How would you feel if the state sold the mountain above your village to a big multinational, your country's beautiful islands, its beaches or your great monuments? Strangled by debt, governments and public administrations all over Europe act like any indebted family: they try not only to reduce costs, but attempt to replenish their coffers by putting their most valued family possessions on the market. More often than not, this includes part of the countries' historical and natural heritage: castles, islands, mountains, beaches, palaces, ancient arenas and archaeological sites. But who really owns these properties? Aren't they our common heritage, our history that will end up in private or corporate hands and will no longer be accessible to all?
As Yannick Nézet-Séguin continues to explore the Romantic symphonic repertoire, it becomes increasingly apparent that he has a strong affinity for German composers, something not readily guessed of this Canadian maestro. There might be an underlying connection between his recordings of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, for which he has received considerable attention and acclaim, and this 2014 Deutsche Grammophon album of the four symphonies of Robert Schumann, which shows Nézet-Séguin as a strong advocate for this somewhat discounted symphonist.
Historian and archetypal Englishman Julian Davidson travels from the frozen wastes of Norway to the sunny shores of the Italian Adriatic coast, sampling the delights of some of the most dramatic and fascinating railway journeys in Europe. In Norway he explores the capital Oslo before boarding the superfast intercity express train towards Bergen. This takes him high into the ice fields, crossing the highest point of any European railway. He takes a detour onto on one of the most spectacular pieces of track anywhere in the world called the Flamsbana, and then continues on to Bergen where he visits the home of composer Edvard Grieg. Vienna is Julian's next port of call where he tours the world famous Ringstrasse and Shonbrunne Palace, discovering the facts behind the staggering wealth and achievements of Emperor Franz Joseph's Austro-Hungarian Empire.
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