The founding of the Berliner Philharmoniker on the first of May in 1882 is annually celebrated with a concert in aEuropean city of cultural significance. For this newly released EUROPAKONZERT Blu-ray Disc all recordings werelovingly restored and converted to High Definition video. Daniel Barenboim performs here as both conductor and soloist on the piano. 1997 The concert takes place at the spectacular Palace of Versailles in Paris , center of French political power until theFrench Revolution and famous backdrop for movies as Midnight in Paris, Dangerous Liasons and Jeffernson in Paris.
Moving into the 20th century, we have an excellent new version of Prokofiev’s The Gambler that unerringly captures the conflicting personal and social forces that shove the plot along. Kristine Opolais and Misha Didyk are magnificent as the young lovers caught up in this Dostoevskian web of psychological self-destruction, erotic brutality, and financial panic. And if Barenboim’s accompaniment is sometimes on the thick side, the overall effect is so riveting that it’s hard to complain. (Peter J. Rabinowitz)
Making her debut on Decca, Alisa Weilerstein presents three major works of the cello repertoire with Daniel Barenboim leading the Staatskapelle Berlin. The star vehicle, naturally, is Edward Elgar's Concerto in E minor, which Weilerstein plays with commanding presence, rich tone, and emotional depth. Most listeners will be drawn primarily to this performance because of the piece's familiarity, and Weilerstein's charisma and passionate playing make it the album's main attraction. Yet listeners should give Weilerstein and Barenboim credit for following the Elgar with an important if not instantly recognizable or approachable modernist work, Elliott Carter's powerful Cello Concerto. Weilerstein is quite bold to play this intensely dramatic and angular composition, and while it's unlikely to appeal to the majority of fans who adore the Elgar, it deserves its place on the program for its seriousness and extraordinary displays of solo and orchestral writing. To close, Weilerstein plays Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei, a Romantic work that returns the program to a mellow and melancholy mood and brings the CD to a satisfying close. Decca's reproduction is excellent, putting Weilerstein front and center with full resonance, but not leaving the vibrant accompaniment of the orchestra too far behind her.
As a conductor, Daniel Barenboim has had a distinguished history with the orchestral music of Debussy, but this is his first full-album foray into the French composer’s solo piano works. It runs the gamut of Debussy’s Impressionist colour palette, from the shimmering “Clair de Lune”—played with the subtlety and expressive freedom that Barenboim admires so much in Debussy’s own piano-roll recordings—to the restless, swirling prelude “Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest.” The simple, hymn-like “La fille aux cheveux de lin,” meanwhile, shines anew under Barenboim’s fingers.
With tangos and Ellingtonia under his belt, this ever-curious occasional crossover classicist takes another break from the Berlin Staatsoper, the Chicago Symphony, and Bayreuth to dabble in an unfamiliar (to him) idiom. Though the results are about as spontaneous as a sunrise, this collection does cover a wide range of brief bits of Braziliana from inevitable tunes by Ary Barroso, Luiz Bonfá, and Antonio Carlos Jobim to songs by Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso and classical selections by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Darius Milhaud.
Plácido Domingo‘s triumphant “return” to his baritone roots (his first debut with the Mexican National Opera, in 1959, was as a baritone), is captured in this stunning DVD of the Teatro alla Scala’s 2010 production of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. Domingo is joined by Anja Harteros, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Fabio Sartori in this Daniel Barenboim conducted performance, directed by Federico Tiezzi.
The New Year's Concert in Vienna has been a glorious tradition for over six decades. A best-selling classical event year on year, the concert has unique global appeal. It is broadcast on TV and radio to over 50 countries, and is viewed by tens of millions of people all over the world.
The production of a new Ring at the Bayreuth Festival is an event that takes place every six years. Bayreuth recordings of the complete cycle are rare; this is only the third official audio recording and the second filmed version. The Kupfer/Barenboim Ring was performed over a five-year period and recorded at the conclusion when the "Bayreuth Workshop" had raised "the quality of the performance to an almost unsurpassable level".
Götterdämmerung, the final instalment of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, is a story of human passions. Two essentially benevolent creatures, involved with and possibly doomed by their traffic with the gods, find treachery and evil in the world of the humans, and are ruined by the dark side of humanity.
Iréne Theorin, acclaimed worldwide for her portrayal of Wagner’s heroines, stars as Brünnhilde opposite Lance Ryan, who continues his radiant portrayal of the tragic hero Siegfried. The strong cast also includes Mikhail Petrenko as the dark antagonist Hagen and Johannes Martin Kränzle, who once again shines as his father Alberich. Waltraud Meier has a memorable appearance as Brünnhilde’s sister Waltraute.
In Siegfried, the “Second Day” or third evening of the Ring Cycle, we meet the pivotal hero of the epic tale. The energetic drive from Die Walküre is pursued here while Siegfried finally recaptures the mighty ring from Fafner the Dragon and awakens Brünnhilde from her penal sleep on the great rock.
Lance Ryan, having interpreted this role on the greatest stages of the world including the Bayreuth Festival, portrays the naïve hero. His antagonists are Peter Bronder, great and agile as Mime, Terje Stensvold, an experienced Wanderer and Johannes Martin Kränzle, who continues his mean and deceitful depiction of Alberich. The leading ladies are Nina Stemme, once again unrivalled as Brünnhilde and Anna Larsson, moving as the God-mother Erda.