Jakub Józef Orliński

Jakub Józef Orliński
Jakub Józef Orliński, countertenor. Photo by M. Sharkey

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Francis Poulenc: Sonate pour violoncelle et piano – Bruno Philippe, Tanguy de Williencourt (HD 1080p)














The award-winning French cellist Bruno Philippe and the the French pianist, accomplished soloist and chamber musician Tanguy de Williencourt, perform Francis Poulenc's Sonata for cello and piano, FP 143. The concert was recorded at Alte Oper Frankfurt, on September 29, 2017.



Woodwind pieces dominate Francis Poulenc's chamber music oeuvre, but the Cello Sonata, like the somewhat earlier Violin Sonata, is a substantial work finding the composer at the height of his powers, and his tongue planted less firmly in his cheek.

Despite a rather rude initial outburst from the piano, the sonata-form first movement, Allegro (tempo di marcia), leavens its fragmentary fanfare-like motifs with lyrical, good-humored material for the cello. One important theme is especially broad, romantic, and bittersweet, although much of the development section is given over to playful treatments of the melodies, with staccato piano accompaniment to cello pizzicato.

The slow second movement, Cavatine, is one of Poulenc's most tenderly songful creations. After a long introduction, the cello takes up a mournful, nostalgic theme, and with the piano subjects it to several elaborations, some intense, some hesitant, ending with a lullaby for lost souls.

Unusually for Poulenc, an extra movement separates the slow section from the finale. This Ballabile – a word suggesting a dance-like nature – is a playful intermezzo offering a nod to the music hall in its outer sections. A trace of wistfulness colors the still cheerful middle portion.

The Finale begins with a stern cello recitative over sour piano chords, pausing for an eerie passage of harmonics. The movement's main matter scampers quickly through several episodes of short-breathed cello phrases and rippling piano passagework, with time out midway and again just before the end for more tender if occasionally dizzy music. The movement concludes with the recitative with which it began.

Source: James Reel (allmusic.com)



Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

♪ Sonate pour violoncelle et piano, FP 143 (1940-1948, rev.1953)

i.Allegro. Tempo di marcia
ii. Cavatine. Très calme
iii. Ballabile. Très animé
iv. Finale. Largo, très librement – Presto subito – Largo

Bruno Philippe, cello
Tanguy de Williencourt, piano

Semi-finals of the Queen Elizabeth Competition 2017. Flagey, Brussels, May 16, 2017

(HD 1080p)
















Bruno Philippe was born in 1993 in Perpignan, France. There, he began studying the cello with Marie-Madeleine Mille and regularly attended Yvan Chiffoleau's masterclasses. In 2008, he pursued his studies at the CRR in Paris in the class of Raphael Pidoux. In 2009 he was unanimously accepted by the Paris National Conservatory of Music and Dance in the class of Jerome Pernoo and joined Claire Desert's chamber music class. Subsequently, he participated in the masterclasses of David Geringas, Steven Isserliss, Gary Hoffman, Pieter Wispelwey and Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since October 2014, he has been studying as a young soloist at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson.

In November 2011, he won the third Grand Prix and the Best recital at the André Navarra International Competition. In September 2014, he won the third prize and audience prize at the International Competition of the ARD in Munich. He won a Special Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in June 2015 and the Special Prize in recognition of an outstanding performance at the Grand Prix Emmanuel Feuermann in Berlin in November 2014. In 2015, Bruno Philippe was appointed Révélation Classique of the ADAMI, and in 2016, he won the Prix pour la musique of the Safran Foundation dedicated to cello. In 2017, he is laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels.

Bruno Philippe has been invited to appear at the Kammersaal of the Berlin Philharmonia, La Cité de la Musique, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, the Kursaal in Besançon, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and to play with the Bayerische Rundfunk, the Münchener Kammerorchestrer, the Orchestre Philarmonique de Monte-Cazrlo, or else the Orchestre National du Capitole, Toulouse. He has also performed at the Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, La Folle Journée de Nantes, the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Festival Radio France de Montpellier, at La Roque d'Anthéron, the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, the Mozartfest Würzburg, the Munich BR Studio, Schwetzinger SWR-Festspiele, the Rheingau Musik Festival...

He has also had the chance to play with many renowned musicians: Gary Hoffman, Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, David Kadouch, Alexandra Conounova, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Antoine Tamestit, Sarah Nemtanu, Lise Berthaud, Christophe Coin, Jérôme Pernoo, Raphaël Pidoux, Emmanuelle Bertrand, as well as Violoncelles Français or Les Dissonances (David Grimal).

During the next few months, Bruno Philippe can be seen in concertos, above all with the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt and Orchesterakademy of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, with the Orchestre Dijon-Bourgogne conducted by Gabor Takacs-Nagy, with the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine or else the Junges Sinfonieorchester Münster. He will be performing at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Alte Oper in Francfort, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Festival de Pâques de Deauville, the Chorégies d'Orange, or else Les Victoires de la Musique Classique at the Auditorium de Radio-France, Paris.

His first album, devoted to Brahms's Sonatas, recorded with the pianist Tanguy de Williencourt for the Evidence Classic label, came out in 2015. In 2017 he joins the label Harmonia Mundi and releases a new album around Beethoven and Schubert's sonatas, with Tanguy de Williencourt.

He was also awarded scholarships from the Safran Foundation for music, the Raynaud-Zurfluh Foundation, the Rheingold Foundation, the AMOPA, the Banque Populaire Foundation, and in August 2014 won the Nicolas Firmenich price at the Verbier Festival. He also received the support of the "Christa Verhein-Stiftung" for his studies at the Kronberg Academy.

Bruno Philippe plays a fine Tononi cello kindly loaned to him through the Beare's International Violin Society.

Source: lagence-management.com















A true Renaissance musician, the French pianist Tanguy de Williencourt (b. 1990) is an accomplished soloist and chamber musician, who is also pursuing studies as a conductor.

After having completed, in 2013, his Master's degrees in piano, accompaniment and vocal coaching with highest honors at the Paris Conservatoire, he entered the prestigious Artist Diploma Programme there, and was admitted to follow Alain Altinoglu's orchestral conducting class. The pianists who have particularly influenced him include Roger Muraro, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, and Claire Désert.

Besides, advice of Maria João Pires, Christoph Eschenbach and Paul Badura-Skoda particularly impact him.

A recipient in 2014 of the Blüthner Foundation award given annually to one outstanding pianist at the Paris Conservatoire, Tanguy has also been a prize winner at the Yamaha (2008) and Fauré (2013) competitions.

Tanguy's solo and chamber music performances have taken him to the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht,  Kyoto's Alti Hall in Kyoto, St Peterburg Philharmonic's Great Hall or Berlin Philharmonic's Chamber Music Hall, and to leading French venues including the Folle Journée de Nantes, Chopin à Bagatelle, La Roque d'Anthéron, or else to the French National Radio.

His first record dedicated to Brahms and Schumann with cellist Bruno Philippe was released in 2015.

Source: tanguydewilliencourt.fr






































More photos


See also


Bruno Philippe & Tanguy de Williencourt interpret Ludwig van Beethoven & Franz Schubert (Audio video)

Johannes Brahms & Robert Schumann: Works for cello and piano – Bruno Philippe, Tanguy de Williencourt (Audio video)

Antonín Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor – Bruno Philippe, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Stéphane Denève (HD 1080p)

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Bruno Philippe, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Christoph Eschenbach (HD 1080p)

Francis Poulenc: Pièces pour piano – Alexandre Tharaud (Audio video)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra – Berliner Philharmoniker, Gustavo Dudamel (Download 96kHz/24bit & 44.1kHz/16bit)






















"In my opinion, a poetic programme is nothing but a pretext for the purely musical expression and development of my emotions, and not a simple musical description of concrete everyday facts. For that would be quite contrary to the spirit of music." When Richard Strauss explained his ideas on programme music to the French writer Romain Rolland in 1905, he had already composed most of his symphonic poems. He had been familiar with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche since the early 1890s. Strauss was particularly fascinated by Nietzsche's rejection of any form of dogmatism, imposed conformity or heteronomy and his commitment to the freedom of the individual. These were the factors that inspired him to compose Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus spoke Zarathustra), Op.30, a symphonic poem freely based on Nietzsche's treatise of the same title, in 1895-1896.

Strauss made the following comments about the background to the composition: "I did not intend to write philosophical music or to portray Nietzsche's great work in music. I meant to convey by means of music an idea of the development of the human race from its origin, through the various phases of its development, religious and scientific, up to Nietzsche's idea of the Übermensch (Superman). The whole symphonic poem is intended as an homage to Nietzsche's genius".

During Also sprach Zarathustra nine sections flow into each other without pause. The work has a clear formal structure in which the dominant themes and motifs can be distinguished as easily as their variants. According to the current interpretation, the work is a sonata movement with exposition, development and coda, although the first two sections are separated by a general pause. Strauss' use of the chapter headings from Nietzsche's book in the autograph score reflects this structure.

The themes presented in the first sections are developed episodically, like variations, and intensified during large-scale developmental passages. Later they appear frequently in a different form, and the restatement is not merely a repetition of the themes presented at the beginning, but introduces new material. At times profound, at times satirical or even humorous, the music captures Nietzsche's ideas and images, for example, the sunrise in the familiar opening bars over a thundering pedal point and the subsequent nature motif with its alternation between major and minor. Using quotations from the Gregorian Credo and the Magnificat, Strauss depicts Die Hinterwäldler (The Back World Dwellers) as people whose narrow-minded thinking is characterised by religious zealotry.

The section Von der Wissenschaft (Of Science), which Strauss constructed as a textbook fugue, seems like a satire on musical scholarship; the composer demonstrates his own virtuosity, since the theme contains all twelve notes of the chromatic scale. Der Genesende (The Convalescent) tempts the composer to musical mockery and humour. In his sketchbook, he commented on this section of the score: "Shaking with laughter, muted trumpets – hee hee hee hee". The orgiastic culmination of the composition is the section Das Tanzlied (The Dance Song), in which an increasingly self-parodying waltz not coincidentally recalls the music of Johann Strauss. This exuberant climax is followed by a restrained ending – an unresolved musical gesture concludes the work.

Source: Martin Demmler | Translation: Phyllis Anderson (digitalconcerthall.com)


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Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

♪ Thus Spoke Zarathustra / Also Sprach Zarathustra / Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra (1896) *

Tondichtung für großes Orchester, frei nach Friedrich Nietzsche / Tone poem for large orchestra, freely after Friedrich Nietzsche / Poème symphonique pour grand orchestre, d'après Friedrich Nietzsche

i. Einleitung, oder Sonnenaufgang / Introduction, or Sunrise
ii. Von den Hinterweltlern / Of the Backworldsmen / De ceux des mondes de derrière
iii. Von der grossen Sehnsucht / Of the Great Longing / De laspiration suprême
iv. Von den Freuden und Leidenschaften / Of Joys and Passions / Des joies et des passions
v. Das Grablied / The Song of the Grave / Le Chant du tombeau
vi. Von der Wissenschaft / Of Science and Learning / De la science
vii. Der Genesende / The Convalescent / Le Convalescent
viii. Das Tanzlied / The Dance-Song / Le Chant de la danse
ix. Nachtwandlerlied / Song of the Night Wanderer / Chant du somnambule


♪ Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche / Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks / Les Joyeuses Equipées de Till l'Espiègle, Op.28 (1894-1895) **

Nach alter Schelmenweise (in rondeauform) / After an old picaresque legend (in rondeau form) / D'après l'ancienne légende picaresque (en forme de rondeau)


♪ Don Juan, Op.20 (1889) **

Tondichtung nach Nikolaus Lenau / Tone poem after Nikolaus Lenau / Poème symphonique d'après Nikolaus Lenau


* Daniel Stabrawa, violin solo
** Guy Braunstein, violin solo

Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Gustavo Dudamel

Live recordings: Philharmonie, Großer Saal, Berlin, 4/2012 (Zarathustra); 1 & 2/2013 (Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel)

Deutsche Grammophon 2013













Richard Strauss and the Berlin Philharmonic: a record of a turbulent relationship

Richard Strauss' association with the Berlin Philharmonic lasted for over half a century. The orchestra was formed in 1882 by an independent group of musicians and first played one of Strauss' works in 1887, when Karl Klindworth conducted the 23-year-old composer's F minor Symphony, a work which, dark and resplendent in its colouring, lacks the individuality of the Munich composer's later output. If the performance proved only tolerably successful, the fact that it took place at all at such an early stage of Strauss' career is remarkable. During the first three years of the orchestra's existence, when its subscription concerts were conducted by Franz Wüllner, there were still no works by Strauss that the orchestra could have performed; and, by the time that such works did exist, Wüllner was already in Cologne, where he gave the world premieres of Till Eulenspiegel and Don Quixote with his Gürzenich Orchestra. In Berlin, meanwhile, Hans von Bülow had taken charge of the orchestra's fortunes. He knew Strauss from Meiningen, acknowledging him as a "first-rate" conductor and an "exceptional musician" who had it in him "to assume the highest position of command with immediate effect". And so Strauss was invited to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic. The concert agent Hermann Wolff, who was the orchestra's éminence grise, even helped to sponsor Strauss' appearance with the aid of an exceptional travel allowance – even as a young composer Strauss already enjoyed a certain cachet.

At his first concert with the Berlin Philharmonic on January 23, 1888, Strauss conducted his own symphonic fantasy Aus Italien. Press and public and, not least, Bülow were impressed by the atmospheric work, and Strauss was no less enthusiastic about the orchestra, describing the players in a letter to his father as "the most intelligent, fantastic and alert orchestra I know". But there were also disagreements: in 1890, for example, Bülow refused to allow Strauss to conduct the local premiere of Don Juan and insisted on conducting it himself, comprehensively ruining it in the eyes of the mortified composer. Even so, this did not discourage Strauss, who, having fallen in love with the city, was determined to find a permanent position there, either with the Berlin Philharmonic or at the Lindenoper. An opportunity arose in March 1894 after Bülow, already terminally ill, gave his final concert with the orchestra. Since Wolff was unable to find an eminent successor, he turned to the 30-year-old Strauss, who took over the orchestra's ten subscription concerts during the 1894-1895 season and suffered the worst fiasco of his career. The devastating reviews took issue not only with his uninspiring appearance on the podium but also with his programmes: as was later to be the case with his own Berlin Tonkünstler Orchestra and the Lindenoper's Königliche Hofkapelle, he conducted an above-average number of contemporary works that proved indigestible fare for the capital's conservative middle-class audiences.

The contract was torn up prematurely, although contact between the two parties was not lost altogether. In 1908 they even undertook a triumphant concert tour of France, Spain and Portugal together. But by then Germany's greatest living composer no longer needed to prove himself in Berlin, for he was now an internationally sought-after conductor and his symphonic poems were a regular part of the repertory. The Berlin Philharmonic's principal conductors during this time – Arthur Nikisch and, from 1922, Wilhelm Furtwängler – were both important advocates of his work. (Furtwängler made his debut with the orchestra in 1917 conducting Don Juan.)

When Strauss moved to Vienna in 1919, his Berlin appearances became increasingly infrequent. Even so, the 1920s witnessed the premieres of two of his works in Berlin: his Hölderlin Hymns in 1921 and his symphonic studies Panathenäenzug in 1928. He himself returned to the Philharmonie podium in March 1933, and in the November of that year he shared the conducting duties with Furtwängler at a gala concert marking the launch of the Reich Culture Chamber. His dubious association with the Nazis culminated in 1936 with the first performance of his Olympic Hymn. His final concert with the orchestra took place in April 1939, when the programme comprised Don Juan, the Symphonia domestica and the Burlesque for piano and orchestra. The Strauss Memorial Concert in September 1949 was conducted by Sergiu Celibidache. During the decades that followed, Berlin's Strauss tradition was shaped by Herbert von Karajan, whose recordings of this repertory continue to be regarded as benchmark performances. But many of the visiting conductors who have had particularly close links to the Berlin Philharmonic have also privileged Strauss' works in their programmes, most recently Gustavo Dudamel.

Dudamel was 22 when he first conducted the music of Richard Strauss: Don Juan with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Since then, he has championed many of Strauss' songs, symphonic poems and concertos, including the Oboe Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic's principal oboist, Albrecht Mayer. With the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, he has toured South and North America, as well as Europe, with Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegel and the Alpine Symphony, taking the entire Venezuelan orchestra up into the Swiss mountains before the latter's performance so that they could collectively experience the atmosphere and majesty of nature which Strauss had rendered into music.

In April and May 2012 Gustavo Dudamel conducted three performances of Also sprach Zarathustra in the Berlin Philharmonie, followed by four Berlin performances of Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel in early 2013. The present release is his first audio recording with the orchestra.

Source: Jens Schünemeyer | Translation: Stewart Spencer (CD Booklet)















More photos


See also


Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.8 in E flat major "Symphony of a Thousand" – Manuela Uhl, Juliana Di Giacomo, Kiera Duffy, Anna Larsson, Charlotte Hellekant, Burkhard Fritz, Brian Mulligan, Alexander Vinogradov – Simón Bolívar National Youth Choir of Venezuela, Niños Cantores de Venezuela, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, Schola Juvenil de Venezuela – Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel (Caracas 2012, HD 1080p)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.9 in D minor "Choral" – Julianna Di Giacomo, Tamara Munford, Joshua Guerrero, Soloman Howard, Orfeó Català, Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel (HD 1080p)

Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor | Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor – Yuja Wang, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel (Audio video & Download 96kHz/24bit)

Hector Berlioz: Grande Messe des morts (Requiem) – Gustavo Dudamel (Notre-Dame de Paris 22-01-2014, HD 1080p)

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.2 in C minor, "Resurrection" – Miah Persson, Anna Larsson, Gustavo Dudamel (HD 1080p)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Bruno Philippe, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Christoph Eschenbach (HD 1080p)














Accompanied by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the great conductor Christoph Eschenbach, the award-winning French cellist Bruno Philippe performs Joseph Haydn's Cello Concerto No.1 in C major. The concert was recorded at Alte Oper Frankfurt, on September 29, 2017.



Composed between 1761 and 1765 for Joseph Weigl, a gifted cellist in Haydn's Esterházy orchestra, this concerto was presumed lost until 1961, when it turned up the National Museum in Prague among documents originally from Radenin Castle. High virtuosity is demanded of the cellist, as in the Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Symphonies (in which Haydn provided solos especially for Weigl). What Haydn did not provide are authenticated cadenzas for the first and second movements; cellists generally employ either anonymous eighteenth century cadenzas, or those prepared since 1961.

The first movement, marked Moderato, begins with a confident, courtly theme with dotted rhythms; in contrast, the second subject is softer and more sinuous, establishing a more lyrical mood. The mildly syncopated orchestral exposition ends with Lombardic rhythms at the conclusion of the orchestral introduction. When the cello enters and takes command of the themes, it launches the first theme with a resonant C major chord, eventually presenting each melody in an increasingly ornate manner. The development engages the cellist in intense passagework derived from the primary theme, while reappearances of the second subject allow the soloist to sing more expansively. Haydn works through the theme groups in sequence twice before reaching the cadenza and a brief coda derived from the movement's opening measures.


The Adagio dispenses with the orchestra's oboes and horns, leaving the soloist to emerge from the sound of the string orchestra with a long, powerfully expressive note. The noble, somewhat melancholic, first theme requires an especially strong tone from the cello, while its answering subject calls for double stops. The movement's shadowy middle section derives from a theme almost as austere as one from a Baroque church sonata, yet encourages the cellist to play with a warm, expressive tone. The third section is an abbreviated repetition of the first one.


Last comes an Allegro molto finale which pretty much follows the ritornello form found in many Vivaldi concertos. The orchestra establishes a fleet theme that recurs, as in a rondo, throughout the rest of the movement. As in the slow movement, almost every time the cello enters, it emerges from the orchestra with a single, long note; this time, however, the long note metamorphoses into a rapidly ascending C major scale. However, while expected to execute intricate high-register passagework which includes rapid scales, the cellist also has an opportunity to interpret melodic phrases of exceptional lyricism.


Source: James Reel (allmusic.com)




Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

♪ Cello Concerto No.1 in C major, Hob.VIIb/1 (1761-1765)

i. Moderato
ii. Adagio
iii. Allegro molto

Bruno Philippe, cello

hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Conductor: Christoph Eschenbach

Alte Oper Frankfurt, September 29, 2017

(HD 1080p)















Bruno Philippe was born in 1993 in Perpignan, France. There, he began studying the cello with Marie-Madeleine Mille and regularly attended Yvan Chiffoleau's masterclasses. In 2008, he pursued his studies at the CRR in Paris in the class of Raphael Pidoux. In 2009 he was unanimously accepted by the Paris National Conservatory of Music and Dance in the class of Jerome Pernoo and joined Claire Desert's chamber music class. Subsequently, he participated in the masterclasses of David Geringas, Steven Isserliss, Gary Hoffman, Pieter Wispelwey and Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since October 2014, he has been studying as a young soloist at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson.

In November 2011, he won the third Grand Prix and the Best recital at the André Navarra International Competition. In September 2014, he won the third prize and audience prize at the International Competition of the ARD in Munich. He won a Special Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in June 2015 and the Special Prize in recognition of an outstanding performance at the Grand Prix Emmanuel Feuermann in Berlin in November 2014. In 2015, Bruno Philippe was appointed Révélation Classique of the ADAMI, and in 2016, he won the Prix pour la musique of the Safran Foundation dedicated to cello. In 2017, he is laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels.

Bruno Philippe has been invited to appear at the Kammersaal of the Berlin Philharmonia, La Cité de la Musique, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, the Kursaal in Besançon, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and to play with the Bayerische Rundfunk, the Münchener Kammerorchestrer, the Orchestre Philarmonique de Monte-Cazrlo, or else the Orchestre National du Capitole, Toulouse. He has also performed at the Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, La Folle Journée de Nantes, the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Festival Radio France de Montpellier, at La Roque d'Anthéron, the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, the Mozartfest Würzburg, the Munich BR Studio, Schwetzinger SWR-Festspiele, the Rheingau Musik Festival...

He has also had the chance to play with many renowned musicians: Gary Hoffman, Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, David Kadouch, Alexandra Conounova, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Antoine Tamestit, Sarah Nemtanu, Lise Berthaud, Christophe Coin, Jérôme Pernoo, Raphaël Pidoux, Emmanuelle Bertrand, as well as Violoncelles Français or Les Dissonances (David Grimal).

During the next few months, Bruno Philippe can be seen in concertos, above all with the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt and Orchesterakademy of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, with the Orchestre Dijon-Bourgogne conducted by Gabor Takacs-Nagy, with the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine or else the Junges Sinfonieorchester Münster. He will be performing at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Alte Oper in Francfort, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Festival de Pâques de Deauville, the Chorégies d'Orange, or else Les Victoires de la Musique Classique at the Auditorium de Radio-France, Paris.

His first album, devoted to Brahms's Sonatas, recorded with the pianist Tanguy de Williencourt for the Evidence Classic label, came out in 2015. In 2017 he joins the label Harmonia Mundi and releases a new album around Beethoven and Schubert's sonatas, with Tanguy de Williencourt.

He was also awarded scholarships from the Safran Foundation for music, the Raynaud-Zurfluh Foundation, the Rheingold Foundation, the AMOPA, the Banque Populaire Foundation, and in August 2014 won the Nicolas Firmenich price at the Verbier Festival. He also received the support of the "Christa Verhein-Stiftung" for his studies at the Kronberg Academy.

Bruno Philippe plays a fine Tononi cello kindly loaned to him through the Beare's International Violin Society.

Source: lagence-management.com



















































More photos


See also


Bruno Philippe & Tanguy de Williencourt interpret Ludwig van Beethoven & Franz Schubert (Audio video)

Johannes Brahms & Robert Schumann: Works for cello and piano – Bruno Philippe, Tanguy de Williencourt (Audio video)

Antonín Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor – Bruno Philippe, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Stéphane Denève (HD 1080p)

Francis Poulenc: Sonate pour violoncelle et piano – Bruno Philippe, Tanguy de Williencourt (HD 1080p)

&

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Nicolas Altstaedt, Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (HD 1080p)

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Michael Katz, New York Classical Players, Dongmin Kim (4K Ultra High Definition) 


Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Andreas Brantelid, Musica Vitae, Malin Broman (HD 1080p)

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Philippe Herreweghe

&

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.6 in A minor "Tragic" – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach (HD 1080p)

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.5 in C sharp minor – Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Christoph Eschenbach (HD 1080p)

Friday, February 23, 2018

Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique | Maurice Ravel: Tzigane | Camille Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor | Guillaume Connesson: Flammenschrift – Benjamin Beilman, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin – Saturday, February 24, 2018, 08:00 PM EST (UTC-5) / Sunday, February 25, 2018, 3:00 AM EET (UTC+2) – Live on Livestream

Benjamin Beilman (Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi)
















"Berlioz tells it like it is. You take a trip; you wind up screaming at your own funeral." — Leonard Bernstein

Part symphony, part psychedelic episode, Berlioz guides us through encounters with budding passion, festive parties, the despair of unrequited love, and ultimately, execution and hideous revelries ushering us into the underworld. The lines between reality and hallucination blur among the sounds of pleading winds, relentless brass, and foreboding percussion.

American violinist Benjamin Beilman performs Camille Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op.28, and Maurice Ravel's Tzigane.


Saturday, February 24
Los Angeles: 05:00 PM
Detroit, New York, Toronto: 08:00 PM
Brasília: 11:00 PM

Sunday, February 25

London: 01:00 AM
Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Warsaw: 02:00 AM
Kiev, Jerusalem, Athens: 3:00 AM
Moscow, Ankara: 04:00 AM
Beijing, Manila: 09:00 AM
Tokyo, Seoul: 10:00 AM

Live on Livestream


The DSO thanks violinist Benjamin Beilman for stepping in for Renaud Capuçon for the final two programs of the French Festival. Mr. Capuçon is unable to appear due to illness.



DSO's FRENCH FESTIVAL – CONCERT SIX

Guillaume Connesson (b. 1970)

♪ Flammenschrift (2016)


Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

♪ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op.28 (1863)*



Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

♪ 
Tzigane, M.76 (1924)*



Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

♪ Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste, H.48 / Op.14 (1830)


i. Rêveries – Passions (Daydreams – Passions)

ii. Un bal (A ball)
iii. Scène aux champs (Scene in the Country)
iv. Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold)
v. Songe d'une nuit de sabbat (Dream of a Witches' Sabbath)


Benjamin Beilman, violin*

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin

(HD 720p)


Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit


Saturday, February 24, 2018, 08:00 PM EST (UTC-5) / Sunday, February 25, 2018, 3:00 AM EET (UTC+2)


Live on Livestream


Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi
Born in 1989, American violinist Benjamin Beilman is winning plaudits across the globe for his compelling and impassioned performances, his deep rich tone and searing lyricism and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most significant artists of his generation. The New York Times has praised his "handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast". Reviewing his latest recording, The Strad said "Beilman imbues every idea with a scorching expressive imperativeness... soaring aloft with ear-ringingly pure intonation... then lacerating our sensitivities with hectoring explosions of sound".

In Europe Beilman has performed with many of the major orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Zurich Tonhalle and in 2016-2017 made his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras and the Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse. In the US recent highlights have included a return San Francisco Symphony, and debuts with Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and Nashville Symphony orchestras. In 2016-2017 he returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform with Nézet-Séguin both in subscription concerts at Kimmel Center and at Carnegie Hall, and with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra he performed the world premiere of In Silence by Elizabeth Ogonek, as part of CSO's MusicNOW series. Conductors that Beilman has worked with include Gabel, Nesterowicz, Valčuha, Shani, Urbanksi amongst others.

Beilman performs regularly in recital and chamber music, appearing at halls such as Wigmore Hall, Stockholm Concert Hall, Louvre (Paris), Rudolfinum (Prague), Philharmonie (Berlin) and at festivals including Verbier, Aix-en-Provence Easter, Colmar, Moritzburg, Heidelberg and in 2017 he made his debut at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw in the Robeco Summer Concerts in trio with Louis Schwizgebel and Narek Hakhnazaryan. In the US Beilman performs regularly at Carnegie Hall and is a frequent guest artist at festivals such as Music@Menlo, Marlboro, Seattle Chamber Music; further afield he made a ten-city recital tour of Australia in 2016 with Andrew Tyson and looks forward to recitals in SE Asia in the coming seasons.

Highlights of Beilman's 2017-2018 season include his Australian concerto debut with the Sydney Symphony where he performs Jennifer Higdon's Concerto, debuts with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony, Houston Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and his return to the London Chamber Orchestra. In recital he returns to Wigmore Hall with Boris Giltburg, makes his recital debut in Seoul and in the US he premieres a new work written for him by Frederic Rzewski, commissioned by Music Accord, at the Boston Celebrity Series and elsewhere. In chamber music, he returns to Heidelberg Spring Festival and to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Beilman has received several prestigious awards including a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a London Music Masters Award. In 2010 he won the First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and as First Prize Winner of the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition and winner of the People's Choice Award, Beilman recorded Prokofiev's complete sonatas for violin on the Analekta label in 2011. In 2016 he released his first disc for Warner Classics titled Spectrum, featuring works by Stravinsky, Janacek and Schubert.

Beilman studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy. He plays the "Engleman" Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Source: intermusica.co.uk


Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi
















Camille Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op.28

The Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Op.28, is one of Saint-Saëns' few genuine showpieces. It was composed for his friend, the virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908), for whom he had already written the Violin Concerto in A major, Op.20 (1859), and for whom he would eventually create the Violin Concerto in B minor, Op.61 (1880). Whereas the Op.20 Violin Concerto was written when the violinist was only 24 years of age, the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso is deliberately challenging – a testimony to the mature master's technique. Sarasate's frequent programming of the work did a great deal for its popularity in the years after its publication (1870); its appeal was wide enough, in fact, that both George Bizet and Claude Debussy made arrangements of it – the former for violin and piano, and the latter for piano, four hands.

As one would expect from the title, the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso begins with a slow section, marked Andante malinconico and characterized by a plaintive falling leap and rising arpeggio. Becoming gradually more animated, the introduction culminates in a scintillating mini-cadenza that leads into the Rondo proper (Allegro ma non troppo). When the violin enters, it states a theme that has a Spanish flavor, stemming from syncopation and chromatic inflections. The melody spins out into wild arpeggios and gigantic leaps before the orchestra begins a bridge to the contrasting theme, marked con morbidezza. This lyric melody is especially entrancing because it is in 2/4 time, played simultaneously with the continuing 6/8 time of the orchestra. The Rondo theme returns quietly in the solo violin before an orchestral outburst that is a reprise of the earlier bridge passage. The oboe takes the final statement of the rondo theme, which becomes fragmented and developed until the beginning of the brilliant coda, which is mainly a showcase for Sarasate's technical ability.

Source: John Palmer (allmusic.com)



Maurice Ravel: Tzigane, M.76

While a good part of Ravel's energies during the period 1920-1925 were spent on the opera L'Enfant et les sortilèges, the composer did find time to produce a handful of smaller-scale works, most notably the Sonata for violin and cello (1920-1922) and Tzigane, a virtuosic, gypsy-inflected vehicle for solo violin and piano. Though Ravel did not complete Tzigane until spring 1924, the idea of composing such a work came to him many years earlier, on the occasion of his introduction to the enormously gifted Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Aranyi. D'Aranyi had given a private London performance of the Sonata for violin and cello in the early 1920s, and after the concert had so impressed Ravel with her stock of gypsy tunes and bravura technique that he kept her playing until the sun rose the following day. By April 22, 1924, Tzigane was ready, and a few days later, it was premiered in London by d'Aranyi and pianist Henri Gil-Marchex. (True to form, Ravel continued to tinker with the piece for several weeks after the first performance.) During the summer of the same year Ravel made an orchestral version of the piano part; he also allowed for the substitution of the piano by a luthéal (a piano with a sound-modifying mechanism placed on its soundboard). Neither of these incarnations, however, entirely captures the nuances of the original.

Tzigane opens with an extended solo for the violin (Lento, quasi cadenza), buried in the middle of which is a theme characterized by a dotted-rhythm, falling-fifth figure which serves as the melodic meat for much of the work. The piano (or harp, in the orchestra version) enters with its own chromatic mini-cadenza as the soloist's fiery technical gestures and robust double stops subside into flickering double tremolos and a pair of unaccompanied trills that usher in the main body of the piece. The remainder of Tzigane is worked out in a clearly sectional manner. After a restatement of the falling-fifth idea by the violin, the piano produces its own little theme, a staccato tune that makes thorough use of the typically "gypsy" interval of an augmented second. Some time later, a bombastic Grandioso breaks in. After a brief pause, the violin resumes in sixteenth note perpetual motion, colored by such features as Paganini-like left-hand pizzicato. The musical line accelerates and decelerates time and again until it finally achieves unstoppable momentum. The work comes to an end with three incisive chords (marked pizzicato, but often played with the bow).

Source: Blair Johnston (allmusic.com)



Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste, H.48 / Op.14

Symphonie fantastique, H.48 / Op.14, in full "Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste", English "Fantastic Symphony: Episode in the Life of an Artist", orchestral work by French composer Hector Berlioz, widely recognized as an early example of program music, that attempts to portray a sequence of opium dreams inspired by a failed love affair. The composition is also notable for its expanded orchestration, grander than usual for the early 19th century, and for its innovative use of a recurring theme – the so-called ideé fixe ("fixed idea" or "obsession") – throughout all movements. The Symphony premiered in Paris on December 5, 1830, and won for Berlioz a reputation as one of the most progressive composers of the era.

After completing medical studies at the behest of his father, who was a doctor, Berlioz rebelliously pursued music and literature, for which he had harboured passions since childhood. In the fall of 1827, at age 24, he attended the opening night of Shakespeare's Hamlet, performed in Paris by an English theatre company. Because his formal education had exposed him only to Latin and Greek, Berlioz understood little of the language. Nevertheless, he was transformed by the experience and recalled it in his memoirs: "Shakespeare, coming upon me unaware, struck me like a thunderbolt".

On that night, however, Berlioz was fascinated by more than the work of the revered English poet: he was enchanted by Harriet Smithson, the young Irishwoman who played Ophelia. That enchantment soon turned to obsession as Berlioz haunted the stage door and inundated Smithson with love letters only to have his advances ignored. Motivated by the pain of unilateral love, Berlioz began after three years to compose an elaborate quasi-autobiographical piece of program music, a symphony that would depict a disconsolate lover driven to the brink of suicide by his lady's indifference. That work became Symphonie fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste, or simply Symphonie fantastique.

Berlioz declared in his memoirs that the music portrays the dreams of a young man who, in the aftermath of a failed love affair, has taken an overdose of opium. The first movement, which begins gently but increases in intensity, is intended to depict the delights and despairs of love. The second movement, an elegant waltz, evokes a ball where the lover again encounters the woman he can never possess, now in another man's arms. The idyllic strains of the third movement portray his attempt to escape his passions by traveling to the countryside, but, as memories of the unattainable woman return to his thoughts, the tone grows sombre. The composition takes a highly dramatic turn in the ponderous fourth movement, when the young man imagines that he has murdered his beloved and is about to be executed for the crime. The music depicts his march to the guillotine, where his last thought is of the woman he loves. In the final movement, he is in hell at a witches' sabbath over which his beloved herself presides, surrounded by echoes of the ancient hymn Dies irae ("Day of Wrath"), from the Catholic requiem mass.

Aside from its pioneering role as a symphony with a program – that is, with a story to tell – Symphonie fantastique is remarkable for its use of the idée fixe, which surfaces in every movement and unites the entire work. The recurring theme is essentially the tune of the beloved, representing in its varying moods the woman's ever-changing image in her lover's eye. Berlioz's idée fixe paved the way for the development of similar compositional devices in the mid-19th century, including the thematic transformations associated with the works of Franz Liszt and the leitmotifs of Richard Wagner's operas. Symphonie fantastique also constituted the largest-scale symphony composed by anyone to that time, with its five movements spanning nearly an hour and a dauntingly large orchestra that employed new wind instruments – such as the ophicleide (predecessor of the tuba) and the valve trumpet – as well as doubling on the harp and timpani parts.

Although the lover and the beloved are nowhere united in Symphonie fantastique, Berlioz, against all odds, eventually achieved the union in life. Two years after the piece's premiere, when the composer was planning another Paris performance of the massive symphony together with its new choral sequel entitled Lélio, or Le Retour à la vie (1832; "The Return to Life"), he arranged for an English newspaper correspondent to attend the concert with Smithson as his guest. The unsuspecting actress was not warned about what music was on the program, nor was she aware that Berlioz himself would be there. She took the shock reasonably well and was observed to be reading the composer's descriptive program notes closely and paying keen attention to the music. The performance was well received, and soon afterward Smithson consented at last to meet Berlioz. The following year, on October 3, 1833, the two were married. Their marriage, however, was not a happy one, and the couple separated less than a decade later.

Source: Betsy Schwarm (britannica.com)













More photos


See also


Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique – Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Lionel Bringuier (HD 1080p)

Live on Livestream: All Past Events

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Claude Debussy: La mer, & Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune | Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor | Henri Rabaud: La procession nocturne – Benjamin Beilman, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin – Friday, February 23, 2018, 10:45 AM EST (UTC-5) / 05:45 PM EET (UTC+2) – Live on Livestream

Benjamin Beilman (Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi)
















In La Mer, Claude Debussy captures the elemental essence of the seas and expresses it through music; the transparent stillness of morning, the darkness of murky depths, and the power of surging tides through orchestral waves of sound. La Mer is a towering achievement, both in his career and in symphonic literature. Though written more than 100 years ago, it continues to influence musical portrayals of the sea to this day.

American violinist Benjamin Beilman performs Camille Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor, Op.61.


Friday, February 23
Los Angeles: 07:45 AM
Detroit, New York, Toronto: 10:45 AM
Brasília: 01:45 PM
London: 03:45 PM
Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, Warsaw: 04:45 PM
Kiev, Jerusalem, Athens: 05:45 PM
Moscow, Ankara: 06:45 PM
Beijing, Manila: 11:45 PM

Saturday, February 24
Tokyo, Seoul: 00:45 AM

Live on Livestream

The DSO thanks violinist Benjamin Beilman for stepping in for Renaud Capuçon for the final two programs of the French Festival. Mr. Capuçon is unable to appear due to illness.



DSO's FRENCH FESTIVAL – CONCERT FIVE

Henri Rabaud (1873-1949)

♪ La procession nocturne, Op.6 (1910)


Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

♪ Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor, Op.61 (1880)*

i. Allegro non troppo
ii. Andantino quasi allegretto
iii. Molto moderato e maestoso – Allegro non troppo


Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

♪ Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune / Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (1894)


♪ La mer / The Sea (1903-1905, rev. 1908)

i. De l'aube a midi sur la mer
ii. Jeux de Vagues
iii. Dialogue du Vent et de la Mer


Benjamin Beilman, violin*

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin

(HD 720p)


Live from Orchestra Hall, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit


Friday, February 23, 2018, 10:45 AM EST (UTC-5) / 05:45 PM EET (UTC+2)


Live on Livestream



Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi
Born in 1989, American violinist Benjamin Beilman is winning plaudits across the globe for his compelling and impassioned performances, his deep rich tone and searing lyricism and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most significant artists of his generation. The New York Times has praised his "handsome technique, burnished sound, and quiet confidence [which] showed why he has come so far so fast". Reviewing his latest recording, The Strad said "Beilman imbues every idea with a scorching expressive imperativeness... soaring aloft with ear-ringingly pure intonation... then lacerating our sensitivities with hectoring explosions of sound".

In Europe Beilman has performed with many of the major orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Zurich Tonhalle and in 2016-2017 made his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras and the Orchestre National de Capitole de Toulouse. In the US recent highlights have included a return San Francisco Symphony, and debuts with Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and Nashville Symphony orchestras. In 2016-2017 he returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform with Nézet-Séguin both in subscription concerts at Kimmel Center and at Carnegie Hall, and with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra he performed the world premiere of In Silence by Elizabeth Ogonek, as part of CSO's MusicNOW series. Conductors that Beilman has worked with include Gabel, Nesterowicz, Valčuha, Shani, Urbanksi amongst others.

Beilman performs regularly in recital and chamber music, appearing at halls such as Wigmore Hall, Stockholm Concert Hall, Louvre (Paris), Rudolfinum (Prague), Philharmonie (Berlin) and at festivals including Verbier, Aix-en-Provence Easter, Colmar, Moritzburg, Heidelberg and in 2017 he made his debut at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw in the Robeco Summer Concerts in trio with Louis Schwizgebel and Narek Hakhnazaryan. In the US Beilman performs regularly at Carnegie Hall and is a frequent guest artist at festivals such as Music@Menlo, Marlboro, Seattle Chamber Music; further afield he made a ten-city recital tour of Australia in 2016 with Andrew Tyson and looks forward to recitals in SE Asia in the coming seasons.

Highlights of Beilman's 2017-2018 season include his Australian concerto debut with the Sydney Symphony where he performs Jennifer Higdon's Concerto, debuts with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony, Houston Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and his return to the London Chamber Orchestra. In recital he returns to Wigmore Hall with Boris Giltburg, makes his recital debut in Seoul and in the US he premieres a new work written for him by Frederic Rzewski, commissioned by Music Accord, at the Boston Celebrity Series and elsewhere. In chamber music, he returns to Heidelberg Spring Festival and to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Beilman has received several prestigious awards including a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a London Music Masters Award. In 2010 he won the First Prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and as First Prize Winner of the 2010 Montréal International Musical Competition and winner of the People's Choice Award, Beilman recorded Prokofiev's complete sonatas for violin on the Analekta label in 2011. In 2016 he released his first disc for Warner Classics titled Spectrum, featuring works by Stravinsky, Janacek and Schubert.

Beilman studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago, Ida Kavafian and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music, and Christian Tetzlaff at the Kronberg Academy. He plays the "Engleman" Stradivarius from 1709 generously on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Source: intermusica.co.uk

















Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor, Op.61

Saint-Saëns composed a number of concertos, among them two for cello, five for piano, and three for violin. As he had the Violin Concerto in A major, Op.28 (1859), and the Introduction and Rondo capriccioso, Op.28 (1863), Saint-Saëns composed the Violin Concerto No.3 in B minor, Op.61, for the virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908). Sarasate gave the first performance of the work at one of the composer's many Monday soirées in 1880, the year Saint-Saëns completed the piece.

As in all the pieces Saint-Saëns composed for Sarasate, the Violin Concerto No.3 frequently allows the soloist to display technical prowess; however, the piece requires refined musicality, as well. The Third Concerto stands out among Saint-Saëns' works in the genre because it reverts to a format with three clearly separated movements.

The Concerto begins without an orchestral introduction; instead, only quietly rumbling chords that provide a harmonic background for the harsh violin theme can be heard. As the first movement progresses, it reveals itself as a very dramatic essay, contrasting passionate, effusive sections with more gentle passages. With a basic outline of sonata form, the movement features a first theme that conveys a sense of yearning and searching through numerous accents and an apparent lack of direction. After a few flashy flourishes from the soloist, the full orchestra powerfully re-states parts of the main theme, creating a transition to the contrasting, lyrical secondary theme. Fragmentation and thematic transformation propel the movement toward a rousing conclusion.

For the second movement, Saint-Saëns composed a barcarolle in which the violin and woodwinds exchange material. The key, B flat major, is striking in that it is a half step below that of the first movement. The melodies are Italianate in this 6/8 time movement, marked Andantino quasi Allegretto. Judging from Sarasate's own compositions, the second movement of Saint-Saëns' Concerto is well suited to the violinist's elegant style. The excellent close features a violin line of harmonics that climbs to the stratosphere and seems to disappear.

Surprisingly, a slow introduction, which one might expect to open the first movement of a symphony or concerto, precedes the finale. Marked Molto moderato e maestoso, the introduction, with its coarse violin part alternating with busy orchestral passages, avoids the key of the movement, B minor. After reaching the dominant, the tempo shifts to Allegro non troppo and the movement begins. Throughout the finale, the orchestra is more involved in the musical argument than it is in the previous movements. The opening, leaping theme with triplets contrasts with a rising scale that is the secondary idea, and at the center of the movement can be heard an elegant, cantabile section in G major in which the orchestra takes a leading role. Occasionally the movement takes on a "gypsy" flavor before a return of the leaping theme leads to a change to B major, a brief, chorale-like passage for the orchestra and flashy conclusion in the new key.

Source: John Palmer (allmusic.com)



Claude Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune / Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, known in English as Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, is a symphonic poem for orchestra by Claude Debussy, approximately 10 minutes in duration. It was first performed in Paris on December 22, 1894, conducted by Gustave Doret. The flute solo was played by Georges Barrère.

Debussy's work later provided the basis for the ballet Afternoon of a Faun choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky and a later version by Jerome Robbins.

The original orchestral version was completed in 1894, and Debussy reworked it for performance on two pianos in 1895. The work is considered a quintessential example of musical Impressionism, a compositional style popular at the turn of the 20th century that was influenced by the artistic school of the same name.

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun is a musical evocation of Stéphane Mallarmé's poem Afternoon of a Faun, in which a faun – a half-man, half-goat creature of ancient Greek legend – awakes to revel in sensuous memories of forest nymphs.

Debussy begins with a sinuous flute melody evocative of a graceful female form. Gently swelling phrases for strings, harp, and horns are soon added. The music proceeds without abrupt shifts; themes blend into each other, slowly rising and falling. The middle section features clarinet and oboe solos before the flute gradually retakes the spotlight. In the final moments, airy touches of percussion from finger cymbals are heard.

Source: en.wikipedia.org | Betsy Schwarm (britannica.com)



Claude Debussy: La mer / The Sea

Claude Debussy's most concentrated and brilliant orchestral work, La Mer, is one of the supreme achievements in the symphonic literature. It is a work of such imagination that it stands apart from traditions and influences, and its modernity can still be felt today, more than 100 years after it was first composed.

The sea Debussy knew, from his childhood visits to Cannes and later travels in Italy, was the Mediterranean. It's a civilized sea, and Debussy caught its moods in all their richness. He subtitled La Mer "Three Symphonic Sketches", and the names of the movements provide us with verbal suggestions to stimulate our own sense of imagery.

"From Dawn to Midday on the Sea" explores the sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic changes of atmosphere and lighting that accompany the progress of morning on the water.

"Play of Waves" draws the imagination to the spheres of light and motion. One senses the rocking of the waves, the unexpected shifts of current, the iridescent glint of sunlight on the surface of the water and the mysterious depths teeming with life.

"Dialog of the Wind and the Sea" is at once ominous and urgent: One feels close to the sea's danger, as the orchestra heaves and swells in great washes of sound. A moment of suspenseful calm is reached before a great, final buildup shows the sea in stormy triumph, dazzling and full of elemental force.

Source: npr.org












More photos


See also


Live on Livestream: All Past Events