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Tag: Daniel Barenboim

Berliner Philharmoniker – Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim play Brahms 2014 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

The gestation of Brahms’s First Symphony, begun in 1862, lasted a quarter of a century. Hearing behind him “the marching of a giant like Beethoven”, the composer had already tried eight years previously to revise the first movement of a sonata in D minor for two pianos and make it into the first movement of a symphony – but without success. Brahms had a dream that he made a piano concerto out of that “accursed” Symphony – which he eventually did.

“A first movement, a scherzo, and a finale, terribly difficult and grand. I was absolutely transported.” Although it would take another four years before the work was completed, the result, the D minor Concerto op. 15, was something to be truly proud of. With this concerto, Brahms created a highly virtuosic work that, with its symphonic fusion of piano and orchestral roles, left the dimensions of what was expected of a concerto up to that point far behind. Daniel Barenboim, who in the 2013/2014 season celebrated the 50th anniversary of his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, is the soloist in Brahms’s powerful and monumental concerto.

The concert opens with Charles Ives’ orchestral piece The Unanswered Question. In this work, written in 1906 (revised 1908), the composer presents “the perennial question of existence” (Ives) seven times, symbolised by a trumpet. Every time, the search for an answer becomes more hectic before the violins fade away (with no response) into the void. Finally, Sir Simon Rattle conducts Richard Strauss’s 1945 Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings, in which the funeral march theme from Beethoven’s Sinfonia Eroica seems to be developed and at the end is quoted explicitly by the double basses in Strauss’s own harmonisation. At this point in the score is the entry “In memoriam” – not without reason did the composer describe the piece as the “reflection” of his “entire past life”.

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Kian Soltani, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra & Daniel Barenboim – R. Strauss: Don Quixote – Ravel: Bolero (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Kian Soltani, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra & Daniel Barenboim – R. Strauss: Don Quixote – Ravel: Bolero (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 56:17 minutes | 577 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

On October 25, Peral Music releases its latest album, celebrating twenty years of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. In August 1999, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra as a workshop for Israeli, Palestinian, and other Arab musicians to promote coexistence and intercultural dialogue. In order to celebrate this significant anniversary, Peral Music releases a digital album featuring “Don Quixote” (Richard Strauss) with cellist Kian Soltani and the famous “Boléro”(Maurice Ravel).

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Daniel Barenboim & Kian Soltani & Michael Barenboim – Complete Mozart Trios (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Daniel Barenboim & Kian Soltani & Michael Barenboim – Complete Mozart Trios (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 02:29:06 minutes | 1,53 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Daniel Barenboim is no stranger to complete collections. Glutton that he is, he records them several times over, whether it’s Beethoven’s Sonatas, or as here, Mozart’s Trios (already recorded for EMI in 2006 with violinist Nicolai Znaider and cellist Kyril Zlotnikov). And so it’s not the immortal Amadeus that we are hearing so much as a portrait of Barenboim that ages with the years. The accomplished artists create a close dialogue, greedily following each other’s music. Amongst all these scores, can we detect an aesthetic vision? The scores follow one after the other, like at a family musical soirée, with a convivial, sweetish piano sound – likely a matter of sound quality rather than sherry consumption – in particular on the Piano Trio in B Flat Major, K.502, but also in the opening passages of the Allegro of the Piano Trio in E Major, K.542, whose dramatic dimension is somewhat lacking here. But at least the piano doesn’t overshadow the strings or upset the balance required in these tightly-wound, respected works. Mozart’s chamber music isn’t simple: the contrapunctual writing builds a delicate world whose poetry is flavoured by harmonies and chromatism. Daniel Barenboim has found some fitting partners. – Elsa Siffert

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim perform Beethoven’s Violin Concerto 1992 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Daniel Barenboim and Itzhak Perlman have been friends and colleagues for practically all of their lives. In the spring of 1992 they gave four concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Schauspielhaus am Gendarmenmarkt, while the orchestra’s usual home was being renovated. Central to the two programmes that were presented twice within a week were the violin concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. In both cases the programme was rounded out by other, lesser-known works. On the first two evenings, Liszt’s rarely played Dante Symphony provided a delightful contrast to Beethoven’s repertory classic in D major.

Beethoven first toyed with the idea of writing a violin concerto around 1790, towards the end of his years in Bonn. And in the wake of his two Romances for violin and orchestra, which may be regarded as preliminary studies for the concerto, he completed his only violin concerto in 1806. Now regarded as a milestone in the history of the violin repertory, it was not a success when premiered by Franz Clement in Vienna on 23 December 1806. Observers felt that it contained “a host of ideas that do not belong together and that are piled up on top of each other”. Time did not yet look favourably on a work that is elaborated along symphonic lines. Not until 1844, when the twelve-year-old violin prodigy Joseph Joachim – later one of Brahms’s closest friends – gave his acclaimed London debut and scored a great personal success with the work did it embark on its triumphal journey through the concert halls of the world.

These concerts in Berlin in 1992 marked the twentieth anniversary of American violinist Itzhak Perlman’s debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker – he had first appeared with the orchestra in 1972, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, also under Barenboim’s direction. In comparison to those of Tchaikovsky’s late Romantic masterpiece, the difficulties of Beethoven’s concerto lie – in Perlman’s view – chiefly in the transparency of the orchestral writing: “There’s nowhere to hide.” For Perlman, it is “a great, great piece” which he “could play forever, 10 times in a row, and never get tired of it. Because every time I play it, there’s something new to discover in this piece.”

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Daniel Barenboim – Works by Elgar (1975/2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Daniel Barenboim – Works by Elgar (1975/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:07:06 minutes | 787 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Glossa

Can there be a more prodigiously gifted and versatile musician in the world today than Daniel Barenboim? Symphonic and opera conductor as well concert pianist, recitalist, chamber musician, Lieder accompanist par excellence, the Argentinian-born Israeli Renaissance man of music is also one of the most extensively recorded artists of all time. Sony Classical is proud to present the first complete retrospective collection of his albums for CBS/Sony Classical and RCA Red Seal.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – European Concert from Oxford with Daniel Barenboim and Alisa Weilerstein 2010 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Since 1991, the Berliner Philharmoniker have been celebrating the anniversary of their foundation on 1 May 1882 by giving a concert in a place of special historical and cultural significance. In 2010 they travelled to the venerable Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, which was built between 1664 and 1669 to a design by Sir Christopher Wren and named after the University’s then chancellor, Gilbert Sheldon. In spite of its name, the magnificent structure was never intended for the performance of plays but as a suitable backdrop for the conferment of academic degrees – Daniel Barenboim, who was conducting the 2010 European Concert, had himself received an honorary doctorate in this very place in 2007.

In Oxford the night before 1 May is traditionally spent in riotous celebration, with the result that many a concertgoer may still have been hung over on the morning of the concert. In consequence the first item on the programme – the Prelude to Act 3 of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – may have seemed like a musical commentary on their current state. In it Hans Sachs broods on human folly in the wake of the turbulent events of the previous night in the streets of his town.

Elgar’s Cello Concerto followed, rekindling memories of Oxford-born cellist Jacqueline du Pré, one of the most famous exponents of the work and Barenboim’s wife until her tragically premature death. The young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein refused to be intimated by this legacy and, according to the critic of the Berliner Morgenpost, “exuded girlish charm and transformed profound resignation into life-affirming freshness”. The concert ended with a classic of the symphonic repertory, Brahms’s First Symphony. The critic of The Guardian noted that “the energy that pulsed through” the work was “irresistible” and that “its phrases” were “sculpted in great expressive arcs with every detail and woodwind solo thrillingly realised”.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Alisa Weilerstein and Daniel Barenboim 2010 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

On the first of May the Berliner Philharmoniker give their traditional European Concert, an annual event to celebrate the founding of the orchestra on 1 May 1882. In 2010, the concert, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, took place at Oxford University’s Sheldonian Theatre. And, as is often the case, the musicians presented their programme to the audience in the Philharmonie a few days earlier.

In keeping with the occasion, the musicians put together a German-British programme, the first half of which featured Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Barenboim had conducted this work once before with the orchestra – 40 years before, together with his then wife, Jacqueline du Pré. The soloist in this concert, making her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker, was Alisa Weilerstein. Yo-Yo Ma wrote about this young American artist: “I remember that one of my first impressions of her playing was that she is so full of passion. More recently I was struck by how fearless Alisa is. Those two qualities, in combination with a great musical intelligence, really define her artistry for me.”

The German contribution to the programme consisted of the Prelude to Act 3 of Richard Wagner’s Meistersinger and Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony. It was Hans von Bülow – principal conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker – who, with regard to this work of Brahms, spoke of “Beethoven’s Tenth” – a bon mot that doubtlessly promoted the popularity of the work but which fails to do full justice to its forward-looking, individual characteristics.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Daniel Barenboim conducts the 2014 European Concert in Berlin 2014 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

The Berliner Philharmoniker celebrate the founding of the orchestra on 1 May 1882 with their European Concerts which they give on that date at a venue in Europe of cultural and historical significance every year. And since the Berliner Philharmoniker themselves are based in a highly culturally significant venue, it seems obvious to make it a venue for the European Concert – especially since the Philharmonie celebrated its 50th birthday at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season. The concert is conducted by a man who has been associated with the Berliner Philharmoniker for over 50 years: Daniel Barenboim, who made his debut as the soloist in Béla Bartók’s First Piano Concerto under the direction of Pierre Boulez in June 1964. Six years later, he took to the conductor’s desk of the orchestra for the first time. He has since performed regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker as a pianist and conductor.

The programme of this European Concert has an international flavour: Otto Nicolai’s Singspiel The Merry Wives of Windsor, which received its premiere in Berlin in 1849, is based on William Shakespeare’s comedy of the same name, and its lively overture has long since secured a place on the concert stage. Also inspired by a Shakespearean comedy hero is Edward Elgar’s symphonic study Falstaff. We then turn from comedy to the tragic twists of fate: The Fifth Symphony of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is characterised by a sombre main theme that for the Russian composer symbolises “a complete resignation before fate, which is the same as the inscrutable predestination of fate”.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Daniel Barenboim conducts the 2006 European Concert from Prague 2006 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Since 1991, the Berliner Philharmoniker have commemorated the day when they were founded in 1882 by giving a concert on 1 May in a different European venue of special cultural and historical significance. For their first such visit in 1991, they travelled to Prague to mark the bicentenary of Mozart’s death, returning there in 2006 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth. It was at the famous National Theatre – renamed the Estates Theatre in 1798 – that Mozart had enjoyed some of his greatest triumphs with Le nozze di Figaro, La clemenza di Titoand especially Don Giovanni, which was specially written for the theatre. It was here that the Philharmoniker gave their European Concert in 2006.

Daniel Barenboim, who has been closely associated with the orchestra for more than fifty years, appeared in his tried and tested role as both conductor and soloist, opening the proceedings with the popular Haffner Symphony that Mozart wrote in the summer of 1782 based on an earlier serenade. He performed the symphony for the first time to great acclaim in Vienna in the spring of 1783. Barenboim then masterfully led the orchestra through the E flat Concerto No. 22 from the piano, just as Mozart is likely to have done: an acclaimed keyboard virtuoso, Mozart composed most of his piano concertos for his own particular use.

The first item on the programme after the interval was likewise performed without the need for outside help: the solo part in Mozart’s First Horn Concerto was taken by the young Czech horn player Radek Baborák, who was then the orchestra’s principal horn player. He was only eighteen when he won the ARD Music Competition in 1994, becoming the principal horn player with the Czech Philharmonic later that same year and joining the Berliner Philharmoniker in a similar capacity in 2003. He remained in Berlin until 2010. His performance of Mozart’s Horn Concerto was notable for what one critic called “extraordinary beauty and control”. The programme ended with the Linz Symphony, which Mozart wrote in only a few days in the autumn of 1783. The result is a masterpiece that nowhere betrays any sign of the speed with which it was composed.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Daniel Barenboim conducts Tchaikovsky and a discovery 2015 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

A local visitor: Daniel Barenboim, general music director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin is the guest conductor of the Philharmoniker for this concert. The first piece of the programme is a discovery: Jörg Widmann’s symphonic hymnos Teufel Amor – a work that owes its title to a fragmentary surviving poem by Friedrich Schiller from 1782. In the line “Sweet Amor, / remain in melodic flight”, the text provides a musical reference which gave Widmann the inspiration for his half-hour-long orchestral work. The imagination of the composer was also fired by the contradiction in the title Teufel Amor, which led musically to a linking of strongly contrasting elements. And perhaps it is only the experience of the darkly timbred and “almost unbearably long introduction, in which the assembled violins of the orchestra are silent” (Widmann) that gives the later “beautiful places” of the unabatedly tonally composed music its beguiling effect.

After the interval, Daniel Barenboim turns to Piotr Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Sixth Symphony, the Pathétique, which also begins with an extremely sombre introduction. Tchaikovsky himself declared the symphony to be the “keystone of his whole creative works”; while composing it, he was repeatedly reduced to tears. The idea of the Pathétique as Tchaikovsky’s highly emotional legacy is still given credence by the fact that he died nine days after the premiere. Contemporaries report, however, that the composer worked on the piece no differently than on any other, and turned immediately after its completion to other projects. And in fact, it probably needs a minimum of serenity in order to create such a soulful, but also ingeniously constructed work in which there is, for example, a waltz in the complicated 5/4 time.

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