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Venice Classic Radio Italia - Beautiful Classical Music - è una webradio digitale italiana di musica classica che propone ogni giorno un repertorio di musica antica, barocca, da camera, sinfonica, lirica e contemporanea. Ascolta Venice Classic Radio online in diretta streaming!
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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) - Concerto Per Violino Solo, Archi E B.c. In Re Minore Rv236 Op.8 (08:16) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - Concerto Per Oboe E Orchestra In Do Maggiore Kv314 (17:59) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) - Sonata Per Flauto E Clavicembalo In Si Bemolle Maggiore H578 (22:45) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - 'sonata Facile' Per Pianoforte In Do Maggiore No.16 Kv545 (10:02) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) - 'kurfГѓВјrstensonaten' - Sonata In Fa Minore No.2 Woo47 (11:18) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - Quartetto Con Flauto Kv285a (10:17) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) - Sonata Per Pianoforte In Fa Maggiore N.1 (10:22) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Andrea Luchesi (1741-1801) - Sonata Per Pianoforte In Re Maggiore No.6 Op.1 (14:41) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - Sinfonia In Re Maggiore Kv81 (10:12) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - Suite Per Violoncello Solo In Do Maggiore No.3 Bwv1009 (17:36) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) - Concertino Per Oboe E Orchestra Di Fiati In Fa Maggiore (13:30) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) - Sonata Per Violoncello E Contrabbasso In Si Bemolle Maggiore G565 (15:13) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759) - 'rinaldo' - 'augelletti, Che Cantate' - Aria Di Almirena (05:36) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764) - Sonata Per Flauto, Fagotto E Organo In Sol Minore No.6 Op.2 (13:23) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) - Quintetto Per Archi In Fa Minore G274 (20:51) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) - Sinfonia In La Maggiore No.65 Hob.1.65 (17:05) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - Partita Per Pianoforte In Sol Maggiore N.5 Bwv829 (20:44) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759) - Concerto Grosso In Fa Maggiore No.4 Op.3 (12:54) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - Divertimento In Re Maggiore Kv136 (18:36) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) - Concerto Per Violoncello In Re Maggiore No.2 Hob.viib-2 (25:48) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) - 'trauer-symphonie' - Sinfonia In Mi Minore No.44 Hob.1.44 (20:23) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) - Concerto Per Pianoforte E Orchestra In Do Maggiore No.8 (27:34) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) - 'l'estro Armonico' - Concerto In Mi Minore No.4 Op.3 Rv550 (07:17) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) - Sonata Per Pianoforte In La Maggiore No.4 Op.1 (05:46) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) - 'romeo E Giulietta' - Ouverture Fantasia (20:30) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) - Divertimento Per Flauto, Violino E Violoncello In La Hob.iv-10 (08:15) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Johann Stamitz (1717-1757) - Sinfonia In Mi Bemolle Maggiore No.4 Op.6 (15:01) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Giovanni Zamboni (xviii Sec) - Sonata Per Arciliuto N.9 Op.1 (08:43) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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CГѓВ©cile Chaminade (1857-1944) - 'album Des Enfants' - 'orientale' Per Pianoforte N.9 Op.123 (01:22) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
17 0
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Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) - Concertino Per Corno Inglese E Orchestra In Sol Maggiore (11:17) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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FrГѓВ©dГѓВ©ric Chopin (1810-1849) - Mazurka Per Pianoforte In Do Diesis Minore N.3 Op.63 (02:22) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - Sonata I Per Viola Da Gamba In Sol Maggiore Bwv1027 (12:20) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Tommaso Giordani (1733-1806) - Trio Per Flauto, Viola E Violoncello In Fa Maggiore No.6 Op.12 (11:43) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
16 0
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Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) - 'es Sind Schon Die Letzten Zeiten' - Cantata Twv1:529 (11:54) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) - Concerto Per Chitarra Terzina E Orchestra In Fa M. No.3 Op.70 (28:29) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Francesco Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) - Concerto Per Flauto E Orchestra In Re Maggiore (18:46) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
15 0
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) - Trio Per Violino, Violoncello E Pianoforte In Do Maggiore Kv548 (19:40) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
14 0
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Georg Friedrich Haendel (1685-1759) - Sonata Per Flauto Dolce In Fa Maggiore N.11 Op.1 Hwv369 (07:27) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) - Sonata Per Viola Da Gamba No.8 Op.5 (11:33) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) - Sinfonia In Re Minore N.9 Op.125 - Scherzo (molto Vivace) (trascr.) (11:41) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Nicolas Ch?©deville (1705-1782) - 'il Pastor Fido' - Sonata Per Flauto In Do Maggiore N.2 (07:54) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) - Sinfonia No.3 Op.35 G511 (15:35) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
12 0
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Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) - Sonatina Per Arpa In Si Bemolle Maggiore No.6 (07:46) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) - Sonata Da Camera A Tre In Si Bemolle Maggiore No.9 Op.4 (07:31) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
12 0
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Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764) - Concerto Per Violino E Orchestra D'archi In Fa Magg. No.10 Op.3 (17:05) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
12 0
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Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) - Quartetto Per Due Violini In Si Bemolle Maggiore Twv43 B2 (06:17) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
12 0
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Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841) - Duo Per Chitarre No.2 Op.62 (14:46) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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11 0
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Fernando Sor (1778-1839) - Minuetto Per Chitarra N.3 Op.5 (01:12) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Adam Falckenhagen (1697-1754) - Concerto Per Flauto In La Maggiore N.2 Op.4 (13:04) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) - Sonata Per Flauto E Pianoforte In La Maggiore Op.64 (13:56) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) - 'prГѓВ©lude' Per Pianoforte (01:04) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Carlos Baguer (1768-1808) - Sinfonia In Si Bemolle Maggiore No.18 (16:16) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) - Quartetto In Re Maggiore N.17 (trascr. Per Orchestra) (17:37) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) - 12 Variazioni Su Un'aria De 'il Flauto Magico' Di Mozart Op.66 (09:16) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) - 'salve Regina' (08:53) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Camille Saint-saГѓВ«ns (1835-1921) - 'havanaise' Per Violino E Orchestra Op.83 (09:43) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) - Nocturne In Re Bemolle Maggiore No.2 Op.27 (04:51) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) - 'menuet Sur Le Nome De Haydn' Per Pianoforte (01:50) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Nicolo' Paganini (1782-1840) - Concerto Per Violino E Orchestra In Re Minore No.4 (35:01) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) - Variazioni Su 'the Harmonious Blacksmith' Di G.f. Haendel (08:45) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785) - Sonata Per Pianoforte In Re Minore (08:44) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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Franz Schubert (1797-1828) - Sinfonia In Si Bemolle Maggiore No.5 D485 (29:38) {+info: Veniceclassicradio.eu}
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  • The best recordings of Respighi's Pines of Rome

    classical-music.com | Thu, 11 Oct 2018 11:28:17 +0000

    Rating: 
    0

    Self-restraint was evidently not at the top of Respighi’s list of priorities when he composed Pines of Rome in 1924.

    The orchestral forces enlisted for this 20-minute symphonic poem include a large organ – ideally with a 32-foot pedal stop – six bucinas (Roman trumpets), a vast percussion section and even a gramophone player. It isn’t just about creating a big noise, however, and over the four movements the composer beguiles us with vivid depictions of various pine tree-adorned scenes in Italy’s capital city.

     

     

    Opening with children playing on a sunny morning at the Villa Borghese, the work then plunges us into the gloom of a scene near a catacomb, from which emerges a haunting chant.

    Night brings us to the Janiculum hill, where the calm is broken only by the song of a nightingale (played on said gramophone).

    Finally, as dawn breaks, we head back through the centuries to witness the Roman army making its way along the Appian Way, a march that ends in a thrilling, triumphant climax.

     

     

    The best recording

    Antonio Pappano (conductor)
    Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (2007)
    Warner Classics 394 4292

    Though Rome’s finest orchestra undoubtedly rises to the occasion of playing its ‘home’ music, the magic here is really down to conductor Antonio Pappano who, in a performance rich in imagination, captures the mood of the work’s four very differing moments spot on.

    Outside the Villa Borghese, Pappano lets his children run gleefully amok – as the movement frantically gathers tempo, the orchestra sounds as though it’s on the cusp of haring out of control… but is just about kept in check. And in the following ‘Pines Near a Catacomb’, Pappano creates the necessary sense of space by duly following the composer’s instruction to place the trumpet soloist ‘as far away as possible’ – many, surprisingly, don’t.

     

     

    A feel for distance, too, distinguishes Pappano’s march along the Appian Way. As his Roman soldiers first come into view, they are an ominous presence on the horizon, the pounding of their feet scarcely discernible.

    Only as they draw near, and the sun glints off their armour, does Pappano unleash the full force of his vast orchestra. Some conductors peak too soon here or progress in fits and spurts; Pappano paces the march to perfection.

    As for caveats? With this being a live performance, Respighi’s magnificent array of sounds is joined here by the occasional cough or two from the Rome audience. It’s a small gripe, though.

     

     

    Three more great recordings

    Lorin Maazel (conductor)
    Cleveland Orchestra (1976)
    Decca 466 9932

    Respighi’s Pines was championed in the US by Toscanini and the New York Philharmonic soon after its premiere, and its continuing popularity across the pond is amply reflected by a sizable clutch of excellent recordings by American orchestras: the Philadelphia Orchestra and Riccardo Muti (Warner) make up for lack of subtlety with raw excitement, while Fritz Reiner’s similarly thrilling 1957 recording with the Chicago Symphony (RCA) and Seiji Ozawa’s lively account with the Boston Symphony (DG) are also worth exploring.

    For an elegant performance coupled with truly opulent sound, however, Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra get the nod – to pick out just one moment, the thundering organ and brass emerging from the dark depths in Maazel’s ‘Pines near a catacomb’ are simply awe-inspiring.

     

     

    Charles Dutoit (conductor)
    Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (1984)
    Decca 410 1452

    While others like to linger and enjoy the Roman views, Charles Dutoit is a man on a mission – his let’s-keep-things-moving approach is a bit of a one-off, but remarkably effective. The fast-driven tempos give unity and cohesion to a work that can sometimes feel episodic, and yet at no time does the listener feel rushed.

    Yes, Dutoit’s ‘Pines of the Janiculum’ could be a little more perfumed and self-indulgent, but his brisk march up the Appian Way works a treat. Whereas others trudge, Dutoit’s Roman legion pounds toward us with an aggressive, Stravinsky-like menace. This is an army that means business, and don’t we know it.

     

     

    Eiji Oue (conductor)
    Minnesota Orchestra (2001)
    Reference Recordings RR-95CD

    As a young man, Respighi went to study under Rimsky-Korsakov in Russia, and one can detect glimpses of the great man’s influence in the lush Romanticism of the ‘Pines of the Janiculum’ – a movement that also has a touch of the Impressionism of Debussy and Ravel about it.

    It is here that the Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra come into their own. In superbly recorded sound, Oue carefully blends the various colours that make Respighi’s night-time soundscape so seductive, picking out details here and there but never over-emphasising them – notice, for instance, how the cello solo is given a dreamy wistfulness by setting the player slightly back from the mic.

    It’s extraordinarily atmospheric, and a timely reminder that Respighi’s Pines is not all about power and bombast.

     

     

    And one to avoid...

    Herbert von Karajan (conductor)
    Berlin Philharmonic (1996)
    DG 4497242

    There’s not much fun to be had when Mr Karajan is on playground duty. Ever the control freak in this 1978 Berlin Philharmonic recording, the maestro keeps his children outside the Villa Borghese in strictly regimented, neatly rhythmical order – there’s no joie de vivre.

    In his ‘Pines of the Appian Way’, meanwhile, we get brass, brass and more brass, to the near-obliteration of any other orchestral texture. It all leaves one feeling a little short-changed.

     

  • Alan Davey discusses the upcoming season on BBC Radio 3

    classical-music.com | Wed, 10 Oct 2018 11:15:32 +0000

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    What’s coming up on Radio 3 that you’re particularly excited about in the coming months?

    Horatio Clare, who walked in the teenage Bach’s footsteps last year from Arnstadt to Lübeck, is going to be looking at the German 18th-century notion of the wanderer, which as a trope inspired a lot of musicians and poets like Goethe, Schubert and Mahler.

    The programme will be interweaved with poetry and music, and is a chance for the listener to pause the outside world and engage in a journey around the Black Forest. We’re not quite sure what the starting point will be yet but we’ve got the maps out. It will be part of Slow Radio, and will take place on Christmas Eve.

     

    Slow Radio is receiving its own dedicated slot. What will that entail?

    There are various programmes scheduled: Clocks at Upton House and Night at the Zoo. We’ll also listen to the sounds of Durham Cathedral at night and the Burren cattle blessing, which is an old ritual in County Galway where the herd move from one pasture to another. It happens at the same time every year, and apparently the sounds are magical.

     

    How would you explain Slow Radio to a newcomer?

    It’s an opportunity to step back from the world in order to think about it differently. It will take however long it takes, and certainly won’t rush you. The sounds might be something you haven’t come across before or ones you've passed by and not taken any notice of.

    I think silence actually sets music off, and the sounds within that silence give you a different perspective on music. That’s what we’ve been working on in our Sounds of the Earth on Sunday mornings. We take a sound, whether its rainfall or wind in the forest, and present music attached to it, in order to make you think differently. These will be available as podcasts as well.

     

     

    Speaking of podcasts, will you be doing a second season of Classical Fix?

    Yes, Classical Fix has proven to be very popular. Clemency Burton-Hill interviews someone who doesn’t necessarily know about classical music and suggests a menu for them. The first season was particularly successful as a podcast, so we'll be continuing with that. 

     

    How will you be commemorating Armistice Day?

    We’re broadcasting Mark Anthony-Turnage’s The Silver Tassie, as well as some silent moments from around European battlefields. These will be Slow Radio-style – the sounds from the battle-sites today and their links with the past give an opportunity for contemplation. 

     

     

    What's coming up in 2019?

    For the Berlioz 150-year anniversary we’ve got a special weekend planned, with all the BBC orchestras coming together to do performances of his larger-scale works.

    Also, towards the anniversary of the moon landing we’ll be looking at the influence of space on music, which also links back to our BBC Symphony Orchestra concert from the end of September – a performance of Holst's The Planets with professor Brian Cox.

     

    And is it business as usual for weekly programmes like Essential Classics and Inside Music?

    Yes, Inside Music - which we introduced relatively recently - continues. It gives you an insider’s perspective on great repertoire, and what it’s like to be a musician playing it. We’re going to have guests like Jacob Collier and Sofi Jeannin, the new BBC Singers conductor, David Charles Abell, singer Jeanine De Bique and violinist Jennifer Pike.

    The Listening Service will also continue, with lots of stimulating explanations of music and how it works, including the impact of minimalism on music. We'll be looking at what it is about composers like Steve Reich that inspires very extreme reactions of liking and loathing.

    Essential Classics is going to have some really great guests joining Suzy Klein and Ian Skelly, including actors Stephen Mangan, Graham Fellows and Lenny Henry, novelist Jessie Burton and conductor Sakari Oramo. So it’s going to be action-packed.

     

     

    The BBC is undertaking a huge classical music project this year. Could you tell us more about it?

    Our Classical Century is a wonderful pan-BBC project involving four TV programmes, which will look at great classical music moments in the last century. We’re going to match that on air on Radio 3 with 100 significant moments in classical music over the last 100 years, as well as illustrating key works that come out of the TV series by the BBC's orchestras and choirs.

    This is the first time in the BBC where we’ve done something around classical music that incorporates both television and radio. It’s looking at great events and placing them in a social context. There’s everything from the premiere of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring to cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Chineke!.

     

    At the End of the Road festival this summer you announced that Late Junction was getting its own festival as well?

    That’s right, that will be in East London in February. Some festivals just seem to make sense. We actually had an evening at the End of the Road Festival devoted to Late Junction, and it worked really well.  

  • Free Download: Paganini's Sonata Concertata for Guitar and Violin

    classical-music.com | Tue, 09 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0000

    'The two converse and dialogue in perfect equilibium in the Sonata Concertata'

    This week's free download is the first movement, Allegro spiritoso, from Paganini's Sonata Concertata. It is performed by violinist Fabio Biondi and guitarist Giangiacomo Pinardi, and is produced on the Glossa label. The recording was the Chamber Choice in the October issue of BBC Music Magazine.

    DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS:

    If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.

    Once you've done that, return to this page and you'll be able to see a 'Download Now' button on the picture above – simply click on it to download your free track.

    If you experience any technical problems please email support@classical-music.com. Please reference 'Classical Music Free Download', and include details of the system you are using and your location. If you are unsure of what details to include please take a screenshot of this page.

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  • Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018)

    classical-music.com | Mon, 08 Oct 2018 12:44:35 +0000

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    Montserrat Caballé, the Spanish soprano whose career spanned over 50 years, has died in her home city of Barcelona. She was admitted to hospital last month after a long period of illness.   

    ‘La Superba’, as she was lovingly referred to by her fans, was one of the most exciting opera singers of the latter half of the 20th century. A leading figure in the resurgence of the bel canto technique, Caballé became a hugely revered singer in an era where the limelight was often dominated by conductors and directors.

    Caballé always denied her reputation as a fierce prima donna, insisting: ‘I am not now nor have I ever been a diva… I am only Montserrat!’. Indeed, her indomitable stage presence was matched by an irresistible charm off-stage, endearing her to countless musicians and non-musicians alike, not least her close friend Freddie Mercury, with whom she recorded the Olympic anthem for the 1992 Barcelona games – Mercury, alas, died before the games began.

    The daughter of an industrial chemist, Caballé was born in the 1930s in the midst of the Spanish civil war. She was not from a wealthy family, and her childhood home was bombed when she was four years old. Fortunately family friends offered to pay for her training at the Conservatori Liceu.

    Here she studied under Eugenia Kemeny and the well-known Spanish soprano Conchita Badia, both of whom she would continually attribute the longevity and success of her career to. Her breakthrough came with a portrayal of Donna Elvira at the Vienna State Opera in 1960.

    This was followed by a concert performance of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia for the American Opera Society, in which she sang the title role, filling in for an ailing Marilyn Horne. The performance made her an international sensation overnight, and was followed by an enormously successful 1965 season at Glyndebourne playing both Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier and Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.

    Some of her most notable recordings include interpretations of rarely performed works by Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi, all of which display her impeccable technique and unparalleled ability to tap into the emotions of the characters she portrayed. As she said herself: ‘When a singer truly feels and experiences what the music is all about, the words will automatically ring true.’

    Despite regular bouts of illness – in 1985 she spent three months in hospital with a brain tumour – Caballé showed a dogged determinat to return to the stage. She once professed her doctors had called her a ‘witch’, amazed at her ability to overcome illness.

    Caballé found it difficult to leave her public and continued performing well into the new century, finally retiring to her husband Bernabé’s farm.

  • BBC to release its classical music back catalogue

    classical-music.com | Mon, 08 Oct 2018 10:05:46 +0000

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    The director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, is to announce the release of the corporation’s back catalogue of classical music recordings and broadcasts. The accouncement is due this Thusday at the launch of the BBC’s Our Classical Century project, which looks back over 100 years of classical music in the UK.

    The catalogue will be available to the public online via BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sounds app, and is one of the largest in the world. It includes iconic recordings from the BBC Proms, BBC Young Musician and BBC Introducing.

    Lord Hall is expected to say: ‘In an age of every-growing platforms and social media sharing, these historic and recent performances will be returned to the public as their rightful property.

    ‘Whilst the way we consume and share content is changing rapidly, music’s ability to bring us together has stayed the same, and classical music’s role in that should not be underestimated.’

    Our Classical Century will be available on BBC Radio 3, BBC Sounds, BBC Two, and BBC Four from mid-November. See the Radio & TV page of our November issue for more information.

  • BBC Philharmonic announces new chief conductor

    classical-music.com | Thu, 04 Oct 2018 14:30:36 +0000

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    Omer Meir Wellber has been named the new chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, succeeding Juanjo Mena, who held the post for eight years. The 36-year-old has fast established himself as one of today’s top conductors, having directed many of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, including the London Philharmonic, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bavarian State Opera.

    Wellber also holds the post of principal conductor at the Semperoper Dresden, and is set to give his debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Bizet’s Carmen later this month.

     

     

    He has worked with the BBC Philharmonic on a number of previous occasions, most recently in Salford’s Media City with a programme of Mozart and Brahms. He will next be conducting the orchestra on Saturday 6 October at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

    Born in Israel, Wellber studied conducting and composition at the Jerusalem Music Academy under Eugene Zirlin and Mendi Rodan. He has been a guest conductor at the Israeli Opera for over ten years.

     

     

    A passionate advocate for social change, Wellber is music director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, which was set up in 1991 in part to provide work for immigrants. He also regularly collaborates with a number of outreach programmes that support the next generation of conducting students.

    Wellber will join a roster of BBC Philharmonic conductors that includes John Storgårds (chief guest conductor) and Ben Gernon (principal guest conductor).

  • The best recordings of Steven Isserlis

    classical-music.com | Thu, 04 Oct 2018 14:00:00 +0000

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    Bach Cello Suites

    This long-awaited reading of the cellist’s ‘Bible’ found Isserlis delving behind each Suite to find its religious correlatives.

     

    Tavener The Protecting Veil
    with LSO/Rozhdestvensky

    This mystic Minimalist work, written for Isserlis in 1987, made him famous. His silvery timbre and re-creation of Tavener’s vision is unrivalled.

     

    •  

      Mendelssohn Complete works for cello and piano
      with Melvyn Tan

      A happy partnership with fortepianist Melvyn Tan produced this utterly delightful set of Mendelssohn performances.

       

      • Best classical music inspired by autumn

        classical-music.com | Thu, 04 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0000

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        Autumn, with its golden leaves and misty mornings, is here. To keep you company as the nights draw in, we present some of the best classical music inspired by the season.

         

        Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 'Autumn' (1723)

        What seasonal playlist could fail to include Vivaldi? From the Allegro’s post-harvest celebrations in 'Autumn', Vivaldi’s programmatic music transports us to the somewhat less vibrant morning after, where slow moving suspensions come as close to a musical hangover as anything you’ve ever heard. In the stately final Allegro, ‘The Hunt’, a virtuosic violin solo represents the hunter’s fleeing quarry, which they eventually catch and kill. Not so fun for the quarry, but a jolly old time for all the hunters.

         

         

        Bax – November Woods (1917)

        Though ostensibly inspired by nature, Bax’s November Woods also acts as a musical portrait of his turbulent love affair with pianist Harriet Cohen. An often unsettling work, the tone poem fluctuates between stormy drama and quiet ecstasy, yet fades to a quiet and unresolved finish.

         

         

        Fanny Mendelssohn – Das Jahr (1841)

        Fanny Mendelssohn wrote the piano cycle Das Jahr as a musical diary of the year she spent with her family in Rome. The 12 months are represented by 12 individual movements. In 'September' a flowing accompaniment overlays a dark melody in the left hand. 'October' is a brighter, march-like song, but 'November' returns to introspection and a minor key. She instructs the performer to play sadly.

         

         

        R Strauss – Four Last Songs, ‘September’

        Sometimes considered Strauss’s own musical epitaph, all of the Four Last Songs are themed around death. ‘September’ is a shimmering and uplifting work, which calmly compares the passing of the seasons with the passing of life. Strauss also includes a poignant and wistful solo for his father’s instrument: the French horn.  

         

         

        Imogen Holst – The Fall of the Leaf (1963)

        The Fall of the Leaf was written as a study piece for Holst's friend, the cellist and pianist Pamela Hind O’Malley. It is based on a tune by Martin Peerson that Holst found in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (1572-1651). Unified by this melody, all six movements expand on it using a variety of different string techniques, from pizzicato to double-stopping. 

         

         

        Massenet – Pensée d’Automne (1887)

        ‘The year slips away like a flowing stream,’ mourns the soprano soloist in the opening lines of Massenet’s Pensée d’Automne (Thoughts of Autumn). Based on a poem by Armand Silvestre, the song perfectly expresses the melancholy that comes as the summer ends.

         

         

        Listen to our playlist of autumnal music here:

      • Oslo Philharmonic announces its new chief conductor

        classical-music.com | Wed, 03 Oct 2018 14:25:40 +0000

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        The Oslo Philharmonic has announced the appointment of the young Finnish conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä as its new chief conductor and artistic advisor. He will take up the position at the beginning of the 2020/21 season.

        Mäkelä currently holds the positions of principal guest conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Turku Music Festival in Finland and artist in association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta, with whom he performs as a conductor, soloist and chamber musician.

        In the upcoming season, Mäkelä will also be making debuts with the Orchestre de Paris, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Bergen Philharmonic, among others.

        Vasily Petrenko, the Oslo Philharmonic’s current chief conductor, will end his role with the orchestra following its 100th-anniversary season in the summer of 2020. Petrenko’s position as music director at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra also comes to an end in 2021, when he begins his new tenure at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. 

      • The best recordings of Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata

        classical-music.com | Wed, 03 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0000

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        Calling Beethoven’s Op. 106 a ‘piano sonata’ is a bit like labelling the Titanic a ‘boat’. Could any generic title encompass even half of what lies within this mighty creation? Sonata? Pah! The Hammerklavier is a seismic shifting of earthly and spiritual planes. It takes you from the edge of the impossible to the darkest places of the human psyche, then saves you through fugue alone. 

         

        The best recording

        Peter Serkin (piano)
        Musical Concepts MC122

        In the early 1980s, Peter Serkin, son of pianist Rudolf, recorded the six last Beethoven sonatas on a fortepiano by Conrad Graf, owned by the Schubert Club of St Paul, Minnesota. The microphone placement varied from sonata to sonata, and for the Hammerklavier Serkin chose to give us a ‘pianist’s bench’ perspective on the work.

        Little information about the instrument is provided; some internet research reveals that it has been dated to 1824-5, though its authenticity has been questioned. It’s hard to imagine how it could still be standing by the end, and its sound is full of vinegary overtones – but in terms of hair-raising energy and spiritual veracity, Serkin’s performance is electrifying from first note to last.

        In the opening movement, taking Beethoven at his word about the tempo, as I rather think one should (ignoring it is just too convenient), Serkin sets off like a guided missile. There’s nothing polite, pompous or predictable about this playing or the instrument, though the composer’s nobility of spirit is there too. Throughout the work the flow is splendidly flexible, while the awareness of overall architecture is ever-present, yet worn lightly.

         

         

        The countless thoughts flash by with fresh insights in every bar, delivered with a range of tone colours that may come as quite a revelation to fortepiano sceptics. The sense of struggle that is so much a part of the piece seems accentuated by the Graf’s vulnerability, rather than being restricted by it.

        Indeed, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it; even at the few moments when Serkin and the fortepiano seem perhaps not fully in agreement, the ‘authenticity’ of this performance lies not in the instrument
        but in its performer’s soul.

        The Scherzo is manic, its trio gloriously smoky in texture, with Serkin finding extraordinary sounds in the bass and persuading the instrument to growl, roar and snap like a waking dragon. The slow movement takes him 18 minutes and 28 seconds – slow enough to draw out the utmost expression, yet always keeping the flow.

        The keyboard tone’s unevenness sometimes makes itself evident, but Serkin fills the melodic line with such anguished intensity that that scarcely matters. The last movement’s opening sounds as if it could have been improvised on the spot and leads into a fugue that unfurls at a tempo that seems bananas – but is delivered with irresistible exhilaration and wonder. Some others play it nearly as fast, yet without half such satisfying substance.

         

         

        Three more great recordings

        Solomon (piano)
        Warner Classics 476 8652

        We’re allowed just three runners-up, so apologies that my all-male shortlist just misses out the fiery Mitsuko Uchida and shining-toned Yvonne Lefébure. But my next choice is Solomon, recorded in 1952. Sound quality is rough, and there are wrong notes, but this artist exists in some state of grace.

        There’s a humane, multi-faceted radiance about his playing. He makes the most of the work’s colouristic potential for pointing up dramatic progression, something that is sustained throughout his glorious Adagio, as rapt as a state of deep meditation. And his fugue is life-affirming.

         

         

        Friedrich Gulda (piano)
        Decca 475 6835

        The earlier of Gulda’s recordings, from the 1950s, is characterised by clear, vivid rhythm with a remarkable focused power within the sound, elemental energy plus a clear-eyed sense of architecture.

        After a spontaneous yet streamlined Scherzo, the Adagio is magnificently voiced and flowing, with an inner stillness that emanates more from the tone than from the pace – the bass-voice episode seems to come from another world. His fugue is light-fingered and focused, teetering on the edge of reason.

         

         

        Stephen Kovacevich (piano)
        Warner Classics 623 0812

        Among the sock-it-to-’em interpretations, Kovacevich’s is vastly rewarding. Recorded in 2001, this is a generous, vivid, playful, great-hearted performance, with a Scherzo that lives up to its name before evaporating in a ghostly puff, and a slow movement where profound tragedy is evoked through inexorable tread and a sense of limitless long lines. The finale’s opening is mysterious, full of startling outbursts, but it’s the white-hot fugue that really sweeps you away.

         

         

        Glenn Gould (piano)
        Sony G0100009124419

        Gould’s opening is sluggish, with noisy singing along, and although his deep, strong Beethovenian tone is appealing at times, the development section’s fugato galumphs like an overweight donkey. The Scherzo seems bossy; the Adagio (20 mins 42 seconds) involves some nice contrasts of character but lacks flow and flexibility, and the fugue – even from this arch-player of counterpoint – seems to consist of sound and fury signifying not a lot.

         

        This article first appeared in the January 2018 issue of BBC Music Magazine.

Comments:
      • Quest: Gianfranco
      • Musica raffinata e ricercata con grande passione
      • Reply 18:22 <> 12.29.2014 +1
      • Quest: Venice Classic Radio
      • Grazie Gianfranco! Siamo onorati del suo complimento! Buon ascolto!
      • Reply 05:59 <> 04.16.2015 -1
      • Quest: Salvo
      • Belisima musica, complimenti
      • Reply 20:33 <> 12.06.2015 -1
      • Quest: Venice Classic Radio
      • Grazie Salvo! Buon ascolto! :)
      • Reply 21:35 <> 11.30.2016 -1
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