Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto Op. 7 – Francesco Nicolosi
Méditation is a symphonic intermezzo from the opera Thaïs by French composer Jules Massenet. The piece is written for solo violin and orchestra. The opera was first premiered at the Opéra Garnier in Paris on March 16, 1894.
The Méditation is a symphonic entr’acte performed between the scenes of Act II in the opera Thaïs. In the first scene of Act II, Athanaël, a Cenobite monk, confronts Thaïs, a beautiful and hedonistic courtesan and devotée of Venus, and attempts to convince her to leave her life of luxury and pleasure and find salvation through God. It is during a time of reflection following the encounter that the Méditation is played by the orchestra. In the second scene of Act II, following the Méditation, Thaïs tells Athanaël that she will follow him to the desert.
The piece is in D major and is approximately five minutes long (although there are a number of interpretations that stretch the piece to over six minutes). Massenet may also have written the piece with religious intentions; the tempo marking is Andante Religioso, signifying his intention that it should be played religiously and at walking tempo. The piece opens with a short introduction by the harps, with the solo violin quickly entering with the motif. After the violin plays the melody twice, the piece goes into a section marked animato, gradually becoming more and more passionate (Massenet wrote poco a poco appassionato). The climax is reached at a place marked poco piu appassionato (a little more passion) and is then followed by a short cadenza-like passage from the soloist and returns to the main theme. After the theme is played twice, the soloist joins the orchestra while playing harmonics on the upper register as the harps and strings quietly play below the solo line.
Filharmonický orchestr Iwasaki / Iwasaki Philharmonic Orchestra Prague
dirigent: Chuhei Iwasaki
recorded XI.2013 in recording studio HAMU, Prague
Recording director: Kristina Štanclová
Recording engeneer: Jaroslav Pokorný
Performance conducted by James Conlon.
St-Paul’s Suite, op. 29, no. 2 – Gustav Holst
1. Jig – Vivace
2. Ostinato – Presto
3. Intermezzo – Andante con moto
4. Finale (“The Dargason”) – Allegro
L’Orchestre de Chambre Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra
Stewart Grant, directeur musical et chef attitré, Music Director and Conductor
Concert aimez-vous Brahms?
26 Nov 2011
Église Valois United Church
Gustav Theodore Holst (born Gustavus Theodore von Holst: 21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, including the English folksong revival of the early 20th century.
There were professional musicians in the previous three generations of Holst’s family, and it was clear from his early years that he would follow the same calling. He hoped to become a pianist, but was prevented by neuritis in his right arm. Despite his father’s reservations, he pursued a career as a composer, studying at the Royal College of Music under Charles Villiers Stanford. Unable to support himself by his compositions, he played the trombone professionally, and later became a teacher—a great one, according to his colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams. Among other teaching activities he built up a strong tradition of performance at Morley College, where he served as musical director from 1907 until 1924. He was the founder of a series of Whitsun music festivals, which ran from 1916 for the remainder of his life. Holst’s works were played frequently in the early years of the 20th century, but it was not until the international success of The Planets in the years immediately after the First World War that he became a well-known figure. A shy man, he did not welcome this fame, and preferred to be left in peace to compose and teach.
In his later years his uncompromising, personal style of composition struck many music lovers as too austere, and his brief popularity declined. Nevertheless, he was a significant influence on a number of younger English composers, includingEdmund Rubbra, Michael Tippett and Benjamin Britten. Apart from The Planets and a handful of other works, his music was generally neglected until the 1980s, since when recordings of much of his output have been available.
Haydn Jeugd Strijkorkest o.l.v. Jan-Ype Nota
De Oosterpoort, Groningen
4 juni 2011
Beethoven String Quartet No. 5 in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5 performed by Julliard School (Live). Filmed live in The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in New York for WQXR‘s Beethoven String Quartet Marathon on November 18, 2012.
Siwoo Kim and Francisco Fullana, violins
Danny Kim, viola