Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epistolary novel, Die Leiden des jungen Werther («The Sorrows of Young Werther»), is world-famous. At the end of the 19th century, the French composer Jules Massenet used it as the basis for a touching opera about forbidden love, wrongdoings and anguish. It is full of ecstatic emotion and intimate characterisation, delineating the love triangle between the rapturous Werther, his beloved Charlotte and her conventional fiancé Albert with emotional precision. At the end, despair pushes Werther to commit suicide. more
In 2017 – the year of Luther – Hans-Christoph Rademann and the Gaechinger Cantorey take on Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, the key work of the Protestant church. The exceptional concert impressively documented the new sound and superb manner of playing on historical instruments, which Hans-Christoph Rademann was able to hone in masterfully with the Gaechinger Cantorey over the course of just one year.
More than 200 years after its premiere at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the famous trio Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras and Martin Helmchen have congenially mastered the artistic challenge of Beethoven’s gemstone. Under Herbert Blomstedt’s sensitive direction, the soloists unite chamber music intimacy together with virtuoso sophistication – and prove once again that the Triple Concerto is an unduly underestimated, much too rarely programmed masterpiece. more
“I would like to find poignant images that are adequate for the music and do justice to the gigantic work in a way that one can experience it differently and more profoundly.” Christian Spuck, choreographer
On December 26th 2016 the Israel Philharmonic celebrated its 80th anniversary with an all-Beethoven program.
Being a female conductor means being an exception. Even today. When a woman stands on the podium she is, in most cases, somehow “the first”: the first to lead a world-class orchestra, the first to conduct the “Last Night of the Proms” in London, the first to win the German Conductor Prize. For decades, this sensational character has been tradition. At the same time it seems that the world of the maestro is now in a state of upheaval.
When the First World War broke out in 1914, the musical world did not remain unaffected. Artists inevitably became involved, either as soldiers at the front or as composers of patriotic music or of musical memorials to a lost world. The three-part documentary series Music in Times of War and Revolution explores known and unknown as well as obvious and hidden connections between music, revolution and war. more
Every year in late summer some of the best musicians worldwide meet in Israel for The Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival (JCMF), established by pianist Elena Bashkirova and advocate Yeheskell Beinisch. In 2016, the 19th Festival was dedicated to interrelated composers like Brahms/Schumann or Schubert/Beethoven – played by outstanding artists like Sir András Schiff, Baiba Skride, Menahem Pressler or Emmanuel Pahud in the halls of the Jerusalem YMCA. more
“Rusalka” is based on the Czech version of the classical fairy tale of a mermaid that falls in love with a human prince and wants nothing more than to become a human and live happily ever after. But in Dvořák’s opera, this happily ever after never happens as the story ends in tragedy. more
Even if the music world is often dominated by rivalry, examples of genuine friendships can certainly be found. Take Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák: a pair whose friendship was free of self-interest. “That fellow has more ideas than all the rest of us. Even what he tosses into the trash could serve as a main theme for anyone else,” Brahms once remarked about his Czech colleague, 8 years his junior – and he didn’t just stop at nice compliments.