Just a few weeks before his 90th birthday, Herbert Blomstedt gifted himself a special birthday present: conducting Bach’s Mass in B Minor, in the Leipzig Thomaskirche – the composer’s former workplace. According to Blomstedt, Bach’s last complete vocal work is the climax of his creativity and is one of the most important works in his life: “It is like a reflection of doubt. It is enormously powerful music in the same way that a wedge is enormously powerful.” more
“Always smile and always be cheerful, always satisfied, no matter what happens, smile in spite of your sorrows and a thousand aches and pains,” sings Prince Sou-Chong, thus introducing the fundamentally melancholy tone of Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles) which even has a tragic ending in store. For the new production of this operetta Piotr Beczala, a world star who cultivates the tradition of the famous Tauber style like no other, returned to the Opernhaus Zürich as Sou-Chong. more
Andris Nelsons has been no stranger to Leipzig. Starting from 2011 he has been conquering the hearts of the audience and the orchestra with a total of eight concerts – even before his official inauguration as a Gewandhaus Kapellmeister. The New York Times has described him as a “young dynamo” and the New Yorker certified his “full-body impact.”
One of Dresden’s most important concert halls was reopened with two festive concerts performed by the Dresden Philharmonic and the Festspielorchester Dresden after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus for the hall’s reconstruction. Following this reconstruction, the landmarked Kulturpalast, located in the heart of Dresden, offers optimal spatial and acoustic conditions for the first time in its nearly 150-year history. more
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.