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Tag: Daniel Barenboim

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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Berliner Philharmoniker – Daniel Barenboim conducts dance music from all round the world 2001 1080p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

In 2001, the Berliner Philharmoniker and conductor Daniel Barenboim celebrated New Year’s Eve with dance music from three centuries. The proceedings began with a gavotte by Bach – the first time that one of the Thomaskantor’s works had been heard at a New Year’s Eve concert since 1984, when Karajan conducted the Magnificat. There followed a minuet by Mozart and the Rondo for Piano and Orchestra K. 386, for which Barenboim abandoned the conductor’s podium for the keyboard – much to the delight of the audience.

After this Classical and Baroque opening, it was the turn of the Romantics with the cheeky Dance of the Moorish Slaves from Verdi’s Aida and Dvořák’s impassioned Slavonic Dance No. 8. A series of very special waltzes followed in the form of Tchaikovsky’s gossamer-light Dance of the Flowers from The Nutcracker, Sibelius’s melancholy Valse triste and the splendid Emperor Waltz by Johann Strauß, encouraging listeners and musicians alike to revel in the music’s triple-time rhythms.

With Kodály’s Dances of Galánta Barenboim then moved into the 20th century before ending his programme with two bonnes bouches from his Latin American homeland: with Horacio Salgán’s tango for orchestra, A fuego lento, and the catchy, jazz-inspired Tico Tico, the orchestra once again showed that there is no musical language in the world in which it is not at home. As one critic wrote, “There are not many symphony orchestras, especially in Europe, that could articulate these exotic rhythms with such razor-sharp clarity.” The audience’s enthusiasm persuaded the orchestra to perform three encores before conductor and orchestra were allowed to leave the platform, after which the concertgoers hurried away to other New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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Berliner Philharmoniker – Chopin’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 with Daniel Barenboim und Asher Fisch (2009) 720p WEB-DL AAC2.0 H.264-CHDWEB

Over the many decades that Daniel Barenboim has worked with the Berliner Philharmoniker, he has performed countless major piano concertos – but for a long time not one by Chopin. This omission is fully rectified in this concert from 2009 when as soloist he performed both of Chopin’s contributions to the genre in just one evening.

The subtle yet extravagant outpourings of beauty of his music have made Chopin into Poland’s most popular composer. A further two composers represented this evening show, however, that he is no longer the sole embodiment of Polish music. Szymanowski made his breakthrough with a concert in 1906 which included the Concert Overture op. 12 – a work of rich chromaticism and effervescence reminiscent of Strauss’s Don Juan. Just as Szymanowski became the most prominent Polish composer of the early 20th century, Lutosławski was regarded as the seminal musical figure of his native land after the Second World War. The multifaceted composer is represented at this concert by his neoclassical Overture for Strings.

In this concert, Asher Fisch made his début with the Berliner Philharmoniker a conductor who so far has made a name for himself primarily in the world’s opera houses, including the Vienna and Bavarian State Opera houses, the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala, Milan.

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Daniel Barenboim – Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte (1979/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Daniel Barenboim – Mendelssohn: Lieder ohne Worte (1979/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 02:11:58 minutes | 2,03 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

When in 1973 the 22-year-old Daniel Adni first recorded the Songs without Words (as part of a three-LP Mendelssohn recital) he had the field to himself. Nowadays things are rather different, with notable competition coming from the searching Livia Rev, and in sharper contrast, the volatile Daniel Barenboim, whose characterization does yet more to emphasize the variety of the set as a whole.

The obvious difference between the two Daniels is choice of tempo. Almost always, and so often in blander contexts, Adni favours a more leisurely approach, robbing his phrasing of an element of longer forward flow, and causing several Andante numbers to outstay their welcome since he includes every repeat. The three delightful gondola songs are certainly too static to convey the liquidity of water. And he surely takes too solemn a view of the engaging Duet at the end of Book 2, marked Andante con moto. Conversely, I sometimes thought Barenboim just a shade too hasty for the music’s good, not just in agitato contexts but also in a piece such as the meditative D major Adagio in the final book. Yet there is always a stronger sense of motivation behind his spontaneous phrasing, and always his melody sings and soars in response to the connotation of Mendelssohn’s title.

All that said, there is much that is very pleasing in Adni’s self-effacing, caring, truly serious musicianship. As I remarked when the record first emerged, such emotional as well as pianistic composure is not encountered every day of the week from one so young. And the round, mellow warmth of his tone is never for a moment in doubt in this very clear, albeit close, recording.’ (Gramophone)

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