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Beethoven's most famous symphonies performed by excellent young orchestras and new compositions by award-winning composers: a free musical experience offered by Deutsche Welle



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Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #29: Drawn from the source

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 15:30:00 GMT

Zoltan Kodaly searched for the roots of gypsy music he heard as a child and made the material his own. The Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok presents Kodaly's work alongside the folk music that inspired it.Zoltan Kodaly Dances of Galánta, version with original folk music Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok Conductor: Gabor Hollerung MP3 recorded at the University of Bonn on October 3, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Today, Galanta is a town in Slovakia whose architecture bears the marks of war and the Soviet era. But more than a century ago, it was a quaint and lovely village in Hungary where composer Zoltan Kodaly spent seven years of his childhood. Kodaly later recalled his time in Galanta warmly - due in part to a little gypsy band that played in the village and introduced the future composer to orchestral sounds. At 50, Kodaly composed a tribute to the music he had heard back then, based partly on scores he came across dating to around 1800. A note on one said that it drew on the folk tunes of "several gypsies from Galanta." As part of an evening celebrating German Unity Day and Hungary's role in German reunification, Budapest's Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok presented a unique adaptation of Kodaly's dances. "Ahead of each of Kodaly's folk songs, we briefly play material from the original scores from which Kodaly drew his inspiration - of course, in such a way that it can also flow into Kodaly's music," conductor Gabor Hollerung explained. "It's a very different sound and doesn't remind you of some Gypsy band today - it's a different approach to folklore, improvisation, the instruments and how they accompany each other. The piece offers a real glimpse into Hungarian folk music," Hollerung added. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Kodaly_Galanta.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #28: A Rhine journey

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 15:24:00 GMT

Listen in as the brass section shines in this excerpt from Richard Wagner's "Twilight of the Gods" that sweeps along the waters of the Rhine River.Richard Wagner "Sunrise" and "Siegfried's Rhine Journey" from the opera "Twilight of the Gods" Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok Conductor: Gabor Hollerung MP3 recorded at the University of Bonn on October 3, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Wagner appears alongside the likes of Liszt, Dohnanyi and Kodaly in a program of Hungarian music for a straightforward reason. "When you go on tour for a concert, it's nice to pay tribute to the area where you play - we love it when a foreign orchestra comes to Hungary and plays something from our culture," said the Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok's conductor, Gabor Hollerung. "Sunrise" and "Siegfried's Rhine Journey" come from the fourth and final chapter of Wagner's opera cycle "The Ring of the Nibelung." In the scenes that accompany the music, the hero Siegfried bids farewell to his lover Brünnhilde and makes his way down from the mountain where they've lived together, arriving at and then journeying along the waters of the Rhine. But invoking the legends of the river that flows a few feet away from Beethovenfest concert venues wasn't the only thing the conductor had in mind when he put Wagner on the program. "I have to say that we have an incredible brass section, and of course that comes through beautifully with this piece," Hollerung said. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Wagner_Goetterdaemmerung.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #27: Changing tides

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 15:18:00 GMT

A tribute to European unity in this concert, where pianist Jeno Jando delivers a performance full of contrasts and surprises in 'Variations on a Children's Song' by Erno Dohnanyi.Erno Dohnanyi Variations on a children's song for piano and orchestra, op. 25 Jeno Jando, piano Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok Conductor: Gabor Hollerung MP3 recorded at the University of Bonn on October 3, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) The 2011 Beethovenfest celebrated Franz Liszt and the music of Hungary, the composer's home country - reason enough to invite Budapest's young and spirited Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok. The ensemble was also invited to celebrate German Unity Day on October 3 and the key role Hungary played in ultimately bringing down the Iron Curtain. Beginning in late spring of 1989, Hungarian reformers and activists began taking apart their country's fortified border with Austria. Their actions resulted in the first breach of the fortifications separating eastern and western Europe, helping set the stage for the peaceful revolutions in Germany and other countries months later. "That is really a matter of pride for us because we had the courage to bring about change, but none of us expected that so much would happen so fast!" conductor Gabor Hollerung said. The October 3 program paid special tribute to the music of Hollerung's homeland, including a work written by his orchestra's namesake, composer Erno Dohnanyi. The second part of the group's name, Budafok, stems from the Budapest district Budafok-Teteny, which helped support the establishment of the orchestra. Dohnanyi's temperamental "Variations on a Children's Song" is a bit like the changing tides of history as it shifts among moods, from bright, playful - even banal - to dramatic and mysterious. The work imitates or cites a hodge-podge of compositions, including Kodaly's "Viennese Musical Clock," Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 and the central melody in the work, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star." Listen as pianist Jeno Jando masterfully brings each variation to life in this Beethovenfest performance. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Dohnanyi_op25.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #25: Carmen's life in an hour

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 15:03:00 GMT

The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic under Roma conductor Riccardo Sahiti bring the joys and struggles of the gypsy Carmen to life as her story builds to its tragic end.Rodion Shchedrin Carmen Suite after Georges Bizet for strings and percussion Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Roma conductor Riccardo M. Sahiti has one special goal: bringing his people's music and culture closer to other people. That means including works and artists in his repertoire that assimilated Roma and Sinti sounds, like Georges Bizet in his opera "Carmen." The work debuted in 1875, telling a story of love, jealousy and the death of the gypsy Carmen.  In 1967, Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin set out to arrange a Carmen suite in one act for a string orchestra and a large group of percussionists. The adaptation was intended for his wife, prima ballerina of Moscow's Bolschoi Theater. But the work drew heavy protests in the former Soviet Union. With the exception of Moscow, other Soviet cities were forbidden to perform Shchedrin's adaptation for years. In this interpretation by the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic, the listener can experience Carmen's fate up close and personal in an hour of music. The strings alternate playing gently, boldly, sadly and wildly under Sahiti's direction, as he directs with open arms and a smile on his lips - perhaps thinking of Carmen herself. And with one final stab of the baton, he puts an end to Carmen's life both musically and visually. The performance earned long applause for the affable conductor and his Roma and Sinti Philharmonic in the Beethoven Hall. Author: Beatrice Warken / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Carmen.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #26: Thundering hooves

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 10:51:00 GMT

Franz Liszt recreates the legend of Mazeppa in this symphonic poem as it brings the listener along for its hero's tormented journey through the wilderness and toward redemption.Franz Liszt Mazeppa. Symphonic Poem No. 6 Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok Conductor: Gabor Hollerung MP3 recorded at the University of Bonn on October 1, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) To celebrate German Unity Day on October 3 and Hungary's historic role in the process of German reunification, Budapest's Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok delivered a performance full of energy and verve in Bonn. You would be right on the mark if you think you can sense the sound of thundering hooves in "Mazeppa," the concert opener. That's what Franz Liszt had in mind in this symphonic poem. The composer himself invented the single-movement genre transposing the contents of a work of art or literature into music. Liszt draws his inspiration from Victor Hugo's poem about a young page - Mazeppa - caught in bed with a powerful noble's wife. As punishment, Mazeppa is strapped naked to the back of his horse and sent off into the woods. On the verge of death, he lands in the Ukraine, where he meets, joins and ultimately goes on to lead the Cossacks. "'Mazeppa is indeed about a Ukrainian freedom fighter, but if you listen carefully, you can hear a lot of Hungarian influence in the music, especially in this great triumphal march at the end," conductor Gabor Hollerung explained. "Everything melts together wonderfully in Liszt - the German influence, the Hungarian influence, the eastern European tradition, even spiritual aspects - he really belongs to us all," Hollerung added. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Liszt_Mazeppa.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #24: Balkan fireworks

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 10:42:00 GMT

Fanfare Ciocarlia have one goal: to get even the stodgiest grandmas out of their seats and dancing. The wind ensemble almost managed that during their concert at the Beethovenfest's "Liszt Night."anon: Arrangement of the folk song "Suita a la Ciobanas" Fanfare Ciocărlia MP3 recorded on September 24, 2011 in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn by West German Radio (WDR) The twelve members of Fanfare Ciocarlia come from a tiny village in Moldavia, home to around 80 Roma families and 400 people total. The name Ciocarlia means "lark," but their music is a far cry from a little bird's song. It's more like biting into an extremely hot pepper whose spiciness goes all the way down to your toes. The combination of clarinets, two alto saxophones, three trumpets, two bass tubas, percussion and a baritone and tenor horn leaves audiences breathless. Traditional Romanian dances like the Sirba or Hora and folk songs clearly influenced by middle Eastern folklore create performance fireworks. But wild and dangerous men (so goes the reputation of the Usarii clan from which the players are descended), it is said, can also be gentle and restrained - such as when they sing the shepherd song "Suita a la Ciobanas." Ever since they were discovered in 1996 by Henry Ernst, a German sound engineer touring in Romania, Fanfare Ciocarlia has been on their way to the top - on demand from Tokyo to New York, Milan to Helsinki. Along the way, the group has expanded its repertoire from local songs and dances to include jazz and swing. A swaying stage, kicking feet and an audience eager for an encore are no rarities in performances by Fanfare Ciocarlia. Author: Beatrice Warken / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Fanfare_Ciocarlia.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #23: Gypsy improv

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 10:28:00 GMT

The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic celebrate gypsy tradition and folklore here in their purest form.anon: Improvised Roma and Sinti folk music Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) September 24, 2011 turned into a long night for the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic. This special project formed of professional musicians of Roma and Sinti heritage gave two concerts nearly back to back at the Beethovenfest's "Liszt Night" celebrating that composer and the contemporary expression of his Hungarian musical heritage. After midnight and many encores and curtain calls, a clarinetist takes things into his own hands here, heading to the front of the stage with a tune on his lips. It doesn't take long for some of his fellow musicians to jump up and join him in this rollicking improvisation on gypsy folk themes - just the thing to send the crowd happily on their way. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Improvisierte_Zigeunermusik.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #22: Full of fire

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 10:18:00 GMT

Violin virtuoso Geza Hosszu-Legocky and cellist Rodin Moldovan with Johan Halvorsen's passacaglia on a theme by Handel.Johan Halvorsen Passacaglia for violin and cello after George Frideric Handel Geza Hosszu-Legocky, violin Rodin Moldovan, cello MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic draws musicians of Roma and Sinti heritage from across Europe together to celebrate their culture's influence on music from folk to classical. This recording is a fine example of that. Violinist Geza Hosszu-Legocky has performed as part of the Roma and Sinti orchestral project in the past, also stealing the show as a soloist. The fleet-fingered 26-year-old said that playing violin has been in his family for generations, with his grandfather having been a big influence on his performance style. Hosszu-Legocky is joined here by cellist Rodin Moldovan for a passacaglia on a theme by Handel, penned in 1893 by Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen. It's a piece at once melancholy and gentle but full of fire, especially as the instrumentalists charge toward the work's somber close. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Haendel-Halvorsen_Passacalia.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #21: Up to speed

Fri, 7 Oct 2011 10:03:00 GMT

Mihaela Ursuleasa plays a dizzying and enchanting toccata by Romanian composer Paul Constantinescu.Paul Constantinescu Toccata Mihaela Ursuleasa, piano Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Encore pieces reveal much of the mood of the moment. Such is the case with this one. After Mihaela Ursuleasa's performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic, the audience simply wasn't ready to let her go, so the pianist wowed the audience for a second time with her rendition of this toccata by 20th century Romanian composer Paul Constantinescu. It's a perfect piece to round out an evening or an album, as it does on Ursuleasa's 2009 solo debut titled "Piano & Forte." Constantinescu's composition requires not only dexterous fingers but also the ability to combine speedy, virtuousic playing with much sensitivity. The classical pianist may have acquired her knack for showmanship from her father, a Romanian gypsy who made a living playing folk music. Conductor Riccardo Sahiti praises her as being among a handful of the best soloists with whom he has worked. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Constantinescu_Toccata.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #13: Minimal music to maximum effect

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 12:45:00 GMT

American composer Steve Reich, a founding father of minimal music, performed in Bonn two weeks before his 75th birthday.Steve Reich Drumming - Part One for four pairs of tuned bongo drums Steve Reich, percussion Ensemble Modern MP3 recorded in the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, on September 21, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Steve Reich is a cult figure. Raised and trained in the European music tradition, his influences extend to African and Indonesian music as well as jazz. Reich has had a decisive impact on the course of 20th century music history. In the early 1960's he began to write music in which rhythm, recognizable melodies, simpler harmonies and natural instruments (in contrast to electronic) were once again paramount. He recognized early that in the Western tradition there has always been a close connection between "serious" and "entertainment" music. Reich, who professes to loving Bach and Stravinsky as well as jazz musician John Coltrane, received instruction from Gideon Alorwoyie in the art of African percussion in 1970 during his stay at the University of Ghana in Accra. That experience found its creative expression in his first masterpiece, "Drumming," which appeared the following year. At first listen, "Drumming" might seem to be an extremely simple work, consisting only of rhythmic expression. Beneath the surface, however, there are accentual shifts and temporal substructures that lend complexity to the piece and put the listener inescapably under their spell. In this concert recording, the composer is one of the performers. This is part one of the four-part composition. Author: Rick Fulker Editor: Greg Wiser


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Reich_Drumming.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #19: A grand duet

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:48:00 GMT

Whatever doubts conductor Riccardo Sahiti had about his Roma and Sinti Philharmonic were laid to rest during this concert. He praised the violin and double bass soloists here as being at the top of their field.Giovanni Bottesini Grand Duo concertante for double bass, violin and orchestra Roman Patkoló, double bass Géza Hosszu-Legocky, violin Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Giovanni Bottesini knew how to write for the double bass. In the 19th century, the composer and performer earned wide acclaim for his virtuosic playing on an instrument that many think of as clunky and mellow. But the Gran Duo showcases the full range of the double bass as it sends the player's fingers speeding down the neck and into its highest registers. This adaptation of the piece for double bass, violin and orchestra by Camillo Sivori gave violinist Geza Hosszu-Legocky the chance to return to the stage, and the audience was thrilled to see him. They wouldn't let him go without an encore, the second of four that the crowd was able to command in the course of the evening. The audience's warm reception was a relief for conductor Riccardo Sahiti, who said he was initially afraid that the three days of rehearsal the ensemble had before its Beethovenfest debut wouldn't be enough. The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic is comprised of professional musicians of Roma and Sinti heritage from other orchestras who met at the festival to honor Franz Liszt and Hungary's rich musical traditions. "But at the concert, they came together and gave more and more, and this was the result. These people can do anything. They played from the heart - not for the money but for an idea," Sahiti said. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Bottesini.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #20: Looking back, looking ahead

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:48:00 GMT

Franz Liszt paid homage to gypsy music in his Hungarian Rhapsodies, infusing them with his own creative energy. It's an approach the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic shares, rendering classics with an eye to the future.Franz Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 for orchestra, S 359/2 (orchestral version by Karl Müller-Berghaus) Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Like another work on the program - Kodaly's "Dances from Galanta" - Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies delve into the roots of folk music traditions in the composer's home country. But also like Kodaly's Dances, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Rather than mimicking the gypsy music Liszt found in his journeys through Hungary, the composer lends his own musical brilliance and flair for showmanship to the indigenous themes he uncovered. But the work remains a celebration of Roma heritage - a goal that the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic shares. That's one of two important aims of this group of musicians, said conductor and founder Riccardo Sahiti, who has appealed to contemporary composers to write works with the Philharmonic in mind. "This orchestra was created for the sake of new works, so that tradition can go on. Hopefully in a century from now, we can say - now we have this symphony or that violin concerto because the Roma Philharmonic was there," Sahiti explained. His pride in convening what he called the "first professional orchestra for Roma and Sahiti" was apparent throughout the evening as he beamed on stage - particularly during this piece, the program's show-stopping finale. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Liszt_Ungarische_Raphsodie.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #16: Devilish dance

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:47:00 GMT

Franz Liszt takes the listener to the heart of the Faust legend in this waltz. Out to show Faust a good time, the Devil, Mephistopheles, grabs a fiddle and begins to play…Franz Liszt Mephisto Waltz No. 1 for orchestra ("The Dance in the Village Inn") Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his version of the Faust legend inspired Franz Liszt again and again. Goethe's tale of a despairing scholar's pact with the Devil provides the background for Liszt's Faust Symphony as well as a series of four waltzes. The Roma and Sinti Philharmonic presented the first part of that series at the Beethovenfest. The Mephisto Waltz No. 1 takes the listener straight to the heart of Goethe's legend. Faust has surrendered his soul in exchange for the worldly pleasures Mephistopheles promises to show him. The two stop into a bustling village inn where Mephistopheles snaps up a violin and sets the mood as Faust waltzes passionately with a young woman. The music describes the interplay between the three characters. Dark, almost sinister passages give way to soaring and innocent melodies. "The First Mephisto Waltz is a masterpiece with such a story - of love, desire, disappointment, scandal, the soul, everything," said conductor Riccardo M. Sahiti. "It's an entire journey through life." Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Liszt_Mephisto-Walzer.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #17: 19th century rockstar

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:47:00 GMT

Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 is meant to dazzle, and pianist Mihaela Ursuleasa does just that when joined by the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic.Franz Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major Mihaela Ursuleasa, piano Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Early sketches of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 date back to 1830, when the composer was nineteen years old. But Liszt didn't premiere the work until over two decades later, making various revisions until 1856. The piece thus accompanied the brilliant pianist through some of the most compelling years of his life. The young Liszt's performances gained him adulation and international stardom, leading modern commentators to call him the rockstar of his era. He's even credited with inventing the rockstar persona - and not just on account of his flowing locks. Liszt was famed for indulgence and hedonism, a disposition that arguably finds its way into parts of his music. Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 lives up to the composer's outsized reputation with dizzying and dazzling runs up and down the keyboard. It's a piece written for a virtuoso, and soloist Mihaela Ursuleasa is up to the task. Conductor Riccardo Sahiti praised her as "an unbelievably gifted soloist" who delivered a performance "full of feeling and character." Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Liszt_Klavierkonzert_Nr1.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #18: Written for a prodigy

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:47:00 GMT

Camille Saint-Saens wrote his Introduction and rondo capriccioso for a violin prodigy with fire in his fingers. It's a work that's meant to put on a show, and Geza Hosszu-Legocky's Beethovenfest performance shows how.Camille Saint-Saëns Introduction and rondo capriccioso for violin and orchestra, op. 28 Géza Hosszu-Legocky, violin Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Conductor: Riccardo M. Sahiti MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 24, 2011 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) French composer Camille Saint-Saens had a very specific soloist in mind when he wrote the Introduction and rondo capriccioso along with his Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 3. Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate first inspired Saint-Saens to write music for him when the fifteen-year-old visited the composer in 1859. Four years later, Saint-Saens composed his Introduction and rondo capriccioso, dedicating it to the internationally famous prodigy. At the Beethovenfest, the work landed in the hands of a similarly precocious player: Geza Hosszu-Legocky. Like the violinist to whom the piece is dedicated, Hosszu-Legocky enjoyed success early. At 20, he was nominated for two Grammy Awards for his performance of Schumann's Violin Sonata in A Major. The now 26-year-old violinist has a passion for playing gypsy music, making him an ideal partner for the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic during their debut in Bonn. The Introduction and rondo capriccioso puts the spotlight squarely on this talented soloist as the gentler, more melancholy opener gives way to furious, dazzling lines. Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Saint-Saens_Introduktion.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #15: Inner power

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:46:00 GMT

The symphonic works of Schumann look into the future. Conductor Paavo Järvi cites their 'inner power' and 'somewhat neurotic language.'Robert Schumann Ouverture, Scherzo and Finale in E Major, op. 52 Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen Conductor: Paavo Järvi MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on September 23, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) 1841 is usually described as the symphonic year in Robert Schumann's life. Writing orchestral music came at urging of his wife, Clara, but the composer had also long wished to do so. In this, Schumann faced the same problem as every other composer of his time: how to write a symphonic work after Beethoven? But instead of looking back at Beethoven, Schumann's symphonies look forward, to the future of music. Conductor Paavo Järvi speaks of an edgy, "somewhat neurotic" tonal idiom that invokes new frontiers. Schumann thus fascinated many composers who came after, including Mahler. After recording and performing worldwide the complete cycle of Beethoven's symphonies, conductor Järvi and his Chamber Philharmonic from Bremen took on Schumann's symphonic oeuvre, calling this the orchestra's "Schumann Project." Järvi believes that what Beethoven and Schumann have in common is the inner power of their music, saying that "in order to bring out Schumann's real personality, we must not only play what he wrote but also exaggerate the curious and sometimes illogical angles and little corners that make his music so wonderful and so incredibly unique." That is what Järvi and his Kammerphilharmonie do with their rendition of the Overture, Scherzo and Finale, one of Schumann's first approaches to the symphonic form, written in his symphonic year 1841.     Author: Maria Santacecilia Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Schumann_op52.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #14: Reich's greatest 'hit'

Fri, 30 Sep 2011 11:45:00 GMT

'Music for 18 Musicians' exerts a subliminal, irresistible pull. The work by the legendary American composer Steve Reich was performed in Bonn by the composer himself in tandem with the Ensemble Modern.Steve Reich Music for 18 Musicians Steve Reich, piano Synergy Vocals Ensemble Modern MP3 recorded in the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany on September 21, 2011 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Steve Reich's performance in Bonn was during the Beethovenfest 2011, so it was only natural to ask him whether Beethoven has influenced him in his creative development. The answer was surprising: "Basically I have learned the most from medieval music and from Bartok and Stravinsky, as well as from John Coltrane, the jazz musician. Much more than from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and all of the other composers of that era put together. The entire classic and Romantic period is filled with geniuses that I don't listen to and from whom I've learned absolutely nothing." This concert includes a modern classic: "Music for 18 Musicians," composed in 1976. Lasting about an hour, the work is written for clarinets, bass clarinets, women's voices, pianos, vibraphone, marimbas and xylophones. The goal is simply "to make beautiful music," said the composer. This is music of our time - but it is also connected to a particular place? "Beethoven, who was born here in Bonn, carries his time and place. I was born and raised in New York City, and you can hear that in my speech and in the rhythmic energy of my music. But inside of me is New York City, whether I like it or not and no matter where I am. The more composers give honest testimony to their own time and place, the more we tend to love them," Reich commented. Author: Rick Fulker Editor: Greg Wiser


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Reich_18-Musicians.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #12: A musical army

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 18:58:00 GMT

The fourth and last movement of Gustav Mahler's Titan Symphony shuttles the listener off to a universe that encapsulates passion, majesty, epic and delicacy.Gustav Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D Major (Titan): 4th movement: Stormily agitated. Energetic Budapest Festival Orchestra Conductor: Ivan Fischer MP3 recorded by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) on September 17, 2011 in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn What would the result be of assembling the best musicians from the Liszt Conservatory into one orchestra? The answer is the Budapest Festival Orchestra, founded twenty-eight years ago by conductor Ivan Fischer. When 18th century British musicologist Charles Burney heard the Mannheim Orchestra, probably the best of its time, he called it an “army of generals”. These Hungarian virtuosos constitute a similarly powerful musical force of our time. As there is no successful army without intelligent strategy, Ivan Fischer planned his Mahlerian campaign carefully, focusing on the musical contrasts.  The last movement of the "Titan" Symphony summarizes a small universe which encapsulates passion, majesty, epic and delicacy. It was conceived initially as a tone poem. The program notes of the fourth movement read: “from hell to paradise, expression of a deeply wounded soul”. There is certainly much painful drama but also light and hope in this music. In his childhood, Mahler enjoyed watching band concerts, parades and Jewish popular music. His use of wind instruments is colored by these experiences. We can hear this in the brilliance of the brass fanfares and in the sarcastic - sometimes cutting - lines of the woodwinds. During his formative years Mahler also assimilated Austro-German “high” musical culture, as revealed in the long, thick legato melodies of warm intensity in the strings. With their rendition of the Titan Symphony as a sound fresco of intense, cathartic power, Ivan Fischer and his orchestra generated standing ovations. Author: Maria Santacecilia Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_12_Mahler_Titan.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #11: Full of nuance

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 18:48:00 GMT

'I wanted to combine the Beethoven cycle with a modern piece and asked Richard Dubugnon to write a new sonata for me,' violinist Julian Rachlin said. This marks the German premiere of the piece, titled 'Violiana.'Richard Dubugnon Violiana for violin, viola and piano Julian Rachlin, violin and viola Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 19, 2011 Swiss composer Richard Dubugnon was born in 1968 in Lausanne and studied in Paris and London. He became famous internationally through pieces commissioned by Radio France and by conductors Kurt Masur and Paavo Järvi. Alongside his orchestral works, his main interest is in colorful and refined chamber music. Violinist Julian Rachlin has never made a secret of his love for the viola. So when Rachlin asked Dubugnon to compose a work for strings for him, it was clear that he'd be switching between both instruments in the piece. In a sense, Dubugnon's "Violiana" is not modern music but digs into the past, echoing the classical tradition. "I like Richard Dubugnon's work," said Julian Rachlin. "I thought that it would be a wonderful counterpoint to the cycle of Beethoven sonatas. I have a lot of respect for his work and that's why I'm very happy that he wrote a piece for Itamar and me." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_11_Dubugnon.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #10 - Into the future

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 18:43:00 GMT

For performers Julian Rachlin and Itamar Golan, Beethoven's final violin sonata is 'unbelievably cosmic, magical. Thank God he wrote the Tenth, and just imagine if he had also made it to a Tenth Symphony…'Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 10 in G Major for violin and piano, op. 96: 2nd  movement: Adagio espressivo Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 19, 2011 In 1812, Beethoven published his tenth and last violin sonata. Many may have thought Beethoven wouldn't write another violin sonata after his ninth - that he had reached the pinnacle of the form with the "Kreutzer" sonata. But he proved them wrong, creating a work that once again brings forth completely new sounds. The great violinist Carl Flesch marvelled in 1928 at "the spiritual depth and impressionistic, delicate colors. The sonata is of exquisite workmanship, has this dreamy, moody quality, and is ahead of its time just like certain parts of the last quartet." Julian Rachlin agreed that the sonata goes beyond the Ninth: "After the seeming high-point of the Kreutzer Sonata, Beethoven returns with the Tenth Sonata with completely new dimensions, new highs and lows. To me, this sonata is monumental and very forward-thinking. In principle, it has nothing to do with the other nine sonatas Beethoven had written before. Here, he enters completely new territory." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_10_op96.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #9: Bursting the bounds

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 18:38:00 GMT

Beethoven's 'Kreutzer Sonata' is one of the most famous chamber music works ever written. It inspired Leo Tolstoy to write a novella and Leos Janacek to his string quartet of the same name in 1923.Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 9 in A Major for violin and piano, op. 47 (Kreutzer): 2nd movement: Andante con variationi (I-IV) Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 19, 2011 When British violinist George Bridgetower and Beethoven got to know each other in 1803, the composer immediately set to work writing an extremely virtuosic violin sonata for his new friend. But before it went to print, the two firebrands found themselves in a bitter argument (supposedly involving a young woman) - and Beethoven instead dedicated the work at the last minute to French violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer. Kreutzer never played the sonata however, deriding it as incomprehensible and unplayable. Clearly, Beethoven had created a work that burst the bounds of the violin sonata form. Beethoven noted in the subtitle, "Scritte in uno stile molto concertante, quasi come d'un concerto" ("Written in a very concertante style, almost like a concerto"). "This is just the character of the Kreutzer Sonata I love," explained Itamar Golan. "You've got two men on stage playing an entire concerto with the violin and piano. There's no orchestra. It's just unbelievable." For both Itamar Golan and Julian Rachlin, the virtuosic, passionate parts aren't the most important in the piece, but rather the meditative second movement. "It exudes lightness and peace, but Beethoven spices it up with syncopation and trills," Golan added. Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_09_op47.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #8: A carefree finale

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 18:04:00 GMT

The sonatas in op. 30 are revolutionary works by a revolutionary composer. One commentator called this sonata one of the most harmonious in the ten-part cycle. Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 8 in G Major for violin and piano, op. 30, No. 3: 3rd movement: Allegro vivace Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 19, 2011 Hungarian-American violinist Joseph Szigeti (1892-1973), known for his collaborations with Benny Goodman and Bela Bartok, came up with perhaps the best description of this sonata. Szigeti wrote that in it, the listener enters a sphere of perfection: "The radiant cheer of the first movement, the gently detached beauty of the minuet and the spirited merriness of the final rondo - it all adds up to one of the most harmonic works of the entire series." "Almost every one of these ten violin sonatas has revolutionary characteristics," said violinist Julian Rachlin. "Starting in op. 30, Beethoven stands all of the usual traditions on their head. That is revolution. For more than fifty years, the violin had been seen just as an accompanying voice, and Beethoven infuses the instrument with its own life, plays with its colors and brings it into a real dialogue with the piano." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_08_op30_Nr3.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 Podcast #7: Passion and depth

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 17:53:00 GMT

Beethoven's opus 30 'middle' violin sonatas point the way toward his later work. 'They have something of the incredible depth and drama of the later pieces,' said Julian Rachlin. Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 7 in C Minor for violin and piano, op. 30, No. 2: 4th movement: Finale. Allegro - Presto Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 18, 2011 Beethoven wrote the sonatas of opus 30 in 1801 - the time in which he became aware that his hearing was growing worse and that he would go deaf. That plunged Beethoven into despair, but it also turned him into a fighter. Putting all of his energy into his compositions, he set out to create new sounds and forms of expression. The liberated voices heard in op. 30 are one result. Another is the addition of a fourth movement in op. 30, Nr. 2, revolutionizing the three-movement sonata form. "With this form, Beethoven took a huge step into the future - in the direction of the grand sonata," said Itamar Golan. "But that's not all. The passionate tone and the dramatic gesture all clearly point the way for developments in the violin sonata through the late 19th century. As usual, Beethoven was well ahead of his time." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_07_op30_Nr2.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #6: An intense dialogue

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 17:37:00 GMT

Violinist Julian Rachlin calls the sonatas of opus 30 'key works' within the cycle, as they mark Beethoven's departure from the tradition of focusing on the piano. 'For me, it's a revolution,' Rachlin said.Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 6 in A Major for violin and piano, op. 30, No. 1: 2nd movement: Adagio molto espressivo Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 18, 2011 In 1801, just after Beethoven had finished composing the sonatas of op. 23 and 24, he began sketching new violin sonatas. By early 1802, three new works - in A Major, C Minor and G Major - were finished. Beethoven clearly treads new paths here, treating both piano and violin as full equals and no longer distinguishing between melodic and accompanying instrument. Instead, both share themes inseparably, both present the essential musical ideas and motifs. "I love the A Major Sonata, its purity and intensity," said Julian Rachlin. "I consider it a bridge between the early and later sonatas. Here, for the first time, Beethoven really turns the listener's expectations upside down." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_06_op30_Nr1.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #4: Experimental colors

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 17:08:00 GMT

For Julian Rachlin, each of Beethoven's violin sonatas is a challenge, revealing new aspects of the composer. 'My favorites are the ones you don't hear so often,' Rachlin said.Ludwig van Beethoven  Sonata No. 4 in A Minor for violin and piano, op. 23: 1st  movement: Presto Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 17, 2011 It's unfortunate that Beethoven's A Minor Sonata of op. 23 is "not often heard," remarked Ferdinand Ries, one of Beethoven's piano students. Published in 1801 and dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries, the piece stood somewhat in the shadow of its companion work, the famous "Spring Sonata" of op. 24. Beethoven often worked simultaneously on contrasting works within a genre, but for many, this particular violin sonata seemed too odd and too bleak. Even today, the A Minor Sonata is relatively seldom played. Nonetheless, said Itamar Golan, "I have no idea why some works within a cycle become so much more popular than others." Julian Rachlin enjoys performing neglected works because they're often especially experimental, and he likes to draw out their power: "I always want to narrate or express something. And that includes narrating new things, with other colors than usual, in order to get the listener's attention or perhaps provoke a new understanding. I can do that with my instrument ten times better than I can verbally!" Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_04_op23.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #3: With humor and charm

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 16:52:00 GMT

Julian Rachlin is considered one of the most exciting violinists of our time. Playing Beethoven's early violin sonatas in the composer's childhood home, he draws out the composer's humorous charm.Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 3 in E-flat Major for violin and piano, op. 12, No. 3: 1st movement: Allegro con spirito Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 17, 2011 When Beethoven wrote his first violin sonatas, the genre was just half a century old. Generally, the works were composed for piano with the violin lending an accompanying voice. Mozart, as an accomplished violinist, was the first to forge the duet form within the genre, letting the two instruments take the stage as equals. Beethoven wrote his violin sonatas in the same spirit, as the Viennese composer and music writer Ignaz von Mosel recognized: "Beethoven is a worthy follower of Mozart's, although a completely new spirit and taste breathes in his works!" "We've been working on the violin sonatas for years," said pianist Itamar Golan, "And although we probably know every single note, we always discover something new. It's a never-ending search." In the three sonatas published in op. 12, Beethoven largely sticks to the convention of the violin as accompaniment. But he begins to play with that tradition. "Okay, in the first and last movements of the third sonata, the piano does indeed have a brilliant upper hand, but the violin takes center stage more and more during the melodic passages," Golan added. Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_03_op12_Nr3.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #2: Playful and relaxed

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 16:27:00 GMT

The early violin sonatas are 'something wonderful,' says violinist Julian Rachlin. Beethoven was at the very start of his career - a bit cheeky and going his own way.Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 2 in A Major for violin and piano, op. 12, No. 2: 3rd movement: Allegro piacevole Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 18, 2011 In his early violin sonatas of op. 12, Beethoven experiments cautiously with giving equal treatment to piano and violin. He puts the spotlight on the violin during longer melodic passages in the slow movements but for stretches in the energetic opening and closing movements, relegates it to the role of an accompanist. One exception comes in the third movement of his Sonata No. 2, which lacks the exuberance of the other sonatas' closers. Instead, we hear a cheerful, playful but also relaxed rondo with the two instruments tossing the ball back and forth. And even though the composer gives the "final word" to the piano here, he seems to do so with a wink. "That's just the fascinating thing about Beethoven - his humor," said Itamar Golan. "Of course it's clear he intended it to be funny. Maybe it's what Germans call Rhineland humor. But his brand of humor is often so subtle, so much in the background, that the first time you play or hear the works, you may not pick up on what he really meant." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_02_op12_Nr2.mp3




Beethoven and more 2011 podcast #1: Young and fresh

Fri, 23 Sep 2011 16:14:00 GMT

Performing all ten of Beethoven's violin sonatas is a dream come true for Julian Rachlin and Itamar Golan. Their favorites include the early sonatas, which show 'something wonderful, something naive, something pure.'Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata No. 1 in D Major for violin and piano, op. 12, No. 1: 3rd movement: Rondo. Allegro Julian Rachlin, violin Itamar Golan, piano MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven House, Bonn, on September 17, 2011 The duo of violinist Julian Rachlin and pianist Itamar Golan told DW, "Playing Beethoven in the house and city where he was born is a huge honor, very demanding and spectacular." In early 1799, when Ludwig van Beethoven took his first stab at publishing works for violin with the three violin sonatas of opus 12, he dedicated them to the composer Antonio Salieri. New on the scene and unknown in Vienna, Beethoven was out to make a name for himself by getting in with Salieri. That most influential man in Vienna's music scene would have been able to open many doors for the young composer. To Beethoven's contemporaries, these early works brimmed with new and unusual sounds. Critics at the time observed, "It's undeniable that Mister Beethoven is going his own way - but what a bizarre way it is indeed!" For Julian Rachlin, it's no wonder that Beethoven's contemporaries could only shake their heads. "Beethoven was a young and wild guy with revolutionary potential. It's the same as in the past century, when people got into a fuss about the new rhythms of rock and roll. The syncopations in this rondo set his contemporaries to stomping their feet." Author: Marita Berg / gsw Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/konzerte/Podcast_01_op12_Nr1.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #30: Sounds of revolution

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 16:06:00 GMT

Three outstanding ensembles join forces on stage to present Hector Berlioz' last symphony near the close of the Beethovenfest 2010.Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Grande Symphonie funebre et triomphale, op. 15 H80: Apotheose Philharmonic Chorus Bonn Music Corps of the German Armed Forces, Siegburg Beethoven Orchestra Bonn Conductor: Stefan Blunier MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on October 8, 2010 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) Three ensembles drawn from the region around Beethovenfest host city Bonn take the stage in this unusual work: Bonn's Philharmonic Choir, the Music Corps of the Armed Forces from nearby Siegburg and the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn. They join forces in a powerful rendition of the Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony by Hector Berlioz. The symphony commemorates the French Revolution of 1830, in which King Charles X was overthrown. It was commissioned and originally performed ten years after the revolution as the graves of those who died were moved to the historical Place de la Bastille, the site where the first French Revolution of 1789 broke out. In the final movement, Berlioz invokes the full range of the revolution's drama and bloodshed. Cymbals clash and snares flare as the choir sings, "Glory and triumph for these heroes, whose graves lie in the fields of the motherland!" Author: Greg Wiser Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Berlioz.mp3




Beethoven und mehr Podcast #29: Funeral march

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 16:00:00 GMT

"Into the Open: Freedom and Utopia in Music" was the motto of the Beethovenfest 2010. A perfect example is Ludwig van Beethoven's Third Symphony, the "Eroica."Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, op. 55 (Eroica), 2nd movement: Marcia funebre. Adagio assai Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Jonathan Nott MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 3, 2010 by Deutschlandfunk, Cologne (DLF) Never before had a composer of symphonies availed himself of so many artistic freedoms as did Beethoven in this work, where a struggle for utopian ideals is palpable. The Bamberg Symphony is an orchestra with an unusual history. It was founded in 1946 by Germans in exile, some former members of the German Philharmonic in Prague, others having fled from Carlsbad and Silesia in the months and years following World War II. The new orchestra quickly earned an excellent reputation. With its extensive touring activities, it acquired the nickname "Bavaria's cultural ambassador to the world." Former conductors of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra include Joseph Keilberth, James Loughran, Horst Stein and Eugen Jochum. In 2000, British maestro Jonathan Nott took the helm, leading the orchestra from triumph to triumph in Germany and abroad. Nott's trademarks are imaginative programs and an open-minded attitude toward new music. Autor: Rick Fulker Editor: Greg Wiser


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Beethoven_March.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #28: Bach meets Brazil

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:53:00 GMT

This piece by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos melds the influences of his home country's music with those of Bach and the classical canon.Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4 Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Peter Guelke MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 6, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) "The polyphony here is an expression of Brazilian culture and lust for life," said conductor Peter Guelke of the "Bachianas Brasileiras." In these pieces, the Brazilian composer melds the folklore of his homeland with the world of the Baroque. Johann Sebastian Bach's instrumental suites may have served as a model. The result is a sort of South American-German world music, seemingly custom-made for the energetic young musicians of the Sinfonica Heliopolis, whose rhythmic drive is compelling and sheer joy in playing unlimited. Author: Greg WiserEditor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/HeitorVillaLobosBachianasBrasileirasNo.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #27: The Unfinished

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:47:00 GMT

The youth orchestra from the Brazilian slum of Heliopolis performs Schubert's Seventh Symphony, a piece with dimensions that are often overlooked, says conductor Peter Guelke.Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Symphony No. 7 (Unfinished) Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Peter Guelke MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 6, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Contrast is the watchword for this symphony performed by the Brazilian orchestra Sinfonica Heliopolis, a work the composer left incomplete. "The conflict at the center of the piece is between a deeply passionate person and his harsh environment," said conductor Peter Guelke. "But many of us have heard this piece so often that we no longer hear the harshness in it. We think we know it, but we don't." The theme of passionate resistance to a harsh environment parallels the orchestra's own story. Although many come from disadvantaged backgrounds, the young musicians in Sinfonica Heliopolis receive the financial support necessary to get an education in classical music at the Instituto Baccarelli, founded in 1996 by conductor Silvio Baccarelli. Following their performance, conductor Guelke introduced two of the horn players to the audience, to thunderous applause. Both less than fifteen years old, the two showed just how young some of the ensemble's members are. But Sinfonica Heliopolis also proves their musical maturity with their rendition of this Schubert symphony. Author: Greg WiserEditor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/FranzSchubertSymphonyNo7inBMinorD.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #26: A late work by Mozart

Thu, 21 Oct 2010 15:40:00 GMT

Sinfonica Heliopolis sets the stage for their second Beethovenfest concert with an exciting performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's overture to his final opera, "La Clemenza di Tito."Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Overture to the opera "La Clemenza di Tito," K. 621 Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Peter Guelke MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 6, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Sinfonica Heliopolis - the orchestra's name suggests the sun-bathed streets of its home city, Sao Paulo, Brazil. But Heliopolis is also the city's largest slum and home to many of Sinfonica Heliopolis' members. Among the works they played during the first stop of their first international tour was the overture to opera "La Clemenza di Tito" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The work was one of the last that Mozart wrote before his death in 1791. Legend has it that the great composer finished the piece in eighteen days, just in time for its performance during the coronation festivities of Emperor Leopold of Prague. The exact amount of time Mozart required is contested, but it's generally agreed that the work was composed with remarkable speed. Overtures in opera generally accompany the opening of the curtain and grab the audience's attention. Sinfonica Heliopolis set the stage for their concert, fittingly, with this overture. Right from the beginning, the orchestra's enthusiasm for playing music drew in the audience. Hear it for yourself in this recording from their second concert at the Beethovenfest 2010. Author: Greg WiserEditor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/WolfgangAmadeusMozartOverturetotheoperaLaClemenzadiTitoK.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #25: Strikingly new sounds

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 15:42:00 GMT

Music that bears witness to life by Luigi Nono, rendered by a string quartet that is young, curious and adventurousLuigi Nono (1924-1990) Fragments – Quietude. An Diotima for string quartet (excerpt) Minguet Quartet MP3 recorded at the Beethoven House, Bonn on September 24, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) "All of my works are based on some human incentive: an event, an experience, a text of our life touches my instinct and my conscience and expects from me that I bear witness, both as musician and as human being," the Italian composer Luigi Nono wrote. One of the most important composers of the post-World War II period, Nono provoked numerous cultural-political controversies and scandals due to his political convictions. A half century later, Nono still sounds strikingly new, especially as rendered by the Minguet Quartet. Annette Reisinger, violinist in the quartet, elaborated on the theme of this year's Beethovenfest, "Into the Open," in these words: "Having the courage to step out into the open means being prepared for freedom, being prepared for the good fortune of emptiness, the material from which music is made. Every day, a musician gingerly tries to dismantle human hurdles to reach that pure state of happiness." Author: Suzanne Cords (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_02_Nono.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #24: Notes for an emergency

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 15:28:00 GMT

The internationally acclaimed Minguet String Quartet, named after the Spanish philosopher Pablo Minguet, plays Beethoven in the sold-out chamber music hall of the Beethoven House.Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) String Quartet No. 15 in A Minor, op. 132, (Galitzin III), 3rd movement Minguet Quartet MP3 recorded at the Beethoven House, Bonn on September 24, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Ludwig van Beethoven was ill when he composed the third movement of his "Galitzin Quartet III." "My doctor helped me, for I could no longer write notes [Noten: music], but now I write notes which help me out of my need [Noeten]," the composer allegedly punned when he completed the work. The movement heading is fitting: "Molto adagio - A Convalescent's Holy Song of Thanks to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode." Author: Suzanne Cords (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_05_Beethoven.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #23: Ave Maria

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 15:19:00 GMT

A piece composed with notes in an enigmatic scale, ceremonial and solemn, given four voices on strings in this performance.Guiseppe Verdi (1813-1901) "Ave Maria" (Scala enigmatica armonizzata a 4 voci miste e sole) from the "Quattro Pezzi Sacri“ (Four Sacred Pieces) Minguet Quartet MP3 recorded at the Beethoven House, Bonn on September 24, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) For over 150 years, Giuseppe Verdi's "Ave Maria" has been played at celebrations and funerals. The Italian composer originally set the song for four-voiced choir and composed it in a "scala enigmatica," a cryptic scale. It is one of the four-part cycle "Quattro Pezzi Sacri" (Four Sacred Pieces). Cologne's Minguet Quartet offers a light, yet powerfully dynamic interpretation of "Ave Maria" at the Beethoven Festival 2010. Author: Suzanne Cords (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_04_Verdi.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #22: Quatre Chansons (Four Songs)

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 15:05:00 GMT

Cologne's Minguet Quartet, one of the finest of the younger generation, plays 15th century music at the Beethovenfest.Johannes Ockeghem (approx. 1420-1497) Quatre Chansons (Four Songs) Minguet Quartet MP3 recorded at the Beethoven House, Bonn on September 24, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Johannes Ockeghem was a Flemish composer and cleric. His contemporaries described him as a generous and fair man, and his music was praised and enjoyed universally. The Cologne-based Minguet Quartet is one of the most in-demand younger generation string quartets. It consists of Ulrich Isfort and Annette Reisinger (violins), Aroa Sorin (viola) and Matthias Diener (cello). Educated in Essen and Cologne, the four musicians received important artistic impulses from Walter Levin of the LaSalle Quartet and from the Amadeus, Melos and Alban Berg Quartets. In acknowledgment of their status, the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia donated a set of valuable instruments to the Minguet Quartet. Author: Suzanne Cords (gsw) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_03_Ockhegem.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #21: An armada of instruments

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:57:00 GMT

Performances by percussionists are somewhat of a sporting event: with an armada of instruments, Martin Grubinger & Friends are as interesting to watch as they are to listen to.Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) Pleiades for 6 percussionists: (IV.) Peaux Martin Grubinger (percussion) Leonhard Schmidinger (percussion) Rainer Furthner (percussion) Sabine Pyrker (percussion) Rizumu Sugishita (percussion) Slavik Stakhov (percussion) MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on September 25, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) The panoply of a multi-percussionist is impressive: in addition to conventional drums, there are all sorts of unusual instruments like bells, whistles, stones and sirens. To watch how often and deftly Martin Grubinger and his fellow percussionists move among their vast array of instruments is an exercise in fascination. The Greek composer Iannis Xenakis was one of the first to extract the percussion section from a symphony orchestra and assign it a role of its own. In "Pleiades," he created a sound both serious and celebratory, as Greek mythology can be, and yet there's something reminiscent of Asian rituals in it - a sound that sets one's teeth on edge, inescapable, louder than at a rock concert, a sound with which the listener's body itself seems to resonate. Autor: Rick Fulker Editor: Louisa Schaefer


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Iannis_Xenakis_Pleiades_for_6_percussionists_4th_movement_Peaux.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #20: Surround Sound

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:48:00 GMT

Surround sound in real-time with no electrical transformation: Martin Grubinger & Friends let their music flow through the Beethoven Hall and give a breathtaking performance.Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) Persephassa for 6 percussionists Martin Grubinger (percussion) Leonhard Schmidinger (percussion) Rainer Furthner (percussion) Sabine Pyrker (percussion) Rizumu Sugishita (percussion) Slavik Stakhov (percussion) MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on September 25, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Two percussionists stand at the left and right of the stage, four more stand left and right at the front and back of the hall - literally creating "surround sound." As a result, the best spots in the Beethoven Hall this time around were smack in the center. The first notes of "Persephassa for 6 percussionists" made it clear it would be a breathtaking concert. How could six musicians standing so far apart from each other achieve such an extremely precise, complete sound? An electronic metronome coordinated the whole event, with a click sounding in their ears that told them to speed up or slow the tempo. The programming of the metronome alone was a finely orchestrated feat, and a laborious process, percussionist Martin Grubinger told the audience. Numerous contemporary composers have written music for Grubinger, who was just 27 years old at this Beethoven Festival concert in September 2010. Blessed with a photographic memory, he can normally play without a score in front of him. But when it comes to composer Iannis Xenakis's music, "normal" just doesn't cut it… Author: Rick Fulker Editor: Louisa Schaefer


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Iannis_Xenakis_Persephassa_for_6_percussionists.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #19: Order and chaos

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:38:00 GMT

It's mathematically composed music that's become a cult: Martin Grubinger & Friends play music by Iannis Xenakis before a diverse, wildly enthused audience.Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) Okho for 3 percussionists Martin Grubinger (percussion) Leonhard Schmidinger (percussion) Rainer Furthner (percussion) MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on September 25, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) The Beethoven Hall is packed to the gills with people of all different ages. It's rare to see so many pupils and college students at a classical concert - especially with Iannis Xenakis on the program, whose music, written in the 1960s, is not exactly "easy-listening." Xenakis was a composer, architect and mathematician. His extremely complex compositions make clear the strong connection between music and mathematics. Chaos theory informs "Okho for 3 percussionists," in which the beats of the three percussionists sound out together, but then continually separate themselves by nano-seconds, growing ever further apart until they ultimately come back together in unison. Through music, Xenakis demonstrates how order dissolves into chaos. The interaction between periodic and aperiodic sounds is only one aspect of this rational music calculated with mathematical formulas, which paradoxically makes a surprisingly strong emotional, even ecstatic impact. Author: Rick Fulker Editor: Louisa Schaefer


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Iannis_Xenakis_Okho_for_3_percussionists.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #18: A lullabye for the sun

Fri, 15 Oct 2010 14:57:00 GMT

The Shchedryk Children's Choir from Kiev has existed for nearly 40 years. The ensemble has developed an impressive repertoire that draws from various epochs and styles.Giya Kancheli (1935-) Lulling the Sun for choir and percussion Shchedryk Children's Choir Conductor: Marianna Sablina MP3 recorded at the St. Evergislus Kirche in Bonn-Brenig on September 26, 2010 by Deutschlandfunk (DLF) Marianna Sabrina heads the second generation of the Shchedryk Children's Choir, founded by her mother. Through professional voice training and industrious practice, the Shchedryk girls' choir has developed a mature sound. The ensemble's success stems both from their mastery of the repertoire of Ukrainian folk songs and their incorporation of classical choral music in the original language. One high point for the children's choir was being honored with the Golden Diploma at the Musica Sacra Choral Competition in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI was in the audience. In this selection from the Beethovenfest, the choir performs "Lulling the Sun," in which Georgian composer Giya Kancheli sets the word "sun" to music in 27 different European, Asian and Middle Eastern languages. Author: Tomas Gilgenmann Lorza (sc, gsw)Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/GiyaKancheliLullingtheSunforchoirandpercussion.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #17: A Brazilian-Russian display of fireworks

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 13:37:00 GMT

The Brazilian orchestra Sinfonica Heliopolis enchants listeners in this recording with a work by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka.Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) Overture to the opera "Ruslan und Ludmila" Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Roberto Tibirica MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) The young musicians from Brazil's favelas not only communicate through Brazilian rhythms and melodies, but also through this fast-paced, whirling overture for the Russian opera "Ruslan and Ludmila." The Sinfonica Heliopolis orchestra considers music a world language, evident through their rendition of this piece. It's a true musical spectacle - mixing Brazilian fire with light feeling, played at a dizzying tempo. Author: Marita Berg (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_15_Glinka.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #16: Brazilian watercolors

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 13:29:00 GMT

In Brazil, the samba "Aquarela do Brasil," composed in 1939 by Ary Barroso, enjoys cult status. Sinfonica Heliopolis performs an adaptation of the all-time-favorite.Chiquinho de Moraes (arr.) Aquarela do Brasil (potpourri) Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Roberto Tibirica MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) In this recording, the Brazilian youth orchestra Sinfonica Heliopolis plays music from its own country - Chiquinho de Moraes' adaptation of "Aquarela do Brasil." The young musicians from Sao Paulo's favelas tickle listeners' fancy with lively samba and bossa nova rhythms and wind instrument sounds in big band style. Author: Marita Berg (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_14_Moraes.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #15: Beethoven's Eighth in Brazilian Portuguese

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 11:06:00 GMT

The Brazilian youth orchestra Sinfonica Heliopolis recruits its members from one of Sao Paulo's favelas and offers young people the chance for a better life - through music.Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 8 in F Major, op. 93 Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Roberto Tibirica MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) It all started 14 years ago, when the Brazilian conductor Silvio Baccarelli gave 36 extremely talented children from Sao Paulo's slums the chance to receive a music education and to thus create better prospects for their future. Nowadays, some 1,000 children and young people are trained at the Instituto Baccarelli. Eighty members of this Brazilian youth orchestra called Sinfonica Heliopolis between the ages of 13 and 24 played at the Beethovenfest in Bonn. The orchestra is named after the Heliopolis favela, with some 130,000 residents the largest slum in the metropolis of Sao Paulo. In this concert recording, the Brazilians interpret Beethoven's Eighth Symphony with passion and feeling for dynamic nuance. "Being able to play Beethoven in the city where he was born is very exciting," said bassoonist Felipe dos Santos Arruda. "I have never felt so close to a composer before." Author: Marita Berg (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_09_Beethoven_8_Sinfonie.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #14: Viennese charm

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 10:56:00 GMT

Israeli violinist Shlomo Mintz pays homage to the unforgettable Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler at Bonn's Beethovenfest.Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice, op. 6 Shlomo Mintz (violin) MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Viennese violinist Fritz Kreisler wrote his "Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice" in 1911 for his friend and teacher Eugene Ysaye. Shlomo Mintz launches a firework of violin virtuosity, passion and emotion in this charming, colorful composition by the erstwhile "king of the violin." Mintz was born in Moscow in 1957 and emigrated to Israel with his parents two years later. He debuted at age 11 with the Israel Philharmonica Orchestra under Zubin Metha. At age 16 came his first dazzling performance at New York's Carnegie Hall. Mintz has conducted many notable orchestras. His recordings on the Deutsche Grammophon label have garnered prizes such as the Grand Prix du Disque and the Edison Award. Shlomo Mintz received an honorary doctorate from Israel's Ben Gurion University in 2006. Author: Marita Berg (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_13_Kreisler.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #13: A stormy poetic dialogue

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 10:45:00 GMT

With their passion and spirit, Brazilian youth orchestra Sinfonica Heliopolis shows that listeners can discover new elements and nuances even in oft-played works.Pjotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 35 Shlomo Mintz (violin) Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Roberto Tibirica MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) The 80 members of Sinfonica Heliopolis come from the favelas, Brazil's poorest neighborhoods. The 13 to 24-year-olds receive their musical training at Sao Paulo's Instituto Baccarelli, located in the Heliopolis slum, which offers them not only social and professional prospects, but also helps them enjoy life. The rather depressive Pjotr Tchaikovsky was often able to find hope and energy in music, and composing his Violin Concerto in particular helped him out of an extreme bout of depression. Writing to a friend at the time, he enthusiastically said: "The canzonetta is downright exquisite! What poetry and what yearning in these sons voiles, these mysterious notes!" This violin concerto is full of emotion - stormy, exuberant, melancholy and filled with longing. Shlomo Mintz and the Sinfonica Heliopolis maintain a stormy, poetic dialogue with Tchaikovsky's work. Author: Marita Berg (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_10_Tschaikowski.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #12: City of the Sun, City of Dreams

Wed, 13 Oct 2010 09:56:00 GMT

Andre Mehmari's "Cidade do Sol" is intended to bridge cultures and offer hope. To that end, the Brazilian visionary cooperates closely with the Sinfonica Heliopolis, based in Sao Paulo's poorest neighborhood.Andre Mehmari (1977-) Cidade do Sol (world premiere, commissioned by Deutsche Welle) Sinfonica Heliopolis Conductor: Roberto Tibirica MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn, on October 4, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Deutsche Welle commissioned 33-year-old Andre Mehmari with the work "Cidade do Sol," which premiered on Oct. 4. The composer's intention is to bridge Brazilian and European cultures - by employing Brazilian rhythms on the one hand and echoes of Franz Schubert's Lieder "Heliopolis 1" and "Heliopolis 2" on the other. "Cidade do Sol" is a colorful composition that plays with opposites - a kind of Brazilian version of Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story," with some spirited samba and bossa nova rhythms thrown in. The musicians in the Sinfonica Heliopolis all come from Sao Paulo's largest favela, or shanty town. Playing music offers them the chance to escape life in the slums. The title "City of the Sun" thus points to the dream of a better life becoming reality through music. Author: Marita Berg (als) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_12_Mehmari.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #9: An ode to the 'master of masters'

Wed, 6 Oct 2010 15:48:00 GMT

In this symphony, Bruckner honors Richard Wagner, the "master of all masters," and at this concert the Beethovenfest honored a conductor for his "standard-setting interpretations."Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) Symphony No. 7 in E Major, 2nd movement: Adagio sehr feierlich und sehr langsam Bavarian State Orchestra Conductor: Kent Nagano MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on September 12, 2010 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR) It wasn't until the premiere of his Seventh Symphony that Bruckner achieved wide-reaching recognition. The first performances in 1884 and 1885 were the breakthrough for the composer, who was painfully shy and often suffered from a lack of self-esteem. We've chosen the Adagio movement for you. Connections to a composer's biography are relatively rare in symphonies, but this one is an exception: after Bruckner heard of the death of Richard Wagner in early 1883, he set the conclusion of the Adagio as a funeral ode for Wagner, whom he called his personal "master of all masters." At this concert in the Beethoven Hall, American conductor Kent Nagano was honored with the Wilhelm Furtwaengler Prize. Furtwaengler is considered one of the 20th century's foremost conductors. Since 2008, the prize has been awarded at the Beethovenfest. With this, writes Ermano Sens-Grosholz, patron of the award, Nagano is recognized as an "exemplary artist with standard-setting musical achievements and for his engagement for social causes and projects, in particular with regard to the education of musical youth." Author: Rick Fulker Editor: Greg Wiser


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Anton_Bruckner_Symphony_No.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #10: In memory of a great man

Wed, 6 Oct 2010 15:45:00 GMT

Ludwig van Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony was, for its time, revolutionary in breadth and scope and marked a turning point in the composer's style. It came at a time when Europe, too, was undergoing political change.Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, op. 55 (Eroica) Bamberg Symphony Orchestra Conductor: Jonathan Nott MP3 recorded by Deutschlandfunk on October 3, 2010 in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn. When Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself emperor in Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral in late 1804, Beethoven was in the process of composing his Third Symphony, in E-Flat Major. The composer had been a supporter of Napoleon and planned to dedicate the massive orchestral work to him. But, as the story goes, when Beethoven heard the news of the self-coronation, he was furious and scratched out the dedication. Though the composer's admiration for Napoleon never completely dwindled, his great E-Flat Symphony was published with the title it is known under today: "Sinfonia Eroica - composed to celebrate the memory of a great man." The symphony superseded all of Beethoven's previous orchestral works in length, complexity, form and virtuosity. As with most ground-breaking works, the Eroica Symphony was initially pelted with criticism upon its premiere in Vienna in 1805. It is performed here by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under the direction of their chief conductor, Jonathan Nott. Originally from the UK, Nott has directed the Bavarian orchestra since 2000, bringing it to both national and international acclaim. Author: Kate Bowen (gsw) Editor: Rick Fulker


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_07_Eroica.mp3




Beethoven and more podcast #11: The art of improvisation

Wed, 6 Oct 2010 15:38:00 GMT

Improvisation was long part of the classical tradition but largely died out in the world of contemporary classical music. However, one Venezuelan pianist who excels at playing off the cuff is an exception to the rule.Gabriela Montero (1970-) Improvisation on the song "Guantanamera" Gabriela Montero (piano) MP3 recorded at the Petersberg near Bonn on September 25, 2010 by Deutsche Welle (DW) Improvisation has been called the well-spring of all music. In the baroque and classical periods, it was standard practice. The improvisational abilities of composers like Bach, Handel and Mozart were legendary. Beethoven also showed a prodigious improvisational talent at the piano. Many of his piano sonatas, although precisely crafted compositions, reflect the freewheeling spirit of improvisational fantasy with their tempestuous runs and cascading successions of chords. Today, the art of improvisation is widespread in jazz but rare within the realm of "classical" or "serious" music - with one exception being church organists who may improvise preludes or accompaniments to hymn tunes. However, a talent of the caliber of Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero is extremely rare. Montero, who says that she began improvising at age five, has been asked repeatedly "how she does it," for which she has no answer. To demonstrate her gift for spur-of-the-moment invention, Montero often begins a recital playing works from the repertory, but in the second half, improvises elaborate pieces based on melodies suggested by audience members. The styles and rhythms can vary from Romantic to rumba and from the toccata to the tango. We've chosen a brief excerpt from her all-improvised recital at the Petersberg Hotel near Bonn. She begins by plucking out the melody of the song "Guantanamera" and then builds an elaborate and cleverly crafted musical edifice from the song's motifs. Experiencing Gabriela Montero live in concert reminds one of the fact that without improvisation, there would be no music. Author: Rick FulkerEditor: Greg Wiser


Media Files:
http://radio-download.dw.com/Events/dwelle/beethovenfest2010/Pod_01_Montero.mp3