For twenty years the Berliner Philharmoniker has celebrated its 1882 founding with a concert at a major European venue, and the 2011 event takes place at the magnificent Teatro Real in Madrid. The renowned orchestra, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, performs Joaquín Rodrigo’s beloved Concierto de Aranjuez, Emmanuel Chabrier’s exuberant España, and Sergey Rachmaninov’s dramatic Second Symphony. It is joined for the Concierto by the famous flamenco guitarist Cañizares, whose virtuosity and sensitivity are given full opportunity to shine in this multi-faceted and subtle work.
The Elbphilharmonie, the “hall of wonders” (The Guardian), is undoubtedly the new landmark of Hamburg, a monumental synthesis of breath-taking architecture, a unique location and a world-class concert hall. In varying instrumentation the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under the baton of Principal Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock and several top-class soloists explores in the opening concert the possibilities of the Elbphilharmonie’s Grand Hall and ist acoustics with an exciting programme that spans across all musical eras, from the Renaissance to the present. It culminates in a brand-new commissioned work, created especially for this occasion by the most important living German composer, Wolfgang Rihm.
Gustav Mahlers 8th Symphony breaks the boundaries of the symphonic form in a world-embracing gesture. Riccardo Chailly is one of the staunchest performers of this work, and therefore it seemed appropriate in many ways that he chose this work for his inaugural concert as Claudio Abbados successor and new music director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The artistic statement was combined with a deeply personal conviction: it should be a 'tribute to Claudio', the highly esteemed friend and colleague to whom Chailly, as he emphasizes, owes very much. On 12 August 2016, Claudio Abbados unfinished Mahler cycle with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra was completed in a breathtaking performance of the Mahler 8th, simultaneously heralding in a new era in Lucerne.
This must be one of the year's best performances of the Ninth Symphony. Not a trace of lofty heroism here - Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra bring out the life-affirming aspects of the work, culminating in a hymn of heartfelt naturalness from which the audience draws inner strength' (Mostly Classic).
On New Year’s Eve 2012 Joyce DiDonato became the first singer to take the title role in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. With her at its heart, the production became, in the words of Opera magazine, “a high point of the season and of the company’s performance history of bel canto operas”.
Andrea Chénier presents a fictionalized account of the last years of the French poet André Chénier, guillotined during the Reign of Terror in 1794. It is the greatest of Giordano’s operas and shows why Puccini sometimes feared Giordano as a rival. Taking the starring role of Chénier, with its three marvellous arias, is Jonas Kaufmann. Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings the role of Chénier’s beloved Maddalena and baritone Željko Lučić stars as Carlo Gérard – the servant-turned-revolutionary who is Chénier’s rival for the love of Maddalena. David McVicar brings Giordano’s thrilling historical drama back to the Royal Opera House for the first time since 1985 in a stunning new production.