dominum cum tribularer
8. Thomas Tallis/William Byrd: Miserere nostri
9. Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585): When Jesus went
10. William Byrd: O lux beata Trinitas
11. Arvo Pärt: Nunc dimittis
12. William Byrd: Laetentur coeli
13. William Byrd: Tribue, Domine

The Sixteen
Conductor: Harry Christophers

Church of St Augustine, Kilburn, London, October 26-28, 2015

The Sixteen Productions 2016

First publication: June 27, 2017 / Last update: January 23, 2019


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The Sixteen (Photo: Molina Visuals)
















The music of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b.1935) speaks in ancient accents, shot through with flashes of modernity. Lean, pure, and fired by the enduring tenets of the Christian faith, it shuns everything romantic, and instead hints at arcane rituals acted out in solemn ways. Its medieval quality means that Pärt combines supremely well with genuinely old music, and some thrilling combinations can be imagined. Pärt and Pérotin; Pärt and Machaut; Pärt and Ockeghem; Pärt and Josquin. For this recording, Harry Christophers has aligned Pärt with two Tudor composers, Thomas Tallis (d.1585) and William Byrd (d.1623), a pairing made all the more apt by Harry's choice of some English works that are themselves composed rigorously according to logic and rule, or address the fusion of old with new. Here, Tallis and Byrd meet Pärt on common ground.

There are times when a composer may concern himself with aspects of craft that are hard or even impossible for the listener to follow. Audiences find this puzzling, and deem such works to be cryptic and mathematical. If music is by definition sound – humanly organized sound – then why organize sounds in such ways that the listener is excluded? The point is neatly made by this disc's opening work, Byrd's eight-voice motet Diliges Dominum. If you have the means to do so, try playing this track backwards, and you will find that, words apart, it sounds the same as it does forwards. The piece is a perfect palindrome, yet no one could possibly know that from performance alone. Our brains cannot process temporal symmetry in the way we instantly see visual symmetry.

Why, then, was this weird work written? At least three answers come to mind. First, Byrd composed it because he could. If carefully chosen, chordal sequences and melodies will work both forwards and backwards, and Byrd must have loved the challenge of working this out for himself. Second, he wrote this crabcanon for the delight of the eight singers who, using Byrd's original notation, must read from only four melodic lines. Four of them sing these melodies forwards, the other four sing them backwards; and by doing so, their eyes unlock the work's musical conceit. But Byrd's third reason for composing this piece may be the most important, for he placed it in a book that ensured its readership across Europe. In 1575, Byrd and Tallis jointly published a collection of motets called Cantiones sacrae ("Sacred songs"). It was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, and it was explicitly made for export, to display the brilliance of Tudor culture to the outside world. Small wonder, then, that both Tallis and Byrd do some musical showing off in these motets.

The most breathtaking piece in the 1575 book is the one placed at its end: the sevenvoice Miserere nostri (track 8). Usually this work is credited to Tallis alone, but more likely it is by Tallis and Byrd, the two men working collaboratively: first four voices composed by Byrd, then three more added by Tallis. The strange beauty of this piece hints that something arcane lurks under its sonorous surface, and indeed it does – but it can only be grasped by viewing the piece from the singer's perspective, since it too is concerned with sight as well as sound. Just three notated lines are needed to convey this work's seven-voice polyphony, two of them bearing instructions (or "canons") telling how they must be deciphered. The first melody, attributed to Byrd in the 1575 Cantiones sacrae, is to be read by four lowvoice singers, all starting on the same note at the same time. The first of them sings the line exactly as written. The second doubles all the durations of the notes (x2), and turns all the intervals upside down. The third singer quadruples the durations (x4) and restores the intervals. The fourth octuples the durations (x8) and re-inverts the intervals. Thus four different versions of the same melody sound simultaneously, in various states of augmentation and inversion – a conceit that is utterly impossible to follow in sound. Byrd then handed this to Tallis, who deftly added a superstructure: two sopranos sing in straightforward canon at the unison (very easy for listeners to hear), and a free seventh voice plugs some polyphonic gaps. "Miserere nostri, Domine" (Have mercy on us, Lord) are all the words supplied for this lean and logical motet.

Other works on this recording play compositional games, some more easily discerned than others. Simplest to follow is the two-voice canon in Tallis's When Jesus went (track 9), in which the soprano replicates the baritone an octave higher after two beats. In the 1575 Cantiones sacrae this work was published as a motet, Salvator mundi, in which form it is most often heard today; but some Elizabethan manuscripts transmit the music with an English text telling the story of Jesus and the woman with the alabaster box (Matthew 26:6), and our recording opts for this version, to pair with Pärt's The Woman with the Alabaster Box (track 5). Byrd's game in Christe qui lux es et dies (track 2) is also quite easy to follow. Five voices are in play here, and five stanzas of text are set to polyphony. In turn, each voice sings the traditional plainchant melody used for this hymn, starting with the bass (polyphonic stanza 1), then rising through the texture to the soprano (polyphonic stanza 5). Each statement is harmonized in simple block chords filled with surprises – not unlike the choral chanting favoured by Arvo Pärt, in which strings of consonant chords are locally spiced with piquancies.

Cleverer by far are two further Byrd motets from the 1575 Cantiones sacrae – "cleverer" in the sense that they took immense skill to devise, even though that skill frankly bypasses us in sound. O lux beata Trinitas (track 10), a paean of praise to Father, Son and Holy Spirit, ends with a trinitarian three-voice canon which in Sudoku terms would be classed as "fiendish"; and Byrd does this because he can, not because he expects us to hear it. In Miserere mihi, Domine (track 6) he does ingenious things with the plainchant melody of the same name – including, near the end, a two-voice canon made from the chant, interwoven with a second and totally different canon sung by two more voices. Strange rituals indeed.

The theme of craftsmanship connects all the works mentioned so far; but this recording also features pieces on another theme that has long been of special interest to Arvo Pärt: the judicious balancing of the old against the new. William Byrd too was deeply concerned with this, and four pieces lead us along his pathway of thought. That path starts with Tribue, Domine (track 13), a vast six-voice motet cast in three big sections, in which Byrd quite openly pays homage to his Tudor ancestors – composers such as Robert Fayrfax, John Taverner, and the youthful Thomas Tallis. Tribue, Domine behaves as if it were a votive antiphon, in which sections for reduced choir alternate with ones for tutti. Byrd, however, has modernized the form into something more declamatory and expressive, and the subject-matter of its text is different: not a hymn to the Virgin Mary, as in pre-Reformation antiphons, but now an address to the Trinity. Elsewhere, Byrd weighs old against new by turning his gaze to continental Europe, and redefining his English style in relation to foreign fashion. His mighty eight-voice motet Ad Dominum cum tribularer (track 7) tackles the musical texture known as "imitation", in which long and distinctive thematic subjects pass among the eight voices, densely packed together in tight interlock – a craft Byrd knew from works by mid-century continental masters such as Nicolas Gombert and Jacobus Clemens non Papa. In Emendemus in melius (track 4), Byrd turned instead to his musical friend and contemporary Alfonso Ferrabosco, an Italian composer-cum-spy resident at the Tudor court, who became Byrd's musical sparring partner in the 1570s. Hence Emendemus in melius, Byrd's first contribution to the 1575 Cantiones sacrae, which builds on (and frankly improves upon) a piece by Alfonso himself. As for Laetentur coeli (track 12), it reveals Byrd's fully mature style in which Italian and English elements are perfectly fused, and it therefore sets the tone for the rest of Byrd's composing career.

The three pieces by Arvo Pärt all belong to the decade 1997-2007. They speak in Pärt's unmistakable voice, with its unique blend of ancient and modern. Spare textures, drones, notes left hanging as if suspended, structures built around scales, others that open and close like scissors – and above all, the solemn chanting of words in ways that hint at Orthodox chant: all these are locally present, though differently permutated in each piece. The Woman with the Alabaster Box of 1997 (track 5) sets the narrative text of Matthew 26:6-13, and is the most dramatic of the three. Nunc dimittis of 2001 (track 11), composed for liturgical use, is remarkable for its doxology ("Gloria Patri"), which is crafted in Pärt's bell-like "tintinnabuli" style; it leaves the listener wondering whether its undulating scales and arpeggios, which gently collide with one another (and against a drone), follow some arcane system or are merely random. Finally The Deer's Cry of 2007 (track 3) sets part of the lorica (incantation) attributed to the fifth-century St Patrick. This powerful text has come to be known by various names; the one chosen by Pärt has also been used for this disc.

Source: John Milsom, 2015 (CD Booklet)


Harry Christophers (Photo by Stu Rosner)
















Harry Christophers is known internationally as founder and conductor of The Sixteen as well as being a regular guest conductor for many of the major symphony orchestras and opera companies worldwide. He has directed The Sixteen choir and orchestra throughout Europe, America and Asia-Pacific, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque and 20th- and 21st-century music. In 2000 he instituted The Choral Pilgrimage, a national tour of English cathedrals from York to Canterbury in music from the pre-Reformation, as The Sixteen's contribution to the millennium celebrations. The Pilgrimage in the UK is now central to The Sixteen's annual artistic programme.

Since 2008 Harry Christophers has been Artistic Director of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society; he is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra. As well as enjoying a partnership with the BBC Philharmonic, with whom he won a Diapason d'Or, he is a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. With The Sixteen he is an Associate Artist at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and features in the highly successful BBC television series, "Sacred Music", presented by Simon Russell Beale.

Harry has conducted numerous productions for Lisbon Opera and English National Opera as well as conducting the UK premiere of Messager’s opera Fortunio for Grange Park Opera. He is a regular conductor at Buxton Opera where he initiated a very successful cycle of Handel's operas and oratorios including "Semele", "Samson", "Saul" and "Jephtha".

Harry Christophers is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, as well as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music by the University of Leicester. He was awarded a CBE in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Source: CD Booklet


The Sixteen (Photo: Molina Visuals)
















After three decades of worldwide performance and recording, The Sixteen is recognised as one of the world's greatest ensembles. Its special reputation for performing early English polyphony, masterpieces of the Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical periods, and a diversity of 20th- and 21st-century music, all stems from the passions of conductor and founder, Harry Christophers.

The Sixteen tours internationally giving regular performances at the major concert halls and festivals. At home in the UK, The Sixteen are "The Voices of Classic FM" as well as Associate Artists of The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, Artistic Associate of Kings Place and hold a 2015-2016 Artist Residency at Wigmore Hall. The group also promotes The Choral Pilgrimage, an annual tour of the UK's finest cathedrals.

The Sixteen's period-instrument orchestra has taken part in acclaimed semi-staged performances of Purcell's "The Fairy Queen" in Tel Aviv and London, a fully staged production of Purcell's "King Arthur" in Lisbon's Belém Centre, and new productions of Monteverdi's "Il ritorno d'Ulisse" at Lisbon Opera House and "The Coronation of Poppea" at English National Opera.

Over 130 recordings reflect The Sixteen's quality in a range of work spanning the music of 500 years. In 2009 the group won the coveted Classic FM Gramophone Artist of the Year Award and the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel's Coronation Anthems. The Sixteen also features in the highly successful BBC television series, Sacred Music, presented by Simon Russell Beale.

In 2011 the group launched a new training programme for young singers, called Genesis Sixteen. Aimed at 18- to 23-year-olds, this is the UK's first fully funded choral programme for young singers designed specifically to bridge the gap from student to professional practitioner.

Source: CD Booklet


Harry Christophers & The Sixteen (Photo: Molina Visuals)















See also

Christmas with the Faces of Classical Music

Carlo Gesualdo: Sacrarum Cantionum Liber Primus a 5 voci – Oxford Camerata, Jeremy Summerly (Audio video)

Sacred Salterio: Lamentations of the Holy Week – Miriam Feuersinger, Il Dolce Conforto, Franziska Fleischanderl, Jonathan Pesek, Deniel Perer (Audio video)

Nicolas Gombert: Motets, Vol. II – Beauty Farm (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)


Nicolas Gombert: Motets, Vol. I – Beauty Farm (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)


Johannes Ockeghem: Missa L'homme armé, Missa quinti toni – Beauty Farm (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)


In the Midst of Life. Music from the Baldwin Partbooks I – Contrapunctus, Owen Rees (Audio video)


Antoine Busnoys: For the love of Jaqueline (Medieval love songs) – Sylvia Rhyne, Eric Redlinger (Audio video)


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dmitri Shostakovich – All the posts
















Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer whose symphonies and quartets, numbering 15 each, are among the greatest examples of these classic forms from the 20th century. His style evolved from the brash humor and experimental character of his first period, exemplified by the operas "The Nose" and "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk", into both the more introverted melancholy and nationalistic fervor of his second phase (the Symphonies No.5 and No.7, "Leningrad"), and finally into the defiant and bleak mood of his last period (exemplified by the Symphony No.14 and Quartet No.15). Early in his career his music showed the influence of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, especially in his prodigious and highly successful First Symphony. He could effectively communicate a melancholic depth and profound sense of anguish, as one hears in many of his symphonies, concertos, and quartets. Solomon Volkov, in his controversial Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich explains the composer's seeming bombast as deft satire of the pomposity of the Soviet state, pointing to the "forced rejoicing" of Fifth Symphony's ending. Typical traits of Shostakovich's style include short, reiterated melodic or rhythmic figures, motifs of one or two pitches or intervals, and lugubrious and manic string writing.

Shostakovich was born in St Petersburg in 1906 and educated at the Petrograd Conservatory. The acid style of his early "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" irritated Stalin, and Shostakovich was attacked in the Soviet press. Fearing imprisonment, he withdrew his already rehearsed Fourth Symphony; his Fifth Symphony (1937) carried the subtitle "A Soviet Artist's Reply to Just Criticism". It is more ingenious than most critics have fathomed, for it managed to satisfy both the backward tastes of the party censors and those of more demanding aesthetes in the West.

The 1941 German invasion of Russia inspired the composer's Seventh Symphony, subtitled "Leningrad". Impressed by the Symphony's epic-heroic character, Toscanini, Koussevitzky, and Stokowski vied for the Western Hemisphere premiere; the score had to be microfilmed, flown to Teheran, driven to Cairo, and flown out. The work became an enormous success the world over, but eventually fell into obscurity. Still, the composer had for a time become a worldwide celebrity, his picture even appearing on the cover of Time.

Shostakovich ran afoul of the government again in 1948, when an infamous decree was issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party accusing Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and other prominent composers of "formalist perversions". For some time he wrote mostly works glorifying Soviet life or history. Artistic repression diminished in post-Stalinist Russia, but curiously Shostakovich still drew in his modernist horns until the Thirteenth Symphony, "Babi Yar", a 1962 work based on poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The work provoked major controversy because of its first movement's subject: Russian oppression of the Jews.

In 1966 Shostakovich wrote his Second Cello Concerto, a work on an even higher level than his solid First, but one that has yet to capture as much attention from either artists or the public. That year, Shostakovich was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. He continued to compose, his works growing more sparsely scored and darker, the subject of death becoming prominent. His Fourteenth Symphony (1969), really a collection of songs on texts by Lorca, Apollinaire, Küchelbecker, and Rilke, is a death-obsessed work of considerable dissonance and showing little regard for the Socialist Realism still demanded by the state. Shostakovich died on August 9, 1975.

Source: Rovi Staff  (allmusic.com)

















Dmitri Shostakovich – All the posts

Symphonies

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.10 in E minor – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Klaus Mäkelä (HD 1080p)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.14 in G minor – Julia Korpacheva, Peter Migunov, MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis (Download 44.1kHz/16bit)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.12 in D minor "The Year 1917" – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Santtu-Matias Rouvali (HD 1080p)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 in C major "Leningrad" – hr-Sinfonieorchester, Marin Alsop (HD 1080p)


George Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F major | Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.5 in D minor – Yuja Wang, London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas


Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.5 in D minor – BBC Symphony Orchestra, Edward Gardner


Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.13 in B flat minor "Babi Yar" – Sergei Aleksashkin, Groot Omroepmannenkoor, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Dima Slobodeniouk


Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.4 in C minor – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, David Afkham


Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No.14 in G minor – Makvala Kasrashvili, Evgeny Nesterenco, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Rudolf Barshai (Audio video)



Concertos


Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor – David Huang, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck (HD 1080p)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor – Leonidas Kavakos, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša

Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor – Sergei Redkin, St Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra, Alim Shakhmametyev (HD 1080p)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major – Mstislav Rostropovich, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Kondrashin (May 29, 1960 – Audio video)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor – Nicola Benedetti, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Søndergård (HD 1080p)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major – Alexander Warenberg, Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Judith Kubitz


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)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.2 in G major – Mstislav Rostropovich, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Yevgeny Svetlanov (World premiere recording, Prague, December 6, 1967 – Audio video)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major – Mstislav Rostropovich, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Aleksandr Gauk (World premiere recording, Moscow, October 6, 1959 – Audio video)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor – Martha Argerich, David Guerrier, Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, Gábor Takács-Nagy


Dmitri Shostakovich plays the end of his First Piano Concerto (1940)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.2 in F major – Dmitri Shostakovich, Orchestre National de France, André Cluytens (Audio video)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings in C minor – Dmitri Shostakovich, Orchestre National de France, André Cluytens (Audio video)



Orchestral Music

Dmitri Shostakovich: Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Santtu-Matias Rouvali (HD 1080p)


Suites

Dmitri Shostakovich: Jazz Suite No.1 – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (Audio video)

Dmitri Shostakovich: Suite for Promenade Orchestra (Jazz Suite No.2) – Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly (Audio video)



Chamber Music

Dmitri Shostakovich: Sonata for viola and piano – Maxim Rysanov, Kathryn Stott


Dmitri Shostakovich: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor – Mstislav Rostropovich, Dmitri Shostakovich (Audio video)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.2 in E minor – Delta Piano Trio (HD 1080p)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.1 in C minor – Janine Jansen, Torleif Thedéen, Eldar Nebolsin



Piano Works


Dmitri Shostakovich: 3 Fantastic Dances, 5 Preludes & Fugues – Dmitri Shostakovich (Audio video)



Song Cycles


Dmitri Shostakovich: Song-cycle: From Jewish Folk Poetry – Tatiana Sharova, Ludmila Kuznetsova, Alexei Martynov, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Valeri Polyansky (Audio video)



Movies


Shostakovich Against Stalin: The War Symphonies – A Documentary by Larry Weinstein – Netherland Radio Philharmonic, Kirov Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (HD 1080p)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Katerina Izmailova (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), 1966 – A film by Mikhail Shapiro – Galina Vishnevskaya, Konstantin Simeonov


The New Babylon (Novyy Vavilon), 1929 – A film by Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg – Music by Dmitri Shostakovich (HD 1080p)



Film Music


Dmitri Shostakovich: Film music from New Babylon – Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Valeri Polyansky (Audio video)



Texts (in Greek)

Μουσική υπό διωγμό: οι πολιτικές διώξεις του Ντμίτρι Σοστακόβιτς


















Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Im Keller / In the Basement (2014) – A film by Ulrich Seidl (Download the movie)














Ulrich Seidl returns to the documentary form with this creepy-funny trawl through Austria's suburban cellars.

Corpulent sex slaves, tuba-playing Nazi obsessives, reborn doll fantasists – just a regular stroll through the neighborhood, then, for patented guru of the grotesque Ulrich Seidl, who makes an intriguing return to documentary filmmaking with "In the Basement". Grabby and grubby in equal measure, this meticulously composed trawl through the contents of several middle-class Austrians' cellars (a space, according to Seidl, that his countrymen traditionally give over to their most personal hobbies) yields more than a few startling discoveries. It's not hard to tell, though, that a mixture of fact and fabrication is at work here. The career-high success of Seidl's recent "Paradise" trilogy should boost the distribution prospects of a niche item that is by turns uproarious, repulsive and oddly touching.

The film aimed for the adult audience.



Το "In the Basement" [πρωτότυπος τίτλος: Im Keller (Στο Υπόγειο)] είναι από εκείνα τα ντοκιμαντέρ που παρακολουθείς με το στόμα ανοιχτό, με μια φυσική δυσπιστία για το αν αυτό που βλέπεις είναι αληθινό ή προσεκτικά στημένο. Ο Αυστριακός σκηνοθέτης Ούλριχ Ζάιντλ παρουσιάζει μια σειρά εκκεντρικών συμπατριωτών του, οι οποίοι τον αφήνουν να μπει στο χώρο όπου φυλάσσουν τα πιο προσωπικά, περίεργα, απίστευτα και, σε μερικές περιπτώσεις, απαγορευμένα μυστικά τους. Φετιχιστές, άτομα απολύτως αφιερωμένα στα σεξουαλικά τους παιχνίδια σαδομαζοχισμού και εξουσίας, πολεμοχαρείς εθνικιστές και (δεν θα μπορούσαν να απουσιάζουν) περήφανοι λάτρεις του Αδόλφου Χίτλερ. Κάποιες απρόσμενα ακραίες σκηνές, έξυπνα συνδυασμένες με μαύρο χιούμορ, προκάλεσαν αντίστοιχες αντιδράσεις.

Η ταινία απευθύνεται σε ενήλικο κοινό.















Im Keller / In the Basement (2014)

A film by Ulrich Seidl

Directed by Ulrich Seidl
Idea & concept: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
Camera: Martin Gschlacht
Editor: Christopher Brunner
Sound: Ekkehart Baumung
Line producer: Konstantin Seitz

Assistant directors: Daniel Hoesl, Astrid Wolfrig

With Fritz Lang, Alfreda Klebinger, Manfred Ellinger, Inge Ellinger, Josef Ochs, Alessa Duchek, Gerald Duchek, Cora Kitty, Peter Vokurek, Walter Holzer

Production: Austria - Germany, 2014


Ulrich Seidl Film Produktion & coop99 filmproduktion


Produced by Ulrich Seidl
Co-producer: Martin Gschlacht

Spoken language: German

With English, French, Greek, Spanish, Portugese & German subtitles

Runtime: 82 minutes




Download the movie using torrent

Link

With English, Spanish, Portugese subtitles

(Size: 1.31 GB – HD 720p)

Download French subtitles

Download Greek subtitles














It's impossible to read even the barest logline for "In the Basement" without thinking immediately of Josef Fritzl and Wolfgang Priklopil, whose unrelated but comparable crimes – the horrific confinement, in their respective basements, of young female victims for years on end – prompted even Austria's political leaders to fear for the country's international image. Recent Austrian cinema hasn't done much to soothe the situation, with numerous works (Markus Schleinzer's "Michael" most directly of all) dwelling on the social aftermath of the cases, as well as their nation’s much-discussed culture of secrecy. Seidl's latest isn’t his first film to fit that bracket, though press notes claim he conceived it years before the Priklopil scandal broke in 2006.

Indeed, the helmer has been upturning the paving stones of Austrian suburbia to unsavory effect throughout his career. The affectionate crowd applause that greeted "In the Basement" at its Venice premiere suggests that his work, through no failing of his own but consistency, may have lost some of its incendiary capacity. What it has regained, however, following the unexpected warmth and qualified optimism of last year's "Paradise: Hope", is some of its chill. From first frame to last, this is an arm's-length exercise in observation, even in scenes of discomfiting intimacy. At least, it poses as one: As in his other documentaries, it's left to the viewer to imagine just how much Seidl has staged or manipulated these human tableaux, though the degree to which they reflect his signature aesthetic and tonal quirks leaves little doubt as to his complicity. (Does everyone in Austria line up their radiators quite so precisely with their narrow, uniformly net-curtained basement windows? Perhaps.)

Things start innocently enough, with a middle-aged, drably-sweatered man (amusingly named Fritz Lang, though the film's participants are identified only in the closing credits) using the acoustics of a cavernous basement to flex his impressive tenor high "C" on a range of operatic standards. That he's doing so before a row of target practice sheets, admittedly, seems a little odd; it emerges that he runs a local shooting gallery, where graying local menfolk come to let off steam and exchange politically incorrect bugbears. Not half as politically incorrect, however, as Josef, a married, mild-mannered fellow whose basement is a densely art-directed gallery of Nazi memorabilia, regarded with little curiosity or concern by his fellow brass-band players who routinely use the space for rehearsals.

Others use their underground space for sexual release: A pneumatic young woman who has quit her job as a supermarket teller to become a prostitute, a former victim of domestic abuse who has found strength in controlled sadomasochism, and a married couple whose indoor relationship is of an extreme mistress-slave nature. The latter subjects gamely provide the film's most queasily NC-17 material, as the heavy-set, hairy-backed Gerald attends to his dominant wife's every whim, licking her genitals clean after urination while his own are subjected to wince-worthy punishment in the couple's crimson sex dungeon. No sections of the film are more haunting, however, than those spent with kindly-looking Alfreda, whose tiny basement storage unit is stacked with creepily lifelike reborn dolls, each one stored in a separate, tissue-lined box, to be removed, cuddled and comforted at will.

Seidl's approach is not to press these ostensibly ordinary folk for expression or explanation; some offer less than others, with the men in particular giving mostly prosaic descriptions of their basements’ contents and histories. We are never told, for example, whether Josef is actually a Nazi sympathizer or whether his disturbing collection is of purely historical interest. (His default reference to the modern-day police as "the Gestapo", however, raises certain inklings.) That affectless approach will frustrate viewers craving more neatly articulated insights into Austria's supposed social singularities; others, meanwhile, will accuse Seidl of not being objective enough, as his stylistic affectations and interferences with reality may create aberrance or uncanniness where there is none. (He has admitted, for example, to constructing a narrative for Alfreda, who is not in fact a doll collector.) Accept his debatable methods, however, and certain profundities emerge: The way several of his female subjects take advantage of below-stairs privacy to reverse conventional gender roles and assert themselves sexually is particularly powerful.

Working for the first time with the brilliant cinematographer Martin Gschlacht – best known for his similarly geometric work with fellow Austrian Jessica Hausner – Seidl has found an ideal creative enabler for his vision. The carefully calibrated gloom of Gschlacht's lighting schemes (all the better to accentuate the frequently bilious colors of the decor) and the sharpness of his seemingly tweezer-set framing often suggests more about these "characters" than they are willing to say about themselves. Christopher Brunner's editing is equally crisp and incisive, and while no production designer is credited, Seidl has apparently chosen subjects who share his eccentric taste in interiors. Even a wall cluttered with African mementoes and macabre taxidermy trophies manages, through Seidl's gaze, to look strangely austere.

Source: Guy Lodge, August 30, 2014 (variety.com)


















































More photos


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1985 (2018) – A film by Yen Tan – Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung (Download the movie)

Border (2018) – A film by Ali Abbasi – Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Jörgen Thorsson, Sten Ljunggren, Ann Petrén (Download the movie)

Eastern Boys (2013) – A film by Robin Campillo – Olivier Rabourdin, Kirill Emelyanov, Danil Vorobyev (Download the movie)

Die Wand / The Wall (2012) – A film by Julian Roman Pölsler – Starring Martina Gedeck (Download the movie)

Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance (2015) – A film by Tomer Heymann – Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company (Download the movie)

Out in the Dark (2012) – A film by Michael Mayer – Nicholas Jacob, Michael Aloni, Jamil Khoury, Alon Pdut, Loai Nofi, Khawlah Hag-Debsy, Maysa Daw, Shimon Mimran (Download the movie)

Call Me by Your Name (2017) – A film by Luca Guadagnino – Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois – James Ivory, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (Download the movie)

Seashore (Beira-Mar), 2015 – A film by Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon – Mateus Almada, Maurício Barcellos, Elisa Brittes, Fernando Hart, Ariel Artur, Francisco Gick (Download the movie)

mother! (2017) – A film by Darren Aronofsky – Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer (Download the movie)

Okja (2017) – A film by Bong Joon-ho – Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Giancarlo Esposito, Lily Collins, Shirley Henderson (Download the movie)

Maurice (1987) – A film by James Ivory – James Wilby, Hugh Grant, Rupert Graves (HD 1080p)

Shostakovich Against Stalin: The War Symphonies – A Documentary by Larry Weinstein – Netherland Radio Philharmonic, Kirov Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (HD 1080p)


Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) – A film by Stephen Frears – Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg (Download the movie)


Son of Saul (2015) – A film by László Nemes – Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn (Download the movie)


Amour (2012) – A film by Michael Haneke – Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, Alexandre Tharaud (Download the movie)


Dmitri Shostakovich: Katerina Izmailova (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), 1966 – A film by Mikhail Shapiro – Galina Vishnevskaya, Konstantin Simeonov


The New Babylon (Novyy Vavilon), 1929 – A film by Grigori Kozintsev & Leonid Trauberg – Music by Dmitri Shostakovich (HD 1080p)


Farinelli (1994) – A film by Gérard Corbiau – Stefano Dionisi, Enrico Lo Verso, Elsa Zylberstein (Download the movie)


Eroica (The Movie, BBC 2003) by Simon Cellan Jones – Ian Hart, Leo Bill, Claire Skinner, Frank Finlay – John Eliot Gardiner (HD 1080p)

Tous les Matins du Monde / All the Mornings of the World / Όλα τα Πρωινά του Κόσμου (1991) – A film by Alain Corneau (Download the movie)


Death in Venice (1971) – A film by Luchino Visconti – Dirk Bogarde, Björn Andrésen, Silvana Mangano – Music by Gustav Mahler (Download the movie)


Monday, June 19, 2017

Dmitri Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major – Mstislav Rostropovich, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Kondrashin (May 29, 1960 – Audio video)

Dmitri Shostakovich and Mstislav Rostropovich
















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.

Mstislav Rostropovich, one of the greatest 20th-century cellists, studied composition with Dmitri Shostakovich. Their mutual respect soon grew into a close friendship and in 1959 Shostakovich dedicated his Cello Concerto No.1 to Rostropovich, thus making the cellist's long-time wish come true. Rostropovich learned the piece within a mere four days and duly played it by heart to the astonished composer. Two days after the premiere (4 October 1959 in Leningrad), Rostropovich performed the work in Moscow to an enthusiastic audience response. In 1960, the celebrated cellist and the Czech Philharmonic, under Kirill Kondrashin, presented the piece at the Prague Spring Festival.



ROSTROPOVICH plays SHOSTAKOVICH

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

♪ Cello Concerto No.1 in E flat major, Op.107 (1959)

i. Allegretto
ii. Moderato
iii. Cadenza – Attacca
iv. Allegro con moto

Mstislav Rostropovich, cello

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Kirill Kondrashin

Recorded live at the Prague Spring International Music Festival at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House, Prague, on May 29, 1960.

Mono

Supraphon Archiv 2013

(HD 1080p – Audio video)
























See also

Dmitri Shostakovich – All the posts


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Im Keller / In the Basement (2014) – A film by Ulrich Seidl (Trailer)

Corpulent sex slaves, tuba-playing Nazi obsessives, reborn doll fantasists – just a regular stroll through the neighborhood, then, for patented guru of the grotesque Ulrich Seidl, who makes an intriguing return to documentary filmmaking with "In the Basement". Grabby and grubby in equal measure, this meticulously composed trawl through the contents of several middle-class Austrians' cellars (a space, according to Seidl, that his countrymen traditionally give over to their most personal hobbies) yields more than a few startling discoveries. It's not hard to tell, though, that a mixture of fact and fabrication is at work here. The career-high success of Seidl's recent "Paradise" trilogy should boost the distribution prospects of a niche item that is by turns uproarious, repulsive and oddly touching. [...] Working for the first time with the brilliant cinematographer Martin Gschlacht – best known for his similarly geometric work with fellow Austrian Jessica Hausner – Seidl has found an ideal creative enabler for his vision. The carefully calibrated gloom of Gschlacht's lighting schemes (all the better to accentuate the frequently bilious colors of the decor) and the sharpness of his seemingly tweezer-set framing often suggests more about these "characters" than they are willing to say about themselves. Christopher Brunner's editing is equally crisp and incisive, and while no production designer is credited, Seidl has apparently chosen subjects who share his eccentric taste in interiors. Even a wall cluttered with African mementoes and macabre taxidermy trophies manages, through Seidl's gaze, to look strangely austere.

The film aimed for the adult audience.


Watch the trailer



Im Keller / In the Basement (2014)

A film by Ulrich Seidl

Directed by Ulrich Seidl
Idea & concept: Ulrich Seidl, Veronika Franz
Camera: Martin Gschlacht
Editor: Christopher Brunner
Sound: Ekkehart Baumung
Line producer: Konstantin Seitz
Assistant directors: Daniel Hoesl, Astrid Wolfrig

With Fritz Lang, Alfreda Klebinger, Manfred Ellinger, Inge Ellinger, Josef Ochs, Alessa Duchek, Gerald Duchek, Cora Kitty, Peter Vokurek, Walter Holzer

Production: Austria - Germany, 2014

Spoken language: German
With English, French, Greek, Spanish & Portugese subtitles
















Watch the movie

Im Keller / In the Basement (2014) – A film by Ulrich Seidl (Download the movie)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Andante and Variations in G major, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in C major, Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F major – Guillaume Bellom & Ismaël Margain (Audio video)






















Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the first to compose pieces for piano four hands. His father, Leopold, wrote in a letter of 9 July 1765: "In London Wolfgangerl wrote his first piece for four hands. Until that time no sonata for four hands had ever been composed".

The famous Salzburg family portrait painted by Johann Nepomuk della Croce in 1780-1781 (Mozarteum, Salzburg) shows Wolfgang and his sister, Nannerl, playing a duet at the piano, with Leopold, violin in hand, looking on, and his wife, Anna Maria (d. 1778), included in a picture on the wall.

The three works presented here were composed in Vienna in 1786 and 1787, when the young virtuoso was about to give up his career as a pianist in order to concentrate on the composition of operas, having been stimulated by his meeting with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. In the summer of 1786 he composed what is probably the most ambitious and most significant of his four-hand pieces, the Sonata in F major (K.497). It was first performed in Vienna on 4 November 1786, four months before the Andante and Variations in G major (K.501). His last Sonata for piano four hands, in C major, K.521, was written in May 1787, when Mozart had reached his full maturity as a composer. It is characterised by the light key of C major and the virtuosity of its two fast movements (especially the first), bright and brilliant in their elegance.



Γεννημένοι και οι δύο το 1992, οι ταλαντούχοι και βραβευμένοι Γάλλοι πιανίστες Guillaume Bellom και Ismaël Margain ερμηνεύουν, με την απαιτούμενη μεταξύ τους οικειότητα, τρία από τα πιο διάσημα έργα για πιάνο για 4 χέρια του Βόλφγκανγκ Αμαντέους Μότσαρτ, μεταδίδοντας με τον πιο άμεσο τρόπο στον ακροατή τη δική τους μουσική απόλαυση.



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

♪ Andante and Variations in G major, K.501 (1786)


♪ Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in C major, K.521 (1787)

i. Allegro
ii. Andante
iii. Allegretto


♪ Sonata for Piano Four-Hands in F major, K.497 (1786)

i. Adagio – Allegro di molto
ii. Andante
iii. Allegro

Guillaume Bellom & Ismaël Margain, piano

Bourges, Théâtre Saint-Bonnet, July 6-9, 2013

Aparté 2013

(HD 1080p – Audio video)























Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the first to compose pieces for piano four hands. His father, Leopold, wrote in a letter of 9 July 1765: "In London Wolfgangerl wrote his first piece for four hands. Until that time no sonata for four hands had ever been composed". The famous Salzburg family portrait painted by Johann Nepomuk della Croce in 1780-1781 (Mozarteum, Salzburg) shows Wolfgang and his sister, Nannerl, playing a duet at the piano, with Leopold, violin in hand, looking on, and his wife, Anna Maria (d. 1778), included in a picture on the wall.

In his youth Mozart wrote several pieces for piano four hands but gave up the genre when he no longer had his sister at hand, only returning to it much later. Shortly after he moved to Vienna (1781), Artaria published a volume containing two Salzburg Sonatas (K.381 and K.358). The few pieces he wrote after that, for his own use or that of his pupils, were published straight away. His works for piano four hands comprise six sonatas, one of them unfinished, an Andante with Variations (K.501) and a Fugue (K.401), plus transcriptions and arrangements. The many reprints they had in Germany, France and England show the popularity of these works.

The three works presented here were composed in Vienna in 1786 and 1787, when the young virtuoso was about to give up his career as a pianist in order to concentrate on the composition of operas, having been stimulated by his meeting with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. In the summer of 1786 he composed what is probably the most ambitious and most significant of his four-hand pieces, the Sonata in F major (K.497). Written four months after Le Nozze di Figaro, it was first performed in Vienna on 4 November 1786, four months before the Andante and Variations in G major (K.501). His last Sonata for piano four hands, in C major, K.521, was written in May 1787 (six months before Don Giovanni), when Mozart had reached his full maturity as a composer. It is characterised by the light key of C major and the virtuosity of its two fast movements (especially the first one), bright and brilliant in their elegance. Mozart originally wrote this Sonata for Francisca von Jaquin, but later dedicated it to Nanette and Babette Natorp, daughters of a rich Viennese merchant.

Source: CD Booklet


Guillaume Bellom (b. 1992) studied piano and violin from the age of six at the Besançon Conservatoire (CRR), where in 2008 he was awarded prizes for piano, violin and chamber music.

In 2009, he was unanimously admitted to the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM), where he joined the piano class of Nicholas Angelich and Romano Pallottini. He also studied under Franck Braley, Marie-François Bucquet, Dominique Merlet, Dany Rouet, Denis Pascal, Leon Fleisher and Jean-Claude Pennetier. He is currently furthering his studies with Hortense Cartier-Bresson.

In 2011 he also joined the violin class of Roland Daugareil, Suzanne Gessner and Christophe Poiget at the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM).

Guillaume Bellom was winner of the piano prize in the Besançon "Jeunes Musiciens" competition in 2008, following which he performed the Grieg Piano Concerto and the First Piano Concerto of Brahms with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Besançon.

He is often heard on radio (France Musique, in programmes presented by Phillipe Cassard and Arièle Butaux), and he performs regularly at the Fondation Singer-Polignac in Paris, where he has been artist in residence since 2012.

His interest in chamber music has led to appearances at festivals including those of Deauville (Festival de Pâques and Août Musical). He also plays sonatas with his brother, the cellist Adrien Bellom (Chambéry Bel-Air Claviers Festival, "Printemps des Alizés" in Essaouira, Morocco, etc.). Recently, with Amaury Coeytaux (violin) and Victor Julien-Laferrière (cello), he gave the first performance of Danse encore, a trio by the composer and pianist Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, at the Chapelle du Méjan in Arles.

In 2014, Guillaume performed in the Animal Carnival by Saint-Saens at the Champs-Elysées concert hall in Paris, and won a prize at the Rhine Gold Foundation. In 2015, he won the first prize at the international piano competition of Epinal, France. In 2016, he won the first prize of the Thierry Scherz competition in Gstaad, Switzerland. His first solo album, featuring pieces by Schubert, Haydn and Debussy, was released in early 2017. His great interest in chamber music, shared with his friend Ismaël Margain, lead them into joining various ensembles such as those performing at the Deauville Festival of Music. They play piano four-hands together and have recorded two discs dedicated to Mozart and Shubert under the label Aparte/Harmonia Mundi.


Ismaël Margain was born in 1992 in Sarlat (Dordogne), where he began his musical training (piano, flute, saxophone, jazz, composition, etc.). The pianist and conductor Vahan Mardirossian, with whom he worked from the age of eight, presented him to his own teacher, Jacques Rouvier, who coached him for entrance to the Paris Conservatoire (CNSM). Received unanimously, he entered Nicholas Angelich's class, then that of Roger Muraro.

After winning his first competition at the age of seven at "Les Musicales de Caen", Ismaël Margain went on to reap other awards, and in 2011 he won the "Génération SPEDIDAM" International Competition in Aix-en-Provence, receiving his diploma from Aldo Ciccolini, chairman of the jury, following his performance, in the final, of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, conducted by George Pehlivanian. The latter immediately invited the young pianist to play Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major under his baton at the Le Touquet International Music Masters 2012. Ismaël came to the notice of the general public in December 2012, when he played Mozart's Piano Concerto No.23 with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France on stage at the Opéra Comique in Paris in the final of the Long-Thibaud Competition, in which he won Third Prize and also the Public Prize.

In 2011 Limoges Opéra asked him to put together a programme in tribute both to Franz Liszt, for the bicentenary of his birth, and to one of his favourite composers, Franz Schubert. Ismaël was then invited to take part in various festivals, including those of Deauville, Albi ("Tons voisins"), Prades (Pablo Casals), Paris (Chopin), Toulouse (Piano aux Jacobins), Caracas (European Soloists) and the Ruhr Piano Festival in Germany. He has also been heard in recital at the Palais de l'Athénée in Geneva.

Ismaël Margain was awarded a bursary by the Clos de Vougeot Music Festival 2012 (Côte d'Or, Burgundy) and formed an ensemble for the occasion with soloists from the Metropolitan Opera, New York. He performs regularly at the Fondation Singer-Polignac in Paris, where he has been artist in residence since 2012.

His first solo album, dedicated to Schubert, was released in early 2017. His great interest in chamber music, shared with his friend Guillaume Bellom, lead them into joining various ensembles such as those performing at the Deauville Festival of Music. They play piano four-hands together and have recorded two discs, dedicated to Mozart and Shubert, under the label Aparte/Harmonia Mundi.
























See also

Franz Schubert: Fantasia in F minor, Allegro in A minor "Lebensstürme", Sonata in C major "Grand Duo" – Ismaël Margain & Guillaume Bellom (Audio video)

Guillaume Bellom plays Franz Schubert, Joseph Haydn & Claude Debussy (Download 48kHz/16bit)