Arvo Pärt – Fratres (1984)

The 1984 ECM album Tabula Rasa was the vehicle that introduced the revolutionary music of Arvo Pärtto audiences outside Eastern Europe and initiated what was to become one of the most extraordinary musical careers of the late 20th century. Like many of the first generation American minimalists, he limited himself to diatonic harmonies and generated pieces by setting processes in motion, but the radical simplicity he achieved was the result of religious contemplation that was at least as, if not more, formative than his quest for a new musical aesthetic. The result was music suffused by an unhurried, luminous serenity, and while it was distinctly contemporary, it had an archaic quality that tied it to the music of the very distant past.

Fratres, originally for chamber orchestra, is undeniably Pärt´s most popular work and exists in well over a dozen versions, two of which are included here. Gidon Kremer and Keith Jarret bring great nuance and sensitivity to the version for violin and piano. They play somewhat loosely with details of the score, but they are entirely in sync with the spirit of the piece, and it’s a gripping performance. The violin part is hugely virtuosic and Kremer is breathtaking, particularly in the crystalline purity of the outrageously high harmonics that end the piece. The arrangement of Fratres for 12 cellos is an altogether more lyrical and meditative version, and the cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra play it with gorgeous tone and depth. [source]

A1: Fratres : Piano – Keith Jarret / Violin Gideon Kremer (11:26)

A2: Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten : Dennis Russel Davies – Conductor / Staatsorchester Stuttgart (5:00)

A3: Fratres: Performer – The 12 Cellists Of The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Performer (11:51)

B1: Tabula Rasa: Saulius Sondekis – Conductor / Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra / Alfred Schnittke – Piano (Prepared) / Gideon Kremer – Violin / Tatiana Gindenko – Violin (26:08)

Recording: Fratres, October 1983, Basel / Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten , January 1984, Stuttgart / Fratres (for 12 celli), February 1984, Berlin / Tabula Rasa, November 1977, Bonn, (Live recording by West German Radio, Cologne) / Released on EMI Records

 

[Dedicated Ronnie Rocket, thanks for inspiration]

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Berliner Philharmoniker broadcasting live to cinemas all over Europe

In the new season, you have as many as three opportunities to experience the Berliner Philharmoniker live in a cinema near you. Be there when the orchestra continues its Mahler cycle with the “Symphony of a Thousand” conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, when Christian Thielemann conducts Anton Bruckner’s “Romantic” Symphony, and when star soloists Magdalena Kožená and Albrecht Mayer make guest appearances at the Philharmonie. Tickets are available online and directly at the cinema. [Source]

Is high culture too pricey? Not at all!

How affordable is high culture? One great myth of our time — surely up there with Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and the Prince of Wales’s supposed eye for fine architecture — is that tickets for opera, theatre, ballet and orchestral concerts are too expensive, especially for the young. It’s a well-known medical fact that your blood boils more often as you get older. But few things set my corpuscles seething more than this oft-repeated chestnut.

In Britain, at least, it’s nonsense — as a music blogger (intermezzo.typepad.com) has just reminded me. She compared prices for top-range British orchestral concerts with similar events abroad. The cheap tickets to hear London’s orchestras range from £7 to £9 — same as a cinema ticket, and lower than at many pop and comedy venues. For comparison, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform with top soloists and conductors the cheapest seat is £30; and at the Berlin Philharmonic it’s a wallet-draining £46.

Read the full article in The Times here.

Liszt: Orpheus; Ligeti: Violin Concerto; Bartok: Suite from The Wooden Prince

Renaud Capuçon; Berliner Philharmoniker/David Robertson

Philharmonie, Berlin, 9 May 2010

The first work on the programme was Liszt’s Orpheus. It was in Weimar, under contract as court Kapellmeister, that Liszt embarked on the composition of a new genre of orchestral music, the symphonic poem. This genre was to give full embodiment to the breadth of the composer’s aims, philosophical and poetic as well as music. But what at the time must have been vanguard has since settled comfortably into the category of easy-listening as far as classical music is concerned.

Appropriately enough the work opens with two harps acting as mimesis of the Greek poet’s lyre. Themes follow each other unevenly, signalling an extension of the sonata form towards something purely evocative, a searching by way of music for something only music can search for. As a concert-opener it’s perfect, not too long or demanding, lush on the ears. And here it was brought off well, Robertson measuring the work well in gradually bringing us to the crescendo at the work’s end.

This was followed by Ligeti’s Violin Concerto. A couple of years ago I saw this work performed by the London Sinfonietta along with its dedicatee and original soloist, Saschko Gawriloff. It was excellent then, but this performance by the Philharmoniker with the young Renaud Capuçon was if anything even better.

Read the full review in on musicalcriticism.com here.

DANCE SERIES I: RHYTHM IS IT!

RHYTHM IS IT! – The Dance Performance shows the first piece of the DANCE SERIES: the complete dance performance of LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS with 250 young dancers, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle in front an audience of 3000 at the Arena Berlin.

A Film by Thomas Grube and Enrique Sánchez Lansch

© 2005 BOOMTOWN MEDIA International

Berliner Philharmoniker, Zoltan Pesko, RIAS Kammerchor, Quintetto pro Arte René Giessen

Mon  24. January 2000  8 pm
Tue  25. January 2000  8 pm
Wed  26. January 2000  8 pm
Philharmonie


Berliner Philharmoniker
Zoltan Pesko Dirigent
Quintetto pro Arte René Giessen Mundharmonika
Zoltan Kocsis Klavier
RIAS Kammerchor

György Kurtág
Messages op. 34
New Messages op. 34a
Franz Liszt
Klavierkonzert Nr. 1 Es-Dur
György Kurtág
… quasi una fantasia op. 27
Boris Blacher
Orchestervariationen über ein Thema von Paganini op. 26