A tour de force of lushly-scored romanticism and virtuosity, Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto was written in 1909, to perform on his first visit to the USA. The central Intermezzo equally balances melancholy with romance, before a glittering Finale. Berlioz’s revolutionary Symphonie Fantastique of 1830 is represented throughout by a single recurring, constantly reimagined theme intoned first by smooth violins, and ultimately parodied in the climactic Witches Sabbath – following the artist’s execution for her murder – as church bells toll the Dies irae.
Beethoven Fourth Symphony opens with a brooding Adagio and gives way to a triumphant Allegro. After a rumbustious Scherzo punctuated by a slower Trio, she rounds things off with a Finale of Haydn-esque playfulness. His Piano Trio No 7 of 1811 meanwhile is symphonic in size and conception with its four movements. A noble, spacious and often richly textured Allegro leads to a Scherzo, begun by strings alone, whose carefree lilt gets interrupted by a darker, fugal Trio.
GATTI – DAVIDSEN – VON DER DAMERAU – DE TOMMASO – TERFEL – CORO DELL'ACCADEMIA DI SANTA CECILIA
Verdi’s Requiem of 1837 wasn’t quickly described as his ‘latest opera’ for nothing, with its intense human emotion, huge forces and sheer dramatic kick. Opening in hushed, grief-soaked beauty, its opening ‘Requiem’ and ‘Kyrie’ rise to various climaxes before ending in serene hope. Hence the shock of the ‘Dies irae,’ whose initial cataclysmic music will act as a linking thread to a vast, multi-coloured movement incorporating the ‘Tuba mirum’, ‘Liber scriptus’, ‘Quid sum miser’, ‘Rex tremendae’, ‘Recordare’, ‘Ingemisco’, ‘Confutatis’ and ‘Lacrymosa.’ Next, warm radiance for the ‘Offertorium’ and up-tempo vigour for the ‘Sanctus’ with its fugue for double chorus. Another striking opening comes with the ‘Agnus Dei,’ soprano and mezzo soloists introducing its theme unaccompanied, in octaves. Then, after the ‘Lux aeterna,’ the final ‘Libera me,’ featuring a voices-only restatement of the first ‘Requiem aeternam,’ book-ended by the ‘Dies irae’ music.
Jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader Wynton Marsalis not only makes his Verbier Festival debut this year, but does so in the form of a residency that promises to showcase the tremendous breadth and scope of his musical personality and activity. He will be accompanied by a small jazz ensemble.
Tonight's reading by the talented Isabelle Huppert features a pair of short stories written by the most violent, sexually obscene and provocative author of the 18th century, the Marquis de Sade. After the joint publication of "Justine" and "Juliette" in 1801, Napoleon Bonaparte had him imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Join us in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Verbier Festival with the artists who have made its fame
Shindig, palooza, big bash, knees-up, pick your term, preface it with ‘Classical,’ and you’ve got what tonight is all about as we celebrate the Verbier Festival’s 30th anniversary. Expect a festival atmosphere in every sense of the word, via a veritable smorgasbord of different musical works and artist constellations….
Alban Berg's three-act opera, composed between 1912 and 1922, comes to Verbier under the direction of Lahav Shani, with the inimitable Matthias Goerne in the lead role of Wozzeck. Inspired by a news item from 1821, the libretto tells the story of a German soldier who murders his mistress and is executed three years later. The Austrian composer's revolutionary work is uniquely innovative: each scene demonstrates a specific vocal technique, and shows how fatality imposes itself on the poor and exploited. In present times, the captivating nature of this incomparable opera holds extreme relevance.
The span of emotion and subject matter in Schubert’s 600-plus song settings ranges from the sunny simplicity of Die Vögel, von Schlegel’s depiction of a bird reveling in its carefree flight, to the tense, sombre longing of Mignon’s Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt. Like the five evocative Morceaux de fantaisie, all Rachmaninoff’s songs are earlier-career works, penned in Russia. His self-critical older contemporary Henri Duparc kept only 16 of his own, but Debussy described them as ‘perfect.’
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