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Beethoven: Piano Concertos 2 & 3 | Leon Fleisher, Margarita Höhenrieder

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Concertos No. 2 & 3

Margarita Höhenrieder
Leon Fleisher

Kammerphilharmonie Amadé
Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn

Beethoven’s piano concertos impressively reflect the personality and creativity of the revolutionary composer. They are a challenge for each pianist. In this recording of the 2nd and 3rd concertos, the legendary pianist, conductor, and teacher Leon Fleisher and his star pupil Margarita Höhenrieder, who has also gained international recognition, show their personal relationship with Beethoven. At two unusual concert locations – the Zollverein World Heritage Site in Germany’s Ruhr area and the famous Max-Littmann-Saal in Bad Kissingen, which is known for its acoustics – the two discerning artists perform the two concertos together with the Kammerphilharmonie Amadé and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn. (more…)

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 9 “Choral”

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Herbert Blomstedt,
conductor

Simona SaturovaMihoko FujimuraChristian ElsnerChristian Gerhaher
MDR Rundfunkchor
GewandhausChor
GewandhausKinderchor

Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the musical city of Leipzig are closely intertwined with each other: Felix Mendelssohn, Kapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester, made the work an indispensable part of the concert hall repertoire and Arthur Nikisch, one of his successors, established in 1918 the worldwide tradition of performing this groundbreaking and pioneering work at the end of the year. The phenomenal Herbert Blomstedt, Gewandhaus-kapellmeister from 1998 to 2005, once again conducted Beethoven’s Ninth in Leipzig for the 2016 New Year celebrations.

(more…)

You and Me – A Peking Opera

You and Me

A Peking opera in five acts
Composed and conducted by Zhu Shaoyu
Staged by Zhang Yimou

Recorded live in March 2014
Directed by Barbara Willis Sweete
Produced by Paul Smaczny

Zhang Yimou, the renowned Chinese film director and winner of the Golden Globe Award (Red Cornfield, Red Lantern, Hero, House of Flying Daggers), is staging his first Peking opera at the NCPA, spectacularly fusing the traditional and modern together for his production of You and Me. The result is an overwhelming feast for the senses. Lavish and colorful costumes, unique music composed and conducted by Zhu Shaoyu, and a world class ensemble that features the greatest stars of the Peking opera, including Meng Guanglu, Shi Yihong and Li Mingyan, turn You and Me into an unforgettable experience. (more…)

CD – Szymanowski / Lutosławski – NOSPR Katowice, Alexander Liebreich, Gautier Capuçon

Karol Szymanowski
Concert Overture in E major op.12

Witold Lutosławski
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
Symphony No.4

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Gautier Capuçon, cello
Alexander Liebreich, conductor

Under the direction of its Chief Conductor Alexander Liebreich, the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio (NOSPR) is the leading ensemble in the country and is one of Europe’s major radio orchestras. As cultural ambassadors with a rich tradition, the orchestra has made its mark through performances of Polish composers, as it is impressively seen on this CD that features works by Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutoslawski. It is the final recording of a three-part cycle of works by these influential Polish composers.

(more…)

Giacomo Puccini – Turandot

Giacomo Puccini
TURANDOT

China National Centre for the Performing Arts
Orchestra & Chorus

Conducted by Daniel Oren
Staged by Chen Xinyi
Finale composed by Hao Weiya

Turandot, the late gem of Italian opera, is a celebration of the sounds and the mythical figures intimately associated with Chinese culture. The dramatic punch of the libretto inspired Giacomo Puccini to imagine a sound world of unusual splendour: The score features original Chinese melodies, Asian pentatonic scales and colourful orchestration with percussion writing that is strongly reminiscent of Asian music.

(more…)

Vincenzo Bellini – I Capuleti e i Montecchi

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835)

I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Tragedia lirica in two act

Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Christof Loy, Stage Director

Philharmonia Zürich, Chor der Oper Zürich
Joyce DiDonato (Romeo)
Olga Kulchynska (Julia)

 

The story of Romeo and Juliet, who pay for their passion with their lives, has been interpreted in the widest variety of literary and musical genres ever since the Renaissance. Vincenzo Bellini’s much too rarely staged Romeo and Juliet opera, I Capuleti e i Montecchi, is far removed from Shakespeare’s version: rather than telling the story of a tenderly burgeoning love, the piece is an account of the last 24 hours in the two young people’s lives. The underlying mood of the piece is thus one of melancholy – which then develops into a catastrophic maelstrom. The première of the thrilling Zurich production of this bel canto gem, directed by Christof Loy and conducted by Fabio Luisi, was enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike. The two protagonists also met with acclaim: experience world star Joyce DiDonato in the trouser role of Romeo, with the young Ukrainian soprano Olga Kulchynska at her side as Giulietta. (more…)

CD – J. Ingolfsson, V. Stoupel – Gabriel Fauré

“Concert-Centenaire” Vol. III

Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Vladimir Stoupel, piano

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A major, Op. 13
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 in E minor, Op. 108

Violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel are both accomplished soloists with international concert careers. In 2006, they began a successful collaboration, searching for new paths in chamber music and devoting themselves to the cultivation of an uncommon repertoire. One of their projects is “Concert-Centenaire,” dedicated to composers whose lives were influenced by the First World War.

(more…)

Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Le nozze di Figaro

Commedia per musica in four acts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Text by Lorenzo Da Ponte

from the
China National Centre for the Performing Arts

Conductor: Lü Jia
Staged by: José Luis Castro

NCPA’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) shines a new light on one of the most famous operas created by W. A. Mozart in 1786 during the summit of his composing life: It combines traditional Western elements with an outstanding Chinese cast. Stage director José Luis Castro from Seville – where the story happens – embeds the opera in the traditional setting of his hometown. The NCPA Orchestra and Chorus, under the baton of their music director Lü Jia, bring the music to life in a fresh contemporary interpretation that lays the ground for the excellent lead soloists. Le Nozze di Figaro once more shows that the NCPA is a venue of choice for opera lovers in the Chinese capital and well beyond.

(more…)

Alban Berg – Wozzeck

Opera in three acts (15 scenes) after Georg Büchner’s “Woyzeck”

Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Andreas Homoki, Stage Director

Philharmonia Zürich, Chor der Oper Zürich
Christian Gerhaher (Wozzeck)
Gun-Brit Barkmin (Marie)

The soldier Wozzeck (Christian Gerhaher) flits through a world that he is unable to decipher. The doctor torments him with absurd medical experiments; the captain humiliates and ridicules him. And Wozzeck’s lover, Marie (Gun-Brit Barkmin), with whom he has a child, cuckolds him with the drum major. Wozzeck becomes a murderer, stabbing Marie to death. Georg Büchner’s drama fragment, on which Alban Berg based his first opera, is an unflinching case study of social injustice and human suffering. But it is also a grotesque piece that thrives on exaggeration – and in which only a fine line separates the unfathomable from the ridiculous. Accordingly, director Andreas Homoki forgoes all realism.

(more…)

CD – J.S. Bach – Goldberg Variations – Zhu Xiao-Mei – The New Recording

Johann Sebastian Bach
Goldberg Variations

Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano

“In this work,” says Zhu Xiao-Mei, “Bach gave musical expression to life in all of its infinite facets.” The Chinese pianist’s name is inextricably linked to that of Johann Sebastian Bach. For Zhu Xiao-Mei the special quality of the Goldberg Variations lies in the fact that all human emotions and feelings find expression here. “I love them above all else, each day a little more, and I have always wanted to share this love with others…”
Since her first pioneering recording of the Goldberg Variations more than twenty years ago, Zhu Xiao-Mei has played the work several hundred times at recitals all over the world. Through the encounter with the audience she has evolved a new vision of the work, which she is now presenting to listeners in the form of this new CD recording. (more…)

Lucerne Festival 2015 – Andris Nelsons – Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 5

Selected Songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn”
Rheinlegendchen, Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen,
Das irdische Leben, Urlicht,
Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt,
Revelge, Der Tamboursg’sell

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Matthias Goerne, baritone

Andris Nelsons conducted the Lucerne Festival Orchestra for the third time in August 2015, the orchestra’s second summer without founder and guiding spirit Claudio Abbado. The first half of his concert was already highlight: the baritone Matthias Goerne seemed completely at home in a selection of songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn. His warm, dark voice allows him to capture the somber and tragic atmosphere of this music like no one else. Its shaded timbre is most perfectly suited to the work’s melancholy and nocturnal moods, where one can directly experience how an artist of this caliber can bring music to the edge of the abyss. (more…)

LP – Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Bruckner Symphony No. 1

Claudio Abbado
Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 1 in C minor, WAB 101
„Vienna” version, 1891, edition by Günter Brosche

“Abbado uncovered the radical nature of the work with its fascinating accumulations of intensity and abrupt interruptions … Long and enthusiastic standing ovations at the end for the conductor and orchestra.” (Die Welt) – The audience experienced Bruckner’s groundbreaking Symphony No. 1 in Lucerne’s new concert hall in a spectacular performance. This uncompromising interpretation of the First reveals the originality of the composer’s musical language.

(more…)

CD – J. Ingolfsson, V. Stoupel – Louis Vierne

“Concert-Centenaire” Vol. II

Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Vladimir Stoupel, piano
Rebecca Li, violin
Stefan Fehlandt, viola
Stephan Forck, cello

Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G minor, Op. 23
Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 42

Violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel are both accomplished soloists with international concert careers. In 2006, they began a successful collaboration, searching for new paths in chamber music and devoting themselves to the cultivation of an uncommon repertoire. One of their projects is “Concert-Centenaire,” dedicated to composers whose lives were influenced by the First World War. (more…)

CD – Mendelssohn’s Elias – RIAS Kammerchor – Akamus Berlin

Felix Mendelssohn – Elias
op. 70, MWV A 25

RIAS Kammerchor
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
Hans-Christoph Rademann, conductor

Marlis Petersen (soprano), Lioba Braun (mezzo – soprano)
Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), Thomas Oliemans (baritone)

“Never was there a more complete triumph – never a more thorough and speedy recognition of a great work of art.” This was the response of the critic in the London Times to the wildly successful premiere of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elias in 1846. Hans-Christoph Rademann began his tenure as Principal Conductor of the RIAS Chamber Choir with this groundbreaking oratorio. After eight productive and successful years, his final concert in July 2015 also featured the work. It was a “Farewell Performance with Furor” (Der Tagesspiegel), not least because of the impressive performers involved: the RIAS Chamber Choir, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, and the soloists Marlis Petersen, Lioba Braun, Maximilian Schmitt, and Thomas Oliemans. (more…)

CD – Sunwook Kim – Franck and Brahms

César Franck
Prélude, Choral et Fugue

Johannes Brahms
Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, op. 5

Sunwook Kim, piano

Korean pianist Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious “Leeds International Piano Competition” in 2006 aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of many of the world’s foremost orchestras and giving recitals in leading concert halls. In this second Accentus Music recording Sunwook Kim compares and contrasts César Franck’s Prélude, Choral et Fugue of 1884 and Johannes Brahms’s Third Piano Sonata in F minor op. 5 of 1853.

(more…)

CD – J. Ingolfsson, V. Stoupel – Stephan and Magnard

“Concert-Centenaire” Vol. I

Judith Ingolfsson, violin
Vladimir Stoupel, piano

Rudi Stephan (1887-1915)
“Groteske” for Violin and Piano (1911)
Albéric Magnard (1865-1914)
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, op. 13 (1901)

Violinist Judith Ingolfsson and pianist Vladimir Stoupel are both accomplished soloists with international concert careers. In 2006, they began a successful collaboration, searching for new paths in chamber music and devoting themselves to the cultivation of an uncommon repertoire. One of their projects is “Concert-Centenaire,” dedicated to composers whose lives were influenced by the First World War. (more…)

Nikolaj Znaider, Riccardo Chailly – Mendelssohn and Beethoven – Violin Concertos

Nikolaj Znaider, violin
Riccardo Chailly
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Felix Mendelssohn
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 64
Ludwig van Beethoven
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major, Op. 61

The Daily Telegraph describes Nikolaj Znaider as “the most stimulating young musician playing today, drawing on musical intelligence, perception and dynamism to give performances of rare intensity.” This release presents one of the world’s foremost violinists playing two landmark concertos, accompanied by the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester – “one of Europe’s finest orchestras” (The Guardian) – under the baton of its music director Riccardo Chailly. It was the Gewandhausorchester that, in 1845, first performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E minor. Mendelssohn himself had conducted Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major several times and helped this milestone in the history of music to its great breakthrough.

(more…)

LP – J.S. Bach – Inventions and Sinfonias – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach
Inventions and Sinfonias

When Bach composed them, in his last years in Köthen, those pivotal years that were to lead him to Leipzig, he already had an incredible number of masterpieces behind him. He took the trouble to make a beautiful fair copy of this work. It’s a product of his maturity. But since these pieces serve as a basic tool for learning the piano, they’re inevitably overshadowed by the larger cycles, like The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, The Art of Fugue and so on. But that’s a mistake, because there’s an extraordinary density of music in the Inventions and Sinfonias. Zhu Xiao-Mei

“Johann Sebastian Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias become real musical pearls in Zhu Xiao Meis incomparably refined playing, peppered by a totally respectful imagination and creativity. Enchanting!”  Pizzicato (more…)

CD – NOSPR – Alexander Liebreich – Szymanowski, Lutosławski

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Liebreich, Conductor

Karol Szymanowski
Symphony No. 2 in B flat major, op. 19 (1909)

Witold Lutosławski
Livre pour Orchestre (1968)
Musique funèbre à la mémoire de Béla Bartók (1958)

The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is the country’s leading performing ensemble and one of Europe’s finest broadcasting orchestras. Building on a long tradition, the group performs throughout the world as a musical ambassador for Poland, often featuring works by Polish composers – as the pieces by Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski on this CD impressively demonstrate. This is the orchestra’s second album with their Principal Conductor Alexander Liebreich. Their first CD together, also with compositions by Szymanowski and Lutosławski, is already cited as a reference recording, with “thrilling, technically brilliant performances.” (Der Tagesspiegel) (more…)

Music – A Journey For Life – Riccardo Chailly

A documentary by Paul Smaczny

“Without inner fire, without physical energy, this profession would be unthinkable,” according to Riccardo Chailly, in whose style of conducting accuracy and elegance are unforgettably united with an inexhaustible temperament. This is clear in Music – A Journey for Life, the first film portrait of the Italian maestro, which accompanies him working with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, at La Scala in Milan, and in rehearsals for La Bohème at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia. Chailly’s impressive physical and mental strength lend a uniquely personal dynamic to the musical processes and the collaboration between the conductor and musicians. Music – A Journey for Life also reveals the private person Riccardo Chailly, for whom the rigorous study of scores and time with his family are as important as a steady routine is not. (more…)

Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin – Anton Bruckner Symphonies Nos. 4-9 (box set)

Anton Bruckner’s symphonies are gigantic mountain ranges carved out of sound, traversed by steep chasms, broad steppes, and dark valleys. The effect of their performance is comparable to the exalted feeling of reaching the summit of a mighty peak. Daniel Barenboim guides the Staatskapelle Berlin to the heights of Bruckner’s lofty sound formations. With a vision hewn from experience, Barenboim follows the harmonic development of the symphonies 4 through 9, revealing to us the breathtaking musical panorama of these exceptional symphonic masterpieces. “Heard together, one understood so much about this strange music, with its obsessive monumentality, terrifying expressive strength, and dizzying compositional syntheses of elements from the Middle Ages to Schubert and Wagner.” (Berliner Zeitung) This unforgettable Bruckner cycle sets new standards, and guarantees the Staatskapelle Berlin and their principal conductor “a place in the Bruckner pantheon.” (Der Tagesspiegel) (more…)

CD – Sunwook Kim – Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Sonatas

Ludwig van Beethoven
Piano Sonatas

No. 21, Op. 53 “Waldstein”
No. 29, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier”

Sunwook Kim, piano

Sunwook Kim lives in London, and came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006, aged just 18, becoming the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner. His performance of Brahms’s Concerto No.1 with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder in the competition’s finals attracted unanimous praise from the press. Since then, he has established a reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation, appearing as a concerto soloist in the subscription series of some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra (Gardiner, Harding), Concertgebouw Orchestra (Chung), Berlin Radio Symphony (Janowski), NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Finnish Radio Symphony (Oramo, Manze, Sokhiev), Philharmonia Orchestra (Ashkenazy, Valcuha, Gardner), London Philharmonic (Sinaisky), Radio-France Philharmonic (Chung), NHK Symphony (Steffens), Hallé Orchestra (Elder), and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for his BBC Proms debut in Summer 2014.

(more…)

CD – J. S. Bach – Inventions and Sinfonias – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Johann Sebastian Bach
Inventions and Sinfonias

Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano

“When Bach composed them, in his last years in Köthen, those pivotal years that were to lead him to Leipzig, he already had an incredible number of masterpieces behind him. He took the trouble to make a beautiful fair copy of this work. It’s a product of his maturity. But since these pieces serve as a basic tool for learning the piano, they’re inevitably overshadowed by the larger cycles, like The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, The Art of Fugue and so on. But that’s a mistake, because there’s an extraordinary density of music in the Inventions and Sinfonias.” Zhu Xiao-Mei (more…)

The Lost Paradise – Arvo Pärt, Robert Wilson

A Documentary by Günter Atteln

He is the most performed contemporary composer in the world. And yet he rarely ventures out in public, prefers to keep quiet about his music, feels at home in the forests of Estonia and generates therewith – perhaps involuntarily – the impression of a recluse, which is attributed to him again and again: Arvo Pärt. In The Lost Paradise, we follow him over a period of one year in his native Estonia, to Japan and the Vatican. The documentary is framed by the stage production of Adam’s Passion, a music theater piece based on the Biblical story of the fall of Adam featuring three key works by Arvo Pärt. The world-renowned director Robert Wilson has brought this work to the stage in a former submarine factory in Tallinn. Tracing their creative process, the film offers rare and personal insights into the worlds of two of the most fascinating personalities in the international arts and music scene. (more…)

Adam’s Passion – Arvo Pärt, Robert Wilson

Music by Arvo Pärt

Adam’s Lament
Tabula rasa
Miserere
Sequentia

Stage Direction, Set Design & Lighting Concept: Robert Wilson

Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste

Michalis Theophanous, Lucinda Childs

“You see, this story is your story, one that questions me. And this story is my story, one that responds to you. This is our common story. The story of Adam is the story of all mankind. And it is one of tragedy.” Arvo Pärt (more…)

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 7

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 7

Riccardo Chailly
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

“It is my best work, with a primarily cheerful character”. This was Gustav Mahler’s assessment of his Symphony No. 7, which was also highly regarded by Arnold Schoenberg, who said, “I had an impression of absolute peace based on artistic harmony. Something able to set me in motion without recklessly unsettling my center of gravity.” Riccardo Chailly, in his internationally acclaimed interpretations of Mahler’s symphonies – which he and the Gewandhaus Orchestra are bringing together in a complete cycle – focuses on the musical qualities of the works, eschewing false pathos and sentimentality while giving up none of the music’s dramatic intensity. (more…)

Isang Yun – INBETWEEN North and South Korea

Filmed in North and South Korea, this documentary explores whether music can overcome the boundaries of a divided country. There is one figure representing the two Koreas, a figure whose life in itself forms a bridge between both worlds: Korean composer Isang Yun is one of the very few people acknowledged on both sides. The film traces the course of a life that has been interpreted in different ways, examining the worlds of North and South Korean music, taking the viewer on an exciting journey through two political systems that Isang Yun spent his life trying to reconcile.

 

(more…)

Satiesfictions – Promenades with Erik Satie

Always armed with wisecracks, umbrella, and a bowler hat, Erik Satie was not only on the outside one of the strangest figures in the early 20th century French avant-garde; he was a composer, designer, church founder, PR pioneer, and master of witty remarks. In playful episodes, the documentary illuminates the overall phenomenon of Satie. His countless imaginary advertisements evolve into real commercials, and his drawings take on a life of their own as cartoons. Divas, dogs, puppets, and children, as well as pianists playing pianos stacked on top of each other are featured in scenic interludes, while performers turn into “musical furniture” in swimming pools, factories, or at train stations. Interwoven with accounts by Satie’s associates and music experts, the film offers a unique insight into Satie’s cosmos of word and sound. (more…)

Barbara Hannigan – concert & documentary

Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Barbara Hannigan (soprano/conductor)

She crosses boundaries and loves to explore new territory. Barbara Hannigan is one of the most fascinating and multi-facetted artistic personalities of our time. She sets new standards as a singer, conductor, and performance artist. The intimate portrait “I’m a creative animal” takes the viewer into the world of an exceptional musician – a world of both passion and discipline. Her performances possess a breathtaking intensity because of her exquisite vocal technique and virtuosity, musical and theatrical expressivity, and uncompromising engagement. In this concert with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Hannigan both sings and conducts to effortlessly build bridges linking different musical epochs. With a phenomenal performance of Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, a work for which she is famous, she once again confirms her reputation as the performer of contemporary music – “The audience went wild.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

“She is one of the best musicians out there.”
(Simon Rattle in The New York Times)

(more…)

Lucerne Festival, Andris Nelsons – Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms
Serenade No. 2 in A major, Op. 16
Alto Rhapsody with male chorus and orchestra, Op. 53
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Sara Mingardo, alto
Bavarian Radio Choir

In 2014, all signs pointed to a new beginning at the Lucerne Festival. For the first time, the festival would take place without the incomparable Claudio Abbado, with the young Latvian Andris Nelsons leading the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. Nelsons had already won the trust and respect of both listeners and performers in a moving memorial concert for Abbado in Lucerne. He is known internationally as one of the most gifted conductors of his generation. Now he was poised to lead the prestigious festival into a new era – he brilliantly mastered this “greatest challenge” (as he himself called it) of his career. (more…)

Tango – Café de los Maestros & friends

Recorded live at “El Palacio” in Buenos Aires

Café de los Maestros, Juan Carlos Godoy
Rodolfo Mederos, Teresa Parodi & Fernando Suárez Paz,
Otros Aires, Gustavo Mozzi

In the golden age of the 1920s and 1930s, the fabled ballroom “El Palacio” in Buenos Aires was home to the day’s legendary tango dancers and musicians, and even today it remains a meeting place for stars of the Argentine tango scene. The great Rodolfo Mederos, the incomparable Juan Carlos Godoy, as well as Astor Piazzolla’s musical partners Teresa Parodi and Fernando Suárez Paz all here take part in this electrifying “Fiesta del Tango”, while on the dance floor celebrated couples present consummate tango performances. This uncommon experience in an authentic atmosphere tells many stories of the tango – stories of longing, passion, and melancholy. (more…)

Vinyl – J.S. Bach Die Kunst der Fuge – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Zhu Xiao-Mei

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Art of Fugue

Johann Sebastian Bach plays a key role in her life – she is today one of the most significant interpreters of his music. The remarkable biography of this celebrated pianist gives her a unique position in the world of music. Her life has taken her from the re-education camps of the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Paris, where her international career as a pianist began rather late, but for that all the more successful. (more…)

Beethoven, Mozart – Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Claudio Abbado
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Christine Schäfer, Juliane Banse, Bruno Ganz

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No. 35 in D major, Haffner, K. 385

Misera, dove son! – Ah, non son io che parlo, K. 369
Ah, lo previdi! – Ah, t’invola – Deh, non varcar, K. 272
Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!, K. 418
Christine Schäfer (soprano)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy Egmont, Op. 84
for soprano, narrator and orchestra
Juliane Banse (soprano), Bruno Ganz (narrator) (more…)

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 9 – Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin

Daniel Barenboim, Conductor
Staatskapelle Berlin

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 9 in D minor
(original version)

“This music is more serious and more significant than one had thought”, the Berliner Zeitung summarized in its review of Daniel Barenboim’s celebrated Bruckner cycle with the Staatskapelle Berlin. Bruckner’s unfinished Symphony No. 9 brought to an end, in a poignant manner, the work of one of the greatest symphonic composers of the Classic-Romantic era. Once more the essential elements of Bruckner’s symphonic style are present; the technical standard, the intensity of sound, and the enormous richness of expression are in this singular work brought to an unsurpassed niveau.

(more…)

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra – Lutosławski, Szymanowski

Witold Lutosławski
Concerto for Orchestra (1954)

Karol Szymanowski
Three Fragments from Poems by Jan Kasprowicz Op. 5 (1902)

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Liebreich,
conductor
Ewa Podleś,
contralto

Since 2012, Alexander Liebreich, one of the most inspired conductors of his generation, has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. This orchestra, Poland’s cultural ambassador to the world and an European ensemble of great distinction, is particularly associated with the music of Polish composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and is more familiar with the works of Lutosławski and Szymanowski than perhaps any other orchestra in the world. Witold Lutosławski’s opulent and stylistically eclectic Concerto for Orchestra was a triumphal success at its premiere in 1954 and remains his most popular work. (more…)

Memorial Concert for Claudio Abbado

It was a deeply affecting and appropriate farewell. The spirit of Claudio Abbado, the great conductor and founder of orchestras who died in January 2014, was present in music, words, and silence. Thousands upon thousands came to the Basilica di Santo Stefano in Bologna and the Piazza della Scala in Milan to pay their last respects. In Lucerne, the members of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA paid tribute to this extraordinary man and friend with a deeply moving concert – “The emotional intensity was unbelievable; this could only be achieved by true musicians, by those capable of love.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) Friends and associates look back fondly on Claudio Abbado and speak of how they experienced these moments of grief and farewell.

Andris Nelsons, LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Isabelle Faust, violin
Bruno Ganz

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Speak the Music – Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music

In this compelling documentary Oscar-winning director Allan Miller gives us an intimate look at the musical life of violinist Robert Mann. Founding member and first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet, for 51 years Mann has been and continues to be one of the most important figures in chamber music. The documentary includes rare footage of Juilliard String Quartet performances, Mann’s renowned coaching sessions, and interviews with many of classical music’s greatest performers, all revealing Mann’s profound influence as a chamber musician, teacher, and composer.

His musical commitment and energy has been inspirational and he contiunes to inspire us; his influence on the musical community is a gift that cannot be measured. When I think about the Beethoven quartets, I think about Robert Mann. (Itzhak Perlman, violinist) (more…)

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 8 – Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin

Symphony No. 8 in C minor
(second version 1887-90, Robert Haas Edition)

Daniel Barenboim, Conductor
Staatskapelle Berlin

“Clarity was one thing that made this performance a marvel. Another was the flexibility of Barenboim’s speeds…. The flexibility of Barenboim’s tempi meant that Bruckner’s charm – an often overlooked aspect of his genius – shone through, especially in the genial Trio.” (The Telegraph) Bruckner’s 8th is the last symphony completed by the Austrian composer. Many of his contemporaries regarded the symphony as “the pinnacle of 19th century music”. Even today, this monumental work fascinates listeners with its virtuoso orchestral technique, its immensity of sound, and its inexhaustible richness of detail. (more…)

J.S. Bach – Goldberg Variations – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Johann Sebastian Bach
Golberg Variations

Zhu Xiao-Mei

Zhu Xiao-Mei ranks among the greatest pianists of our times and is one of the most renowned interpreters of J. S. Bach’s music. The Goldberg Variations stood at the beginning of her international career and represent the “greatest musical encounter” of her life. “It is a universal piece of music that knows no frontiers”, this is the message of her extraordinary playing which is being celebrated in concert halls around the world. Her unique interpretation has now been captured on DVD for the first time. The live recording was produced at her critically acclaimed concert at the Leipzig Bach Festival at J. S. Bach’s final resting place in St. Thomas Church in 2014. (more…)

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 9

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.9

Riccardo Chailly
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Theodor W. Adorno regarded Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 as “the first work of modern music”. Adorno’s teacher, Alban Berg, saw in it “the expression of a tremendous love for this world, a longing to live in peace and to savor Nature to its depths – before the arrival of Death. For it will inevitably come.” This live recording of the composer’s last completed symphony is part of an ongoing Leipzig cycle of Mahler’s symphonies. It confirms once more the Gewandhaus Orchestra’s reputation as an exemplary ensemble for the performance of Mahler’s music. (more…)

CD – J.S. Bach Die Kunst der Fuge – Zhu Xiao-Mei

Johann Sebastian Bach
The Art of Fugue

Zhu Xiao-Mei, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach plays a key role in her life – she is today one of the most significant interpreters of his music. The remarkable biography of this celebrated pianist gives her a unique position in the world of music. Her life has taken her from the re-education camps of the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Paris, where her international career as a pianist began rather late, but for that all the more successful. (more…)

Brahms, Schönberg, Beethoven – Claudio Abbado & Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Mihoko Fujimura

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)  Tragic Overture, Op. 81
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) Orchestral Interlude and “Song of the Wood Dove” from Gurre-Lieder
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55, Eroica

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado
Mihoko Fujimura (Alto)

The Last Video Recording of Claudio Abbado

With his very own “mysterious seductive power and legendary elegance” (Le Monde), Claudio Abbado opened for the last time the LUCERNE FESTIVAL in the summer of 2013. Only a few months later, the world had to bid farewell to a monumental artist, humanist, great conductor and orchestra founder. Even in the concert itself, documented here, lived a moment of farewell, as the three great works performed tell of the transience of life. (more…)

A Tribute to Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki is one of the most successful composers of the 20th and 21st centuries and a Polish classical music icon. His 80th birthday in November 2013 was the occasion for an extraordinary gathering of the world’s most significant musicians and most important interpreters of his works; companions and long-time friends of the composer, including the extraordinary violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Krzysztof Urbanski, Roman Patkoló, Daniel Müller-Schott, Arto Noras and Ivan Monighetti. They all presented their homage to Penderecki within the setting of the Warsaw Teatr Wielki with some of his most famous works being performed: Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima; Duo Concertante for violin and double bass; Concerto Grosso for three cellos and orchestra; and the unique Credo. (more…)

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 5

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Riccardo Chailly
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

As Riccardo Chailly points out, “The Fifth begins with a dark, gloomy, and tragic tone, but then is enlivened in the Scherzo and Adagietto, and eventually ends with a more positive character in the Finale – perhaps for the last time in Mahler’s life. The Adagietto is a revelation, a spiritual oasis. It is not an expression of pain, but rather Mahler’s declaration of love to Alma – a song without words.“ (more…)

amarcord – The Book of Madrigals

The secular repertory of the Renaissance seems made to order for the five singers of amarcord. In the incomparable setting of the Villa Godi in northern Italy, the group recorded some of the best-known and most beautiful madrigals of the 16th century, creating a bridge to the present day. Fiery declarations of love and the deep pain of parting, erotic innuendoes and bawdy humor – in the interpretations of this prizewinning ensemble, the texts always seem contemporary and relevant. The members of amarcord are accompanied by the exceptional instrumentalists Hille Perl (viola da gamba) and Lee Santana (theorbo), as well as the virtuoso percussionist Michael Metzler.

Wolfram Lattke, Tenor
Robert Pohlers,
Tenor
Frank Ozimek,
Baritone
Daniel Knauft,
Bass
Holger Krause,
Bass

Hille Perl, Viola da gamba
Lee Santana,
Theorbo & Guitar
Michael Metzler,
Percussion (more…)

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 7 – Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 7 in E major (original version)

Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Staatskapelle Berlin

In Anton Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, the listener encounters a music characterized by great spaciousness and profound solemnity, a music which speaks of grief and lamentation, but also of their transcendence. With its monumental architecture and intensity of sound, the symphony has moved listeners ever since its triumphal premiere in 1884.

Giacomo Puccini – La Bohème, conducted by Riccardo Chailly

Giacomo Puccini (1857-1919)
La Bohème
(opera in four acts)

Directed by Riccardo Chailly
Staged by Davide Livermore

The musical notes of this Puccini masterpiece provide the starting point and foundation for a new, highly successful collaboration between Riccardo Chailly and Davide Livermore. In their interpretation, there is “no moment, no movement, that goes against the musical meaning” (R. Chailly). (more…)

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 6

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 6 in A minor

Riccardo Chailly
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

“The audience knows that the performance of a Mahler symphony is not only a musical experience, but is also emotionally effective” (R. Chailly). This counts especially for Mahler’s enigmatic sixth symphony, an emotionally stirring challenge for both performers and listeners, whilst also being one of the most impressive works in musical history. Chailly’s interpretation with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra is “intensely great” (Die Presse).

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Claudio Abbado – Orchestra Mozart, Salzburg Festival 2012

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Missa solemnis in C minor, K. 139
“Waisenhausmesse“

Franz Schubert
Mass in E flat major, D 950

Claudio Abbado
Orchestra Mozart
Arnold Schoenberg Choir

A “touching and magnificent reunion” (Der Standard). The public and press enthusiastically celebrated the long-awaited return of Claudio Abbado to the Salzburg Festival in 2012. The conductor brought with him Mozart’s youthful Mass K. 139, the so-called Waisenhausmesse, and Schubert’s late Mass in E flat major.

CD – Modest Mussorgsky, Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA

Modest Mussorgsky

“Pictures at an Exhibition” (arranged by Elgar Howarth)
“A Night on the Bare Mountain”
(arranged by Andreas N. Tarkmann)
“Songs and Dances of Death” (arranged by Steven Verhaert)

Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA
Lutz Köhler, conductor

2013, the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA celebrates its tenth anniversary, and this summer, the Brass Ensemble of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA also looks back over a decade of performing. In preparation for this anniversary, Accentus Music publishes the first CD of this internationally renowned Brass Ensemble, featuring works by Modest Mussorgsky.The disc brings together the “who’s who” of the Brass world: Every year, the Brass players of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA, founded by Maestro Claudio Abbado and Michael Haefliger in 2003, join to form an exclusive chamber music ensemble.

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Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Mozart Requiem

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Requiem in D minor, K. 626
Edition by Franz Beyer, Sanctus completed by Robert Levin

Claudio Abbado
Lucerne Festival Orchestra

Bavarian Radio Choir, Swedish Radio Choir
Peter Dijkstra (Chorus Master)

Anna Prohaska (Soprano), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Maximilian Schmitt (Tenor), René Pape (Bass)

“The baton is not a magic wand – it cannot join together the fragmentary work that Mozart composed in the face of death. Yet, in Abbado’s hand, the baton could become a guide to the mysterious, sublime, consoling legacy of Mozart.”(Deutschlandradio Kultur)

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CD – Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Bruckner Symphony No. 1

Anton Bruckner – Symphony No. 1 in C minor, WAB 101
„Vienna” version, 1891, edition by Günter Brosche

Claudio Abbado
Lucerne Festival Orchestra

“Abbado uncovered the radical nature of the work with its fascinating accumulations of intensity and abrupt interruptions … Long and enthusiastic standing ovations at the end for the conductor and orchestra.” (Die Welt) – The audience experienced Bruckner’s groundbreaking Symphony No. 1 in Lucerne’s new concert hall in a spectacular performance. This uncompromising interpretation of the First reveals the originality of the composer’s musical language.

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 5 – Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 5 in B flat major (original version)

Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim,
conductor

The Süddeutsche Zeitung summed up this highly acclaimed performance of Bruckner’s monumental Fifth Symphony by saying: “Both Bruckner’s belief in God, as it majestically wells up out of the chorale of the Fifth, and his deeply tragic world view, collide with one another in Barenboim’s interpretation”.

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 4

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 4 in G major

Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig
Riccardo Chailly
, conductor
Christina Landshamer, soprano

“The greatest mix of colours that ever existed” was Gustav Mahler’s description of the third movement of his Fourth Symphony. Riccardo Chailly, one of the most adept interpreters of Mahler of our time, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra transformed the entire Fourth Symphony into this kaleidoscope of sound. (more…)

Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 4 – Daniel Barenboim, Staatskapelle Berlin

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 4 in E flat major “Romantic” (1878/1880 Version)

Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim
, conductor

Daniel Barenboim is an expert in exploiting the impact of cyclical performances of composers’ works: This time he focuses his sharp intellect on all six of Anton Bruckner’s mature symphonies. Der Tagesspiegel described Barenboim’s performance of the works with the Staatskapelle Berlin on six nearly consecutive evenings in June 2010 as a “superhuman” accomplishment and went on to praise how: “His Bruckner is conceived and performed very theatrically, like an opera without words.” (more…)

Viva Verdi – China National Centre for the Performing Arts

China National Centre for the Performing Arts
Orchestra & Chorus

Conducted by Lu Jia, Staged by Hugo de Ana
Presented by Zhang Guoli

Unlike any other composer Giuseppe Verdi illuminates the great emotions and opulent melodies of the Italian opera. Created exclusively for the occasion of the celebrated composer’s 200th birthday, Beijing’s most important opera house, the National Centre for the Performing Arts, presents an exceptional gala: Viva Verdi. It features stars from the opera world such as Dilbèr or Roberto Scandiuzzi as they perform the best moments from Verdi’s operas and his Messa da Requiem in a visually stunning production by director Hugo de Ana. (more…)

John Cage Journeys in Sound

A Film by Allan Miller & Paul Smaczny

This documentary by Oscar-winner Allan Miller and Emmy-winner Paul Smaczny pays tribute to the most fascinating American avant-garde composer John Cage. Shot in America, Germany and Japan, the program premieres rare archival footage; presenting concert excerpts and a set of short episodes, featuring associates of Cage and contemporary artists, playfully delineating different aspects of John Cage. The documentary features interviews with Yoko Ono, David Tudor, Christian Wolff, Steffen Schleiermacher, Irvine Arditti, Toshio Hosokawa, Mayumi Miyata, Calvin Tomkins and many others. “John Cage – Journeys in Sound“ will delight and enthral both Cage novices as well as die-hard fans. (more…)

Die Thomaner – A Year in the Life of the St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig

A Film by Paul Smaczny & Günter Atteln

Founded in 1212 the St. Thomas Choir Leipzig is one of the most famous and prestigious boys’ choirs in the world. This documentary accompanies “Die Thomaner”, aged between 9 and 18 years old, over a period of one year. Their unique world, from motets to boarding school and the football pitch, is distinguished by success, pressure to perform, doubt, pride, homesickness, and friendship. The film charts the breadth of the boys’ experience from the classroom to traveling on tour to South America. (more…)

J. S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion – St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig

Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244

St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Georg Christoph Biller

Christina Landshamer (Soprano)
Stefan Kahle
(Alto)
Wolfram Lattke
(Tenor)
Martin Lattke
(Tenor)
Klaus Mertens
(Bass)
Gotthold Schwarz
(Bass)

The renowned St. Thomas Boys Choir of Leipzig, which boasts J. S. Bach as a former cantor, celebrates its 800th anniversary with an extraordinary interpretation of the St. Matthew Passion. The Guardian praised how “the harmonic lines interwove with a transcendence that can only be achieved through living, eating and working together”. This Accentus Music production is the only audio-visual release of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, performed by the choir for which it was written, in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, where the composer worked and is buried.

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Claudio Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Bruckner 5

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 5 
in B flat major (WAB 105; Nowak edition)

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado

 “Abbado’s approach to the music of Bruckner is soft and songlike, at times tense and urgent, but constantly filled with warmth of feeling” – not only the Neue Zürcher Zeitung is full of praise when Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra play Bruckner. Their interpretation of his awe-inspiring Fifth Symphony reflects the composer’s burgeoning powers and exquisite compositional artistry. As The Guardian poetically states: “The composer himself, one suspects, might have leapt to embrace Abbado as an ideal interpreter.”

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Daniel Barenboim – Liszt Piano Concertos

Daniel Barenboim, Piano
Pierre Boulez, Conductor
Staatskapelle Berlin

Franz Liszt:
Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major
Consolation No. 3
Valse oubliée No. 1

Richard Wagner:
A Faust Overture
Siegfried Idyll 

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A Concert for New York – New York Philharmonics & Alan Gilbert

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 2 Resurrection

New York Philharmonic
Alan Gilbert, conductor

New York Choral Artists
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano

The New York Philharmonic – America’s preeminent symphony orchestra – gave A Concert for New York to mark the tenth anniversary of the events of 9/11. What work could be better suited to the occasion than Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony with its “evocation of every aspect of life” and “its profound sense of hope”, as the Philharmonic’s Music Director Alan Gilbert put it? (more…)

The Philharmonics

Tibor Kováč first violin, Shkëlzen Doli second violin, Thilo Fechner viola, Stephan Koncz cello, Ödön Rácz double bass, Daniel Ottensamer clarinet, František Jánoška piano

Guests: Walter Auer flute, Christoph Traxler harmonium

Johann Strauss II
Rosen aus dem Süden arr. by Arnold Schoenberg
Kaiserwalzer arr. by Arnold Schoenberg
Lagunenwalzer arr. by Arnold Schoenberg
Wein, Weib und Gesang! arr. by Alban Berg
Schatzwalzer arr. by Anton Webern

Leopold Godowsky
Alt-Wien

Fritz Kreisler
Marche miniature viennoise
Schön Rosmarin
Caprice viennois

Tibor Kováč
Yiddische Mame

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Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 2

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 2 in C minor

Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Riccardo Chailly

Soloists: Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Sarah Connolly (Mezzo-Soprano)

Choirs: MDR Rundfunkchor, Berliner Rundfunkchor, GewandhausChor

The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and their Music Director Riccardo Chailly have already acquired legendary status – glorious reviews and many awards for their recordings testifying to their continuing success. At Leipzig’s International Mahler Festival, to mark the centenary of Mahler’s death, they performed his monumental Second Symphony in the Gewandhaus – together with two marvellous soloists and choral forces quite beyond compare. (more…)

Riccardo Chailly & Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Mahler 8

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 8 in E flat major

Riccardo Chailly
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig

Soloists: Erika Sunnegardh (Soprano), Ricarda Merbeth (Soprano), Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Lioba Braun (Alto), Gerhild Romberger (Alto), Stephen Gould (Tenor), Dietrich Henschel (Baritone), Georg Zeppenfeld (Bass)

Choirs: MDR Rundfunkchor, Chor der Oper Leipzig, GewandhausChor, Thomanerchor Leipzig, Gewandhaus Kinderchor

Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is arguably the grandest and most ambitious piece of symphonic music ever written. The composer himself regarded it as his opus summum, and an incredible number of participants at the hugely successful Munich première in 1910 earned it the nickname “Symphony of a Thousand”. (more…)

WORLD PREMIERE: Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky and Luzerner Sinfonieorchester

Martha Argerich, piano
Mischa Maisky, violoncello
Luzerner Sinfonieorchester
Neeme Järvi, conductor

Antonín Dvořák: Scherzo capriccioso in D flat major, op. 66
World Premiere – Rodion Shchedrin: “Romantic Offering”
Double Concerto for piano, violoncello und orchestra
César Franck: Sonate for violoncello and piano in A major
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, op. 70

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Double CD: Pierre Boulez and the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra

Pierre Boulez
Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra

Anton Webern: Passacaglia for Orchestra, Op. 1
Anton Webern: Variations for Orchestra, Op. 30
Igor Stravinsky: Le Chant du Rossignol
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor

The LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY was founded in 2004 by Pierre Boulez in conjunction with the Festival’s executive director Michael Haefliger. Since then, some 130 highly gifted young musicians from all corners of the globe have gathered together every summer in Lucerne. Working together in daily rehearsals, workshops, and lessons, the participants are trained in basic skills for performing contemporary music. The teaching staff is made up of members of the Parisian Ensemble intercontemporain, one of the most celebrated ensembles in the field of modern music. (more…)

Gustav Mahler – Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra

Gustav Mahler: Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Twelve Songs from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn

The Cleveland Orchestra
Pierre Boulez
, conductor 
Magdalena Kožená
Christian Gerhaher

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Mahler’s birth and just one month short of his own 85th birthday, composer-conductor Pierre Boulez marked his forty-five-year collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra by directing this very special Mahler-only concert at Ohio’s splendid Severance Hall. (more…)

The Nobel Prize Concert 2010

Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3 in C Major, Op. 72a
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat Major, Op. 82

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakari Oramo
, conductor
Joshua Bell
, violin

Joshua Bell lights up the stage with this dazzling performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, the centerpiece of the Nobel Prize Concert in honour of the 2010 Nobel Prize Laureates. Part of the official Nobel Week, this tribute concert opens with music by Beethoven that urgently evokes the spirit of freedom from tyranny. (more…)

Claudio Abbado & Lucerne Festival Orchestra – Mahler 9

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 9
in D major

Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado
, conductor

Claudio Abbado and his hand-picked players of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra take their acclaimed Mahler cycle to a new level with this performance of the most complex and compelling of the symphonies, the intense, searching Ninth. (more…)

Claudio Abbado – Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra – LUCERNE FESTIVAL at Easter 2010

Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
Claudio Abbado, conductor
Anna Prohaska, soprano

Sergei Prokofiev – Scythian Suite, Op. 20,
Alban Berg – Symphonic Pieces from the Opera “Lulu” (Lulu Suite)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – The Magic Flute: “Ach, ich fühl´s, es ist verschwunden” (Pamina)
Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 B minor, Op. 74 “Pathétique”

Five years after first conducting the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra in their Venezuelan home, Claudio Abbado continues his commitment to this stunning ensemble in this first joint audiovisual concert recording. (more…)

Daniel Barenboim – The Warsaw Recital

 Chopin Year 2010 coincides with the 60th anniversary of Daniel Barenboim’s stage début, and as a pianist he has decided to devote this year to the great Romantic master of the keyboard. Chopin was born on 1 March 1810 in a small village near Warsaw, and on the eve of the 200th anniversary of this date Barenboim gave this wildly acclaimed Warsaw recital as part of an extensive European tour. The programme included some of the composer’s best-known works, including the great B flat minor Sonata with its famous Funeral March, which sounded to many “as the composer may well have imagined it”.

Fryderyk Chopin – The Piano Concertos

Fryderyk Chopin
Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op. 11 (N. Demidenko)
Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17 No. 4 (N. Demidenko)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 (E. Kissin)

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Antoni Wit
, conductor
Evgeny Kissin, 
Nikolai Demidenko, piano

The internationally celebrated concert event from Warsaw on the occasion of Fryderyk Chopin’s 200th birthday presents two Russian piano stars in one program: Nikolai Demidenko with a marvelous performance of Chopin’s Concerto No. 1, Evgeny Kissin with a most thrilling interpretation of Concerto No. 2. The former wunderkind enthused the audience, which could not get enough even after several encores. A unique performance and truly a gift for Chopin lovers all over the world. (more…)

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach – Cantatas

L’arpa festante München
Bachchor Mainz
Ralf Otto, conductor

Dorothee Mields (soprano) ǀ Gerhild Romberger (alto)
Georg Poplutz (tenor) ǀ Klaus Mertens (bass)

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet
(BR-WFB F 19)
Sinfonia in D minor (BR C7)
O Wunder, wer kann dieses fassen (BR-WFB F 2)
Ach, dass du den Himmel zerrissest (BR-WFB F 3)
Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen (BR-WFB F 10)

In 2010 the world is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, whose music – for the most disparate reasons – was for a long time shrouded in oblivion. Many of his works disappeared completely after the Second World War, and it was not until 1999 that they were rediscovered in Kiev. (more…)