Bernard Haitink’s 1980 Manfred was the prize of his Concertgebouw/Tchaikovsky symphony cycle. Riccardo Chailly’s 1987 effort with the same orchestra, while very good, doesn’t quite live up to that standard. In both recordings you get the sense that Tchaikovsky composed Manfred expressly for the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The very sound of the ensemble in its own hall conjures the dark, fantasy world described in the music. To this add lively and colorful playing, rich sonority, and utterly impeccable musicianship and you’ve got a uniquely compelling aural experience. Where the performances part company is in Haitink’s embrace of Tchaikovsky’s passionate dramatic ethos, a quality that Chailly, by contrast, tends to shy away from. (Of course, for a truly passionate reading you have to hear Muti’s rendition on EMI.) In his favor Chailly does have Decca’s vivid, high-impact digital recording, which, though having less warmth than the analog Philips production, better conveys the massiveness of the Concertgebouw Hall’s acoustics.
Despite the use of period instruments, including some fine blaring natural horns, this couldn't be called a historically informed performance of Handel's Royal Fireworks Music, HWV 351. The work was not composed for a pleasant onboard afternoon musicale like the Water Music, but instead was part of an event that would have been one of the top items on CNN Headline News for 1749: the celebration of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, brokered by King George II.
Riccardo Fassi has often worked around the music of Frank Zappa and, with the Tankio Band, had already recorded in the nineties a first homage to the genius and opera of the great Italian-American composer. Go back to Zappa's material with an articulated, full-bodied project rich in guests and suggestions, able to enter and exit the "non canonical canon" designed by compositions and Zappish interpretations. Fassi conceives a kind of "concert": the seventeen tracks are articulated around ten tracks of Zappa, with introductions and queues, two improvisations conducted by Fassi along with Antonello Salis and Uncle Remus by George Duke. In nearly seventy minutes overall, many things happen, following the spirit of the tutelary labor number.
Riccardo Muti chose to celebrate his 75th birthday with a programme at the 2016 Salzburg Festival featuring two masterworks from the Austro-German tradition that had both been premiered by the Wiener Philharmoniker under the direction of their respective composers: Bruckner’s Symphony No.2 and R. Strauss’ Orchestral Suite Der Bürger als Edelmann. Alongside celebrated pianist Gerhard Oppitz is violinist Rainer Küchl, on the eve of his retirement from the Wiener Philharmoniker following a remarkable 45 years of service.
“…Riccardo Muti conducts Don Pasquale in Ravenna - a great celebration for everyone.” This press quote from the Italian music magazine Il giornale della musica hit the mark exactly. Watching this realistic, young and vital production, directed by the 21 year old Andrea da Rosa and listening to a high potential and unspent young cast, you feel how powerful, charming and timeless this score by Donizetti is. This production was recorded during the Ravenna Festival in the gorgeous and patriarchal Teatro Dante Alighieri, in December 2006. Maestro Riccardo Muti shows one more time, what it means to perform an Italian opera with a young and professional Italian cast – an outstanding and breathtaking performance and really, "a great celebration for everyone".
Claude D'Anna's film of Verdi's Macbeth is a gloomy affair, stressing the descent into madness of the principal villains. It's acted by the singers of the Decca recording of the opera (with two substitutions of actors standing in for singers) and the lip-synching is generally unobtrusive. The musical performance is superb, conducted by Riccardo Chailly with admirable fire, and sung by some of the leading lights of the opera stages of the 1980s.
Few concerts can claim to generate such tremendous international interest as the New Year's Concert from Vienna. Under the baton of the world's leading conductors the Vienna Philharmonic rings in the New Year with a gala concert from the magnificent setting of the Golden Hall in Vienna's Musikverein. The event is broadcast to over 90 countries all over the world and watched by more than 50 million viewers. In 2018 Riccardo Muti will conduct the prestigious New Year's concert for the 5th time | 1993 1997 2000 and 2004 | . Together with Zubin Mehta Riccardo Muti is one of the most engaged New Year's Concert conductors since the era of Lorin Maazel. The conductor's close artistic relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra celebrates 47 years 500 concerts and dates back to 1971. In 2011, this exceptional bond was awarded with the Honorary Membership in the Vienna Philharmonic.