Verbier Festival
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Podcasts 2016 (French)


Michael Tilson Thomas©DR

Michael Tilson Thomas©DR

Mahler evening – 7 August

Symphony No. 3, monumental in its duration and the number of musicians it requires, is without a doubt the liveliest score Mahler ever composed and that means life in all its entirety: its beauty, its greatness, its violence, but also sometimes its tenderness.

Michael Tilson Thomas has recorded his favourite symphony twice. This work allows for a full display of symphonic orchestral colours under the baton of one of today’s greatest interpreters of Mahler. The American maestro invites two regional choirs and the great French contralto Nathalie Stutzmann to perform this magnificent ode to life alongside the young musicians of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

Podcast by Michèle Larivière

Marc Minkowski©DR

Marc Minkowski©DR

Spanish evening – 26 July

We head south for this concert, conducted by Marc Minkowski.

The French conductor has prepared a programme focused on Spain, with two masterpieces from the Iberian repertoire: Rodrigo’s Aranjuez Concerto and El amor brujo, the incandescent flamenco ballet by Falla.
¡Que viva España!

Podcast by Michèle Larivière

Charles Dutoit ©NicolasBrodard

Charles Dutoit ©NicolasBrodard

Opening night – 22 July

Let us give honour where honour is due to Charles Dutoit, the current Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, who opens this 23rd Festival with an evening highlighting Romanticism. He is accompanied by the South Korean violinist, Kyung Wha Chung, who has recently, and successfully, returned to the European musical scene after 12 years of absence, and with whom he has worked on numerous occasions, notably in three superb recordings with Decca. The conductor begins with Brahms’ Violin Concerto, a masterpiece of virtuosity with incomparable melodic richness, before returning to one of his showpieces, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, in which his baton full of passion and rigour has already performed wonders, on stage and on record.

Two living legends of the musical scene, for two apogees of Romanticism, which place this 2016 Festival under the banners of excellence and passion.

Podcast by Michèle Larivière



Iván Fischer ©BudapestFestivalOrchestra

Iván Fischer ©BudapestFestivalOrchestra

Wagner evening – 4 August

Iván Fischer proved his mastery of the more expansive works of the repertoire with his rendition of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony in 2014. The founder of the Budapest Festival Orchestra deploys his incredible precision to set on fire symphonic arrangements from Wagner’s operas Emotions will run high during this concert given that the celebrated soprano Nina Stemme -one of the greatest Wagnerian singers of our time- will perform Isolde’s death!

Podcast by Michèle Larivière


Bryn Terfel©DR

Bryn Terfel©DR

Verdi’s Falstaff – 29 July

Everything in the world is a joke. Man is born a jester. “ This popular wisdom concludes the 80 year old Verdi‘s last opera. Premiered in 1922, Falstaff is without a doubt the composer’s most accomplished and original masterpiece, yet it has preserved the sparkling appeal of Verdi’s youthful works. The action-packed libretto and the virtuosic score rely essentially on the quality of its title role: a bass-baritone, who is both a great comic actor and a masterful vocalist and who understands this colourful character’s complexity.

Bryn Terfel is the perfect man for the job…

Podcast by Michèle Larivière

ALDRICH-Kate

Kate Aldrich ©FadilBarisha

Bizet’s Carmen – 25 July

Posterity took a comic revenge on the Parisian audience which attended the premiere of Carmen, Bizet’s last masterpiece, in 1875. First snubbed, even rejected by his contemporaries, the hot-blooded Bohemian has since become the most famous operatic heroine in the world. The work’s return to grace in the eyes of opera enthusiasts corresponds, without a doubt, to society’s change in attitudes and customs. Indeed, it would have been impossible for the Parisian high society of the second half of the 19th century to approve of this sulphurous story about a gypsy turning the heads of military men, having dozens of lovers and enjoying a rather dissolute lifestyle. However, mentalities have changed and, with them, our appreciation of the Romantic composer’s stunning music. This score, and its incredible tragic power, features some of the most beautiful pages ever written for mezzo-soprano, while the opéra comique genre (which alternates between spoken and sung dialogues) calls for exceptional acting skills.

Kate Aldrich handles with ease these vocal and theatrical demands.

Podcast by Michèle Larivière