Purchase of tickets, excluding the 8 signature concerts, is exclusively reserved for Friends of the Verbier Festival until 7 February.
VFO / MEHTA / WANG
RACHMANINOFF & BERLIOZ
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.
Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourfully scored Scheherazade of 1888 is based on the Arabian Nights, the 1001 folk tales told each night – so the story goes – by the Sultana Scheherazade to her dangerous new Sultan husband, in order to escape being executed the following morning as his other wives have been. Rimsky-Korsakov’s four movements, rich in solo opportunities, capture the stories’ drama and exoticism without being strictly narrative, the whole bound thematically together by its two opening themes: the stern brass fanfare representing the Sultan, and the seductively curling solo violin as Scheherazade. The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship continues with majestically lilting music, after which The Story of the Kalender Prince ups the Eastern colour with its snaking woodwind solos. The Young Prince and the Young Princess is a sensual love story. The high-octane Finale then moves from The Festival at Baghdad to a sea storm and shipwreck, before Scheherazade gets a soft final word.
Maestro Gábor Takács-Nagy and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason present you a concert full of emotion, starting with Brahms' Tragic Overture, followed by Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor and ending with Schumann's optimistic and warm Rhenish.
Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable musical colours, Deutsche Grammophon exclusive artist Sergei Babayan has been coming regularly to the Verbier Festival since 2014, both as a performer and as an Academy teacher. Expect a memorable evening from this pianist whose recent Rachmaninoff recital recording has been garnering critical acclaim around the world.
"Shivering woods, starry sky, my beloved has gone away..." It is around Ernest Chausson's Chanson perpétuelle that the soprano Véronique Gens has brought together French, night-themed melodies: nights of love, madness, festivity or dread, with their skies and stars. Originally written for voice and piano or orchestra, these melodies have been transcribed for voice with string quartet and piano performed by I Giardini. They chime with the Chanson perpétuelle in a unique moment of "vocal chamber music".
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.
Kristóf Baráti plays four different Stradivarii violins in a programme uniting two great names of 18th century music. Opening with Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord, the concert ends with Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
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.
The Verbier Festival Academy’s internationally renowned Atelier Lyrique receives talented singers from around the world to study either on its opera programme, its song programme, or on both. This special recital – effectively a surprise concert, its repertoire fixed only days in advance – presents a cornucopia of operatic arias from the singers of the Opera programme, future stars in the making, accompanied by its head Head Caroline Dowdle.
Written for Martin Fröst, Anna Clyne’s new five-movement clarinet concerto has a dual meaning bound up in its title, Weathered. Exploring five elements – Metal, Heart, Stone, Wood, and Earth – it touches both on our collective experience of being weathered by the pandemic, and on the alarm of global warming.
Harmonically audacious and deploying technical brilliance to colourful effect, the compositions of with which Tsotne Zedginidze opens this programme continues the tradition, common until the end of the nineteenth century, of pianists expressing themselves through their own music.
Beethoven was fast making his reputation as a virtuoso pianist and composer when he wrote his first, three-strong set of violin sonatas in Vienna between 1797 and 1798. His sonatas Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 8 are in the spotlight, performed by Mao Fujita and Marc Bouchkov.
A chance to hear the stars of tomorrow, this special recital – effectively a surprise concert, its repertoire likely to be fixed just days beforehand – sees the singers, soloists and ensembles of the Verbier Festival Academy’s Atelier Lyrique join forces with other Academy ensembles and musicians, to present a variety-filled programme of song and chamber music.
From Brahms to Barber and Colpand, the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano and the violinist Leonidas Kavakos take you on a musical journey beyond the constraints of time and borders.
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.
Antonín Dvořák's Trio for Piano and Strings No. 4 features Sergei Babayan, Mischa Maisky and Augustin Hadelich. After the interval, Renaud Capuçon, Alexandra Conunova, Lawrence Power, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Alexandre Kantorow take the stage for Edward Elgar's Quintet for Piano and Strings.
Before portrays a bull and a cow who, condemned to the slaughterhouse, review their lives and the worl before they dia. Its dialogue, turning the tables to present the animal view on humans, is both comic and ferocious.
In homage to Rachmaninoff, the Verbier Festival Orchestra directed by Klaus Mäkelä with the virtuoso Mikhaïl Pletnev launch into the concerto for piano and orchestra N°2, which brought the composer back to fame after a three-year hiatus. After the intermission, enjoy Strauss Alpine Symphony live from the heart of the Alps in Verbier.
Benjamin Britten wrote his Cello Sonata in honour of Mstislav Rostropovich in a fit of admiration in 1960, after meeting and hearing the Russian cellist at the British premiere of Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto. An opening Dialogo contrasts calm writing with more vigorous and intense writing.
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.
Hailed by Diapason as ‘The new star tenor,’ Deutsche Gramophon exclusive artist Benjamin Bernheim brings a recital of contrasts to Verbier, with his regular duo partner, pianist and conductor, Carrie-Ann Matheson, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Opera Center.
First, two giants of German lied, Johannes Brahms and his older friend and champion, Robert Schumann. Then, French late Romantic song from the pens of Henri Duparc – whose songs Debussy described as ‘Imperfect….but works of genius,’ and Ernst Chausson, whose 1892 song cycle, Poème de l’amour et de la mer, was dedicated to Duparc.
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….
Yuja Wang, Renaud Capuçon and Klaus Mäkelä open the first part of the concert with Schubert's Trio for Piano and Strings in B flat major, followed Brahms's Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor from Alexander Sitkovetsky, Vadim Repin, Antoine Tamestit, Mischa Maisky and Yefim Bronfman.
2020 Grammy award winning Brad Mehldau plays in the intimate setting of the Verbier Église. Enjoy this magical moment with the one described by the New York Times as ‘the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years’.
American classical pianist Richard Goode performs solo “Bagatelles N° 6 to 11” and“33 Variations on a waltz by Diabelli” : a privilege to listen to the artist internationally known for his interpretations of Beethoven.
Pianist Mikhaïl Pletnev with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by James Gaffigan tells the story of the famous Don Juan by Mozart, followed by his Symphony N°40 and ending with an early composition by Rachmaninoff, the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra N°1.
The three-time Polonaise was one such national dance, and while it sat on the refined end of the scale, popular among the nobility, in Chopin’s hands it frequently came with fire attached.
Composed in 1853, Liszt's monumental Piano Sonata in B minor was structurally ground-breaking for its time and remains an arguably unsurpassed tour de force of architectural imagination.
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.
Meetings of different genres are the linking thread to this wide-ranging programme, opening with French-American composer Betsy Jolas, a pupil of early music expert Paul Boepple, jazz-influenced Darius Milhaud, and Olivier Messiaen.
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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