What kind of music could be better suited for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s legendary annual Waldbühne concert than Czech music? It’s always passionate and full of verve and sure to lift everyone’s spirits. Only very rarely does a young talent ascend to ‘world stardom’, but one of the few who can be considered an international superstar while still belonging to the new generation of conductors is Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He presents the much-loved Vlatava (Moldau) as well as Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony and Violin Concerto with the wonderful Lisa Batiashvili on the violin.
The Berliner Philharmoniker celebrate their founding day (May 1st, 1892) in a European city of cultural significance every year. In 2016, they travelled to Røros in Norway, to play in the town’s beautiful baroque church. Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang made her debut with the Berliner Philharmonker at this year’s concert, joining them for Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor.
This movie version of Bizet's popular opera Carmen was filmed on location, conveying a kind of atmosphere, a sense of space, movement, and presence that's hard to achieve in a staged performance. It takes the action out of doors for many scenes, with the opening titles superimposed on the bloody conclusion of a bullfight. Elsewhere the changing of the guard, the crowd scenes, the dance number that opens Act 2, and the panoramic scenery of the smugglers' mountain hideout all benefit from the freedom granted by movie cameras.
Early Rossini has something buoyant, vibrant, youthful about it – even when it is a “dramma per musica” such as “Sigismondo”, a dark swirl of an opera revolving around a mad king and his delusions, his wife who is allegedly dead but very much alive, the fate of Poland and much more. Premiered in 1814 but rarely played thereafter, the work deserves to be resurrected, if only for its many beautiful and original arias and ensembles, some of which were such brilliant little masterpieces that he reused them in his later successes such as “Il turco in Italia”, “La Cenerentola” and “Il barbiere di Siviglia”. The work was given its first performance from the critical new edition at the 2010 Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. The press hailed the production as a “perfect symbiosis of music and stage work” that yields “truly brilliant theater”.
After two studio albums, Black Country Communion (a rock group featuring ex-Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham, Joe Bonamassa, and ex-Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian) release a live DVD/BluRay: Live Over Europe gathers material from four concerts played in Germany (in Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg) in the summer of 2011. The set list mostly consists of songs from the two studio albums (almost all songs from the sophomore album 2 are included here) and adds Bonamassa's "The Ballad of John Henry" and the Deep Purple classic "Burn." Apart from the live show, which was recorded with 14 HD cameras, the disc includes a 20-minute documentary and a photo gallery.