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Igor Feodorovich Stravinsky (1882-1971)

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Leonard Bernstein conducts Stravinsky

Leonard Bernstein conducts Stravinsky


Stravinsky:

The Rite of Spring

Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra

Michel Béroff (piano)

Symphony of Psalms

The English Bach Festival Chorus


This memorial concert took place at the Royal Albert Hall in April 1972 on the first anniversary of the death of Igor Stravinsky, ‘the last great father-figure of Western music’ (Leonard Bernstein). Conducted by Bernstein, this electrifying, unique event is now being reintroduced to the public in DVD form.

Bernstein was a regular visitor to the UK, performing with a number of London orchestras, but this glamorous concert – a memorial tribute to Stravinsky given in the presence of the UK prime minister Edward Heath – was a particularly special event. Bernstein called it an homage to Stravinsky’s universality and chose the three featured masterpieces for their suggestion of ‘the extraordinary range of his art’.

Leonard Bernstein was renowned for his passion for Stravinsky’s music, having first conducted The Rite of Spring with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Serge Koussevitsky in 1947, the only time Koussevitsky ever allowed a guest conductor to appear with his orchestra in that city – it was an indication of the success that was to follow for the young Bernstein. The performance on this DVD takes place twenty-five years later, with the virtuosic LSO on peak form, filmed in colour.

Humphrey Burton, an eminent broadcaster, biographer and director, enjoyed a twenty-year association with Bernstein, during which he directed over 170 concerts and documentaries. The author of the booklet note for this DVD, he also produced and directed the Homage to Stravinsky for television. He recently described the performance of The Rite as ‘the most stunning reportage of Leonard Bernstein’s conducting that I have ever seen’.

A few days after the performance on this DVD, Bernstein conducted the LSO in The Rite at Abbey Road in an experimental studio production.

Michel Béroff is the stunning soloist in Stravinsky’s Capriccio for piano and orchestra. At this time he was already making an international name for himself as an advocate of Stravinsky’s music, amongst other contemporary composers, having won the Messiaen competition five years prior to this performance.

Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms is the final work of the programme, a work that Bernstein felt revealed the ‘devotional Stravinsky, the true believer.’ He called it ‘undeniably the greatest musical celebration of the religious spirit to have been written in our century.’

ICA Classics’ previous two DVD releases featuring Leonard Bernstein (ICAD5082 and 5098) have received great critical acclaim. ICAD5082 was awarded a Diapason d’Or by Diapason magazine.

Sound format: Enhanced Mono

Picture format: 4:3

Running time: 82’

Menu languages: English

Booklet languages: E/G

Region code: 0

Territory Restrictions: None

“The conductor takes the limelight, animating old Russian tunes from within and giving the music’s primal urge tumultuous momentum.” Financial Times, 2nd March 2014

“a magnetic performance which is full of the primitive savagery and energy of the music but which also reminds us that Stravinsky’s score contains a wealth of subtle detail. On this kind of form I wonder if there has ever been a conductor better equipped to translate Stravinsky’s vision into aural reality.” MusicWeb International, 28th March 2014

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Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress

Live recording from the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1975


Felicity Lott (Anne), Leo Goeke (Tom Rakewell), Richard Van Allan (Trulove, Anne’s father), Samuel Ramey (Nick Shadow) & Rosalind Elias (Baba the Turk)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (conductor) & John Cox (stage director)

Stage Designer David Hockney

First performed in 1951 at the theatre La Fenice in Venice, the opera The Rake’s Progress was given its first British performance by the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. This recording is the famous and striking 1975 John Cox production which has been described as “brilliant stroke” (The Daily Telegraph) and as “a virtuoso piece of production and design”.

The designer on the production was the British painter David Hockney, one of today’s leading artists. His highly individual sets, based on the Hogarth’s series of prints, reflect perfectly the “spikiness” of the music, combined with the underlying tenderness of the theme of true love. The Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink, one of the most influential of his time, has the musical direction over a top-class ensemble of soloists – headed by Leo Goeke in the title role, who sang frequently in Glyndebourne, and Felicity Lott, one of the most important English opera singers, who became “Dame of the British Empire” in 1996.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Subtitle Languages: GB (Original Language), DE, FR, ES

Running Time: 146 mins

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Riccardo Muti Live from Teatro La Fenice

Riccardo Muti Live from Teatro La Fenice

Recorded live at the Teatro La Fenice, 2003


Beethoven:

Consecration of the House Overture, Op. 124

Caldara:

Te Deum

Stravinsky:

Symphony of Psalms

Wagner:

Huldigungsmarsch, WWV 97

Kaisermarsch, WWV104


Patrizia Ciofi (soprano), Sara Allegretta (soprano), Sonia Ganassi (mezzo-soprano), Sara Mingardo (mezzo-soprano), Roberto Sacca (tenor), Mirko Guadagnini (tenor), Michele Pertusi (bass), Nicolas Rivenq (bass)

Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice, Riccardo Muti

The Venetian theatre is fondly called “La Fenice”, the Phoenix, after the bird that periodically burns itself in order to rise again from the ashes as a symbol of eternal renewal – it burned to the ground twice since it opened in 1792. Following the first fire in 1836 it was rebuilt according to the original plans by Tommaso and Giambattista Meduna on a new site, the Campo San Fantin, where it was once again rebuilt following the second fire in 1996, which reduced the theatre to its bare foundations.

When the legendary Phoenix finally rose from the ashes again in 2003, its rebirth was celebrated with a series of concerts. Riccardo Muti, musical director of La Scala, conducted the official inaugural gala concert on December 14th. In the presence of the Italian President, Carlo Ciampi, Muti conducted La Fenice’s choir and orchestra together with some of the best Italian singers in an unusual but truly Venetian programme.

After Beethoven’s overture Zur Weihe des Hauses, composed in the spirit of Handel’s festive music for the opening of a Viennese theatre in 1822, the concert features works by composers with strong ties to Venice: Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Antonio Caldara’s double choir Te Deum and two marches by Richard Wagner. Stravinsky was buried in Venice, Caldara was born in Venice and Richard Wagner died there.

Sound Formats: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 5 / NTSC

Running Time: 66 mins

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Georg Solti Conducts

Georg Solti Conducts

Live Recording from The Philharmonie Im Gasteig, Munich, 1993


Bruckner:

Symphony No. 3 in D minor ‘Wagner Symphony'

Stravinsky:

Symphony in 3 movements


Gudrun Haag (harp) & Barton Weber (piano)

Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Georg Solti

This legendary performance from Munich features the great Georg Solti conducting the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra) with works by Anton Bruckner and Igor Stravinsky.

Bruckner dedicated his Third Symphony to Richard Wagner, whom the modest Austrian organist greatly admired. Wagner had given Bruckner his appraisal for the work after having looked over the first draft. The Third is the first of Bruckner’s symphonies where his unique symphonic form achieved its full expression.

Stravinsky, who is less known for his symphonic compositions, composed his Symphony in Three Movements for New York between 1942 and 1945. Although Stravinsky stressed that it was absolute music, the symphony has obvious allusions to the events of the time, namely the Second World War. This becomes apparent through the harsh rhythms and stirring tempi. Georg Solti was a frequent guest in Munich, having been the musical director of the Bavarian State Opera right after the war, and giving regular concerts in Munich thereafter.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Running Time: 89 mins

FSK: 0

“Blazing, virtuoso performances of textural clarity and precision whose high intensity keeps Bruckner 3 on a tight musical leash and imbues the Stravinsky with dynamism.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2014 ****

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Salzburg Festival Opening Concerts

Salzburg Festival Opening Concerts


Bartók:

Piano Concerto No. 1, BB 91, Sz. 83

Daniel Barenboim (piano)

Pierre Boulez

Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Daniel Barenboim (piano)

Daniel Barenboim

Berg:

Lulu-Suite (Five Symphonic Pieces) for soprano and orchestra

Anna Prohaska (soprano)

with Chorus State Opera Vienna, Pierre Boulez

Der Wein

Dorothea Röschmann (soprano)

with Chorus State Opera Vienna, Pierre Boulez

Boulez:

Notations I-IV

Daniel Barenboim

Notations VII

Daniel Barenboim

Bruckner:

Te Deum in C major, WAB 45

Dorothea Roschmann (soprano), Elīna Garanča (mezzo), Klaus Florian Vogt (tenor), René Pape (bass)

with Chorus State Opera Vienna, Daniel Barenboim

Mahler:

Das klagende Lied

Dorothea Röschmann (soprano), Anna Larsson (contralto) & Johan Botha (tenor)

with Chorus State Opera Vienna, Pierre Boulez

Ravel:

Valses nobles et sentimentales

Pierre Boulez

Schubert:

6 German Dances D820

orch. A Webern

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Symphony No. 9 in C major, D944 'The Great'

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Strauss, Josef:

Frauenherz-Polka Op. 166

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Delirien Waltz, Op. 212

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Pêle-mêle – Polka schnell, Op. 161

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Stravinsky:

The Firebird

Pierre Boulez


Theses four Salzburg Festival Opening Concerts (C Major 702508/702708/706808/710908) are now available in a Hardcover Slipcase for a very attractive price!

Top casts with Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Wiener Philharmoniker, Röschmann, Garanča, Vogt, Pape, Prohaska, Röschmann, Larsson, Botha.

The Salzburg Festival, for many regarded as the world’s most renowned music festival, is by tradition a high-profile event.

Running Time: Total: 365 minutes

Picture: 16:9, Colour

Sound: PCM Stereo, DTS 5.1 / PCM Stereo, DTS 5.0 (DVD 4)

Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese (only DVD 3)

Booklet: English, German, French

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Salzburg Festival 2012 Opening Concert

Salzburg Festival 2012 Opening Concert


Mussorgsky:

Songs and Dances of Death

Sergei Semishkur (tenor)

Prokofiev:

Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 100

Stravinsky:

Symphony of Psalms

Konzertvereinigung Wiender Staatsopernchor


This DVD presents a wonderful recording of the opening concert of the Salzburger Festspiele from 2012 – an annual highlight on the Classical Music calendar traditionally performed by the vibrant heart of the festival: the Wiener Philharmoniker.

The program from 2012 was Russian themed with a focus on the most profound questions of human life with excellent interpretations of Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Modest Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death and Sergei Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony.

The concert is conducted by Valery Gergiev, general and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, winner of the Herbert-von-Karajan Award and the Polar Music Prize. Russian tenor Sergei Semishkur, soloist at the Mariinsky theatre, excels in his intense interpretation of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death.

Picture format DVD: NTSC 16:9

Sound formats DVD: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0

Region code: All (worldwide)

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Running time: 90 mins

“the Philharmonic - and particularly the Vienna State Opera Chorus - render Stravinsky's Psalms with biting urgency, with rhythm and transparency of sound effectively replacing their usual lushness.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2013

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - Awards Issue 2013

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From the New World

From the New World


Adams, J:

Slonimsky's Earbox

Dvorak:

Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 'From the New World'

Ives, C:

The Unanswered Question

Stravinsky:

Le Chant du Rossignol


Symphonie Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Andris Nelsons

C Major presents From the New World: a concert featuring Dvořák’s iconic Symphony No. 9 alongside works by Ives, Adams and Stravinsky.

The concert is performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons.

Andris Nelsons, Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is one world’s the most interesting up-coming conductors. He has appeared at Covent Garden, the Met, Bayreuth and the Wiener Staatsoper. He has also performed with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker.

PICTURE: 16:9, HD

SOUND: DVD: DTS 5.1, PCM STEREO

RUNNING TIME: 95 MINUTES

AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE

“[Nelsons'] conducting of the world class Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks is exemplary, scrupulously prepared, colourful, committed and compelling.” MusicWeb International, 24th September 2013

“The highlight of this enjoyable, beautifully filmed concert is the Largo from Dvorak's New World Symphony, one of the gentlest and most tenderly phrased accounts I've ever heard...Camerawork is lively and informative, but then Nelsons himself is a real boon, perhaps the most visually likeable conductor since Carlos Kleiber.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2013

“a terrific memento of a marvellous concert...The performance of the New World...is out of the top drawer, with the same outstanding qualities as their audio recording....Nelsons makes the Symphony sound fresh and vibrant, finding a genuinely new and effective perspective...the playing [in Song of the Nightingale] is superb and Nelsons manages to surprise and delight” BBC Music Magazine, December 2013 ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - October 2013

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Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & The Firebird

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & The Firebird

Stravinsky & the Ballets Russes, 100th anniversary collector's edition


Stravinsky:

The Firebird

Ekaterina Kondaurova (Firebird), Ilya Kuznetsov (Ivan Tsarevich), Marianna Pavlova (The Princess) & Vladimir Ponomarev (Kachtcheï the Immortal)

The Rite of Spring

and staged by Millicent Hodson, Kenneth Archer, lighting: Vladimir Lukin

Alexandra Iosifidi (The Chosen One), Elena Bazhenova (300-Year-Old Woman) & Vladimir Ponomarev (Shaman)

The Firebird:

Choreography & libretto: Michel Fokine (1910)

reconstruction Isabelle Fokine, Andris Liepa; Set & costume design:Anna & Anatoly Nezhny after original sketches by Alexander Golovin, Léon Bakst & Michel Fokine

The Rite of Spring

Choreography after Vaslav Nijinsky (1913)

Scene plan: Igor Stravinsky & Nicholas Roerich, reconstructed and staged by Millicent Hodson; Set and costume design: Nicholas Roerich, reconstructed and supervised by Kenneth Archer; Lighting: Vladimir Lukin


In celebration of the creation of 'Le Sacre du printemps' in Paris in 1913, Bel Air present a new edition in a DVD-book of a wonderful Stravinsky night at the Mariinsky with the original Nijinsky version of the 'Rite of Spring' and 'The Firebird' both conducted by Valery Gergiev.

The premiere of 'The Rite of Spring' at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris, on May 1913 caused a veritable scandal. The audience was shocked by the primitive violence of the ballet. It was so radically rejected that the ballet was taken off after eight performances. Although long forgotten, thanks to the relentless work of Millicent Hodson, Nijinsky’s original choreography was recreated.

'The Firebird' is a Russian folk tale in two scenes commissioned from the young Stravinsky by Diaghilev and premiered at the Paris Opera House in 1910. The ballet was an immediate success. The Ballets Russes enabled the choreographer Fokine to bring to this enterprise the right amount of novelty needed to captivate but not alienate the audience. It was a total success.

CONTENTS: DVD BOOK, 2 ballets 85 min.

Bonus: Documentary on the Ballets Russes (8 min), interviews with Millicent Hodson & Kenneth Archer (30 min), 36pp illustrated in 3 languages

Format: Colour, 16/9, NTSC, Sound: PCM Stereo - Dolby Digital 5.1.

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Paavo Järvi conducts Stravinsky & Debussy

Paavo Järvi conducts Stravinsky & Debussy

Recorded live at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, September and November 2012


Debussy:

Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Stravinsky:

The Firebird

The Rite of Spring


Conducted by Grammy award winning Paavo Järvi the Orchestre de Paris exquisitely performs three landmark pieces of orchestral music.

Both of Stravinsky’s ballet scores and Debussy’s L’Après-midi d’un faune are well suited for a DVD recording. The wildly varying moods under Järvi’s expert guidance are superbly caught in this high quality production.

The orchestra undertake international tours and aims to reach all genres of people. Järvi became the Music Director at the beginning of the 2010/11 season, and after just seven months his contract was extended to the end of 2016.

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Tchaikovsky Iolanta & Stravinsky Persephone

Tchaikovsky Iolanta & Stravinsky Persephone

2012 Teatro Real, Madrid


Stravinsky:

Persephone

Dominique Blanc (Persephone) & Paul Groves (Eumolpe)

Tchaikovsky:

Iolanta

Ekaterina Scherbachenko (Iolanta), Alexej Markov (Robert), Pavel Cernoch (Vaudémont), Dmitry Ulianov (King René), Willard White (Ibn-Hakia), Vasily Efimov (Alméric), Pavel Kudinov (Bertrand), Ekaterina Semenchuk (Marta), Irina Churilova (Brigita) & Letitia Singleton (Irina Churilova)


Amrita, Pequeños Cantores & Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, Teodor Currentzis (Musical Director) & Peter Sellars (Stage Director)

Set Designer George Tsypin

Costume Designers Martin Pakledinaz & Helen Siebrits

Lighting Designer James F. Ingalls

Iolanta is a one act lyric opera, sung in Russian, by Tchaikovsky. Performed in the style of a nineteenth-century Italian melodrama, the scenes have a recitative introduction followed by a single arioso, aria, duet or chorus.

Persephone is a three act melodrama, sung in French, by Stravinsky. It is a story of regeneration, symbolised in Sellars use of dancers from the Cambodian dance company, Amrita Performing Arts.

Peter Sellars, one of the most innovative creators on today's stage, has linked these two productions by using the same stage setting, instantly archaic yet modern, and lit by rich colours to define the journey from darkness to light.

“It would be hard to find a more committed, vocally assured pair than Ekaterina Scherbachenko and Pavel Cernoch” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 ****

“Iolanta is concerned with the transition from darkness to light...one's attention is caught by Sellars's telling direction: faces suffused in light, faces caught in profile...Persephone, also about light and dark, is staged with the same set...Currentzis conducts both pieces impeccably: don't miss.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013

“The singing in the present performance is admirable throughout, with idiomatic Russian singing but without the apparent wobble which can put off some non-Russian listeners. Match this with full-blooded playing from the Teatro Real orchestra. The production by Peter Sellars is generally clear although sometimes confused by a bizarre choice of camera angle or subject” MusicWeb International, February 2013

“There are fine performances from Dominique Blanc in the title role and Paul Groves as Eumolpe. The real touch of genius, though, is Sellars' decision to reimagine the piece in terms of eastern dance rather than ballet, and the choreography, by Cambodia's Amrita Performing Arts, is exquisite.” The Guardian, 13th December 2012 ****

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