With its majestic themes soaring upwards like gothic pillars and its brilliant chorales and fanfares glowing like stained – glass windows, Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 is the most monumental of his orchestral works, a cathedral in sound that grows out of pianissimo murmurs. Coming after the triumphs celebrated by the composer’s Seventh Symphony and Te Deum, the Eight was considered by Bruckner as the artistic climax of his career. Cleveland‘s Severance Hall is the venue for this performance. This hall, an eclectic yet elegant mix of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Classicism, Egyptian Revival and Modernism was inaugurated in 1931 and is still hailed today as one of the world‘s most beautiful concert halls. The Cleveland Orchestra, founded in 1918, began its ascent to the upper ranks of the world‘s ensembles after it moved to Severance Hall in 1931.
Bruckner‘s Seventh – The master‘s homage to Richard Wagner With the mighty build-ups and monumental fortissimi of Bruckner’s Seventh, Welser-Möst and his Clevelanders have their work cut out for them. And they do not disappoint. The most popular, and perhaps most easily accessible, of Bruckner‘s symphonies, the Seventh casts its spell on the audience with its clear-cut architecture and the wealth and fullness of its melodies. From the sweeping opening theme of the first movement to the victorious chords of the finale, the Cleveland Orchestra and its conductor deliver a magisterial reading of Bruckner‘s masterpiece. Cleveland‘s Severance Hall is the venue for this performance. This hall, an eclectic yet elegant mix of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Classicism, Egyptian Revival and Modernism was inaugurated in 1931 and is still hailed today as one of the world‘s most beautiful concert halls. The Cleveland Orchestra, founded in 1918, began its ascent to the upper ranks of the world‘s ensembles after it moved to Severance Hall in 1931.
“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.”
Valery Gergiev, fresh from his appointment as chief conductor of the Münchner Philharmoniker in 2015, takes his new ensemble to the BBC Proms for a concert of the utmost in drama and vivid musicianship. The brilliant young Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov performs Rachmaninov’s thrillingly virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 3, while the Russian stage and film actor Alexei Petrenko recites the text in Galina Ustvolskaya’s resonant and profound Symphony No. 3 ‘Jesus Messiah, Save Us!’. The programme also features a hypnotic Ravel Boléro, an alternately tender, florid and witty Rosenkavalier Suite, and the rousing Hungarian March by Berlioz.
A passionate lover of the human voice, Francis Poulenc composed the Dialogues des Carmélites in 1953, using a libretto he himself had written from a screenplay by Georges Bernanos. The first ever performances in Munich, this production was entrusted to Dmitri Tcherniakov, whose worldwide reputation is underpinned by productions like Eugene Onegin and Macbeth at the Paris Opera and Don Giovanni at Aix-en- Provence. The superb international cast includes a fine Blanche de la Force in Susan Gritton and an excellent Madame de Croissy by Sylvie Brunet, who was favourably compared to Rita Gorr in the press. They are superbly backed up by Soile Isokoski, Susanne Resmark, Hélène Guilmette, Alain Vernhes and the fabulous Bernard Richter. Kent Nagano with the Dialogues literally at his fingertips he recorded a landmark version some years ago is at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 is an incomprehensible wonder of music history, rigorously peculiar, disturbingly new, and timelessly modern. “Wie ein Naturlaut” (Like a sound of nature) is indicated above the first notes of the symphony. It is both the prelude and the key to his symphonic cosmos as a whole. Mahler captures this music of the world, transforms it into a symphony in the old, comprehensive sense of the word and uses it to create his masterpiece of harmony. Composed over the course of just a few months at the beginning of 1888 in Leipzig, this symphony is a true musical awakening. Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig bring Mahler’s sounds of nature to life in a riveting performance.
With his sharp and lively conducting, Fabrizio Maria Carminati puts the Orchestra of the Teatro La Fenice entirely at the service of three exceptional singers, Sonia Ganassi ("an extraordinary performance," Opera Today) as Elisabetta, Fiorenza Cedolins ("colorful, nuanced, highly dramatic heroine," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) as Maria Stuarda, and José Bros as a passionate Leicester. "Maria Stuarda" is the most popular work in Donizetti's trilogy of bel canto operas on Tudor queens.