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Clasart Classic at Avant Première 2016


Preceding the upcoming screenings at Avant Première, we would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief outlook on the programs Clasart Classic will be presenting in Berlin:

The Cleveland Orchestra / Franz Welser-Möst

Clasart Classic continues its Brahms Cycle with The Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of its principal conductor Franz Welser-Möst. Fully aware of the importance of this Brahms Cycle, Cleveland's daily “The Plain Dealer” opined that with its continuation, the orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst were “staking their claims to Brahms greatness”. Shot in Cleveland's grand Severance Hall, one of the most beautiful halls in the world, the composer’s piano concertos feature Yefim Bronfman at the piano. A giant among today's pianists and a champion of the Brahms oeuvre, he unleashed "torrential energy" that brought down the house.

The recording of “Ein Deutsches Requiem” at the baroque monastery of St. Florian in August 2016 marks the crowning point of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Brahms Cycle. For the performance of this great monument of choral music, The Cleveland Orchestra will be joined by Hanna-Elisabeth Müller, Simon Keenlyside and the Vienna Singverein.

 

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons

Clasart Classic presents three new programs with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra:

Conductor Mariss Jansons and Mussorgsky's “Pictures at an Exhibition” were predestined to come together. The lavish colors of Ravel's orchestration of the Russian work, the breathtaking inventiveness of the wildly different movements – few conductors are as adept as Jansons to savor all the richness and colorfulness of the paintings and sketches by Victor Hartmann.

Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” is music that transcends issues of artistic origins and reaches out to the world. Its “sharply profiled landscape” sketched by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under the incomparable Mariss Jansons was a “musical feast” (Süddeutsche Zeitung).

The cooperation continues with the recording of Antonín Dvořák 's most celebrated choral work, the Stabat mater. As the work builds up to include the four vocal soloists, the obsessively repeated main motif of a descending chromatic line begins to work its magic on the rapt audience. And under the baton of Mariss Jansons, the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, graced with four superb soloists, take us to a higher sphere of artistry, where hushed tones alternate with glorious fortissimi.

 

The Metropolitan Opera

Out of the Met HD-live catalogue, Clasart Classic would like to give a special mention to the following productions from the 2014/15 season:

Anna Netrebko created a sensation with her riveting performance as Lady Macbeth, the central character in Verdi’s retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth. As Opera News put it, her voice “suggested the hollow, stifled quality Verdi asked for, while retaining its haunting beauty”. She is joined by a top-of-the-line casting with Željko Lučić, who brings dramatic intensity and vocal authority to the title role of the honest general driven to murder by his ambitious wife, René Pape as Banquo and Joseph Calleja as Macduff.

The “Met live in HD” season continued with a new production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Eyre, who’s staging is set in a stately manor in 1930s Seville, “skillfully built the comic ensembles to climaxes that made you laugh out loud” (Wall Street Journal). Ildar Abdrazakov sings the title role. The youthful cast also includes Marlis Petersen as Susanna; Peter Mattei in one of his most acclaimed roles as Count Almaviva; Amanda Majeski as Almaviva’s wife, the long-suffering Countess; and Isabel Leonard as the boisterous page Cherubino. James Levine conducts a “ravishing, intricately wrought evening of music, humor and emotional depth” (New York Magazine).

Mariusz Treliński’s exciting new production of Bartók’s harrowing Bluebeard’s Castle is inspired by classic noir films of the 1940s. To stage this disturbing psychological thriller Treliński comes up with “some engrossing video imagery and stage effects to realize the descriptions in the libretto” (The New York Times). Nadja Michael sings the central role of newlywed Judith, who must open seven locked doors to discover the full depths of her husband’s dark secrets. Mikhail Petrenko is her mysterious and menacing husband.