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My Classical Notes
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SATURDAY • 26 MAY • 19:30


Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin – Main stage


Bismarckstraße 35, 10627 Berlin, Germany

About the Event:

Enjoy the charms of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Mozart’s best-known opera transports us to a fabulous world whose inhabitants are as familiar with life’s tribulations and depths as they are with the rules governing the overarching values of humanity. At once a cheerful and profound work, ‘The Magic Flute’ appeals to audiences both young and old.

In German with German and English surtitles


Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
The Magic Flute, KV 620
Libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder

Cast / Production

Conductor: Ido Arad, Daniel Cohen
Director: Günter Krämer
Stage-design, Costume-design: Andreas Reinhardt
Choir Conductor: Raymond Hughes

Queen of the Night: Hulkar Sabirova

Three boys: Chorakademie Dortmund / Tölzer Knabenchor

Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

13 hours ago |
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On this recording, violinist Christian Tetzlaff performs Béla Bartók’s (1881–1945) two masterpieces in a new recording with Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu.

Christian Tetzlaff is considered one of the world’s leading international violinists and maintains a most extensive performing schedule. Musical America named him ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in 2005 and his recording of the violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Schumann, released in 2011 received the ‘Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik’.

Recordings by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu have gathered excellent reviews in the international press. Their most recent release with orchestral works and songs by Jean Sibelius won an ICMA Award in January 2018. The same album was also Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine and Orchestral Choice in the BBC Music Magazine.

Here is the Concerto number 2 by Bela Bartok (be patient, it takes a while to start.)

1 day ago |
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Featured Artist:

Khatia  Buniatishvili


Liszt Academy

Address: H-1094 Budapest, Páva u. 10–12.


April 9, 2018, 19:30


Mozart Overture to The Magic Flute, K.620
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, op.23

— intermission —

Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet – fantasia-overture
Tchaikovsky Francesca da Rimini, op.32

Featuring Khatia Buniatishvili, piano
Conductor András Keller

2 days ago |
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I first came to hear Stephen Hough as a pianist. And much later I discovered that he was  an exciting composer as well.

Now Hough has launched a new recording of music by Claude Debussy that ought to be great for those remaining rainy days.

Works on this recording are as follows:

Estampes (3) (Complete)


La Soirée Dans Grenade

Jardins Sous La Pluie

Debussy: Images pour piano – Book 1

Reflets Dans L’Eau

Hommage À Rameau


Debussy: Images pour piano – Book 2

Cloches À Travers Les Feuilles

Et La Lune Descend Sur Le Temple Qui Fut

Poissons D’Or

Debussy: Children’s Corner

Doctor Gradus Ad Parnassum

Jimbo’s Lullaby

Serenade For The Doll

The Snow Is Dancing

The Little Shepherd

Golliwogg’s Cake-Walk

Debussy: La Plus Que Lente, L 128

Debussy: L’Isle Joyeuse, L 109

Here is music from this recording:

2 days ago |
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British pianist Paul Lewis is highly regarded as one of the leading musicians of his generation. His recordings of key piano works by Beethoven and Schubert have received unanimous critical and public acclaim worldwide.

Paul Lewis studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel. He is co-Artistic Director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK, and the Leeds International Piano Competition.

This recording is the first of a series of CD’s of Haydn Sonatas that Paul Lewis will be recording, matching his recital touring program for the coming years, following his previous immersions in the music of Beethoven and then in Schubert.

Here is Paul Lewis playing the amazing music of Haydn:

6 days ago |
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While I have been a devoted Mahler fan for many years, I have not been able to penetrate the secrets of this work. On one hand, I enjoy the movements titled “Night Music”, but on the other hand I cannot seem to tie the whole thing into a cohesive whole.

Perhaps an outstanding conductor can help?

Mariss Jansons’ international reputation as a Mahler conductor is indisputable. During his tenure as chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Jansons did not record a full cycle of Mahler symphonies. With this recording that project is now  complete.

Mahler himself led the Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Dutch premiere of the Seventh in October 1909. How must the audience in the Main Hall have reacted to this whimsical work with its night-time atmosphere and eerie sounds? Although this vast symphony, featuring a number of unconventional instruments like the mandolin and guitar, did not catch on right away, it would slowly but surely win the hearts of music lovers everywhere.

Here is the Mahler Symphony number 7, as performed by Mariss Jansons:

7 days ago |
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Pianist Alexandre Tharaud and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras are long-established as a duo team, and they have chosen works that lie at the heart of the Romantic repertoire, all by Brahms: his two cello sonatas and the duo’s own transcriptions of six of the Hungarian Dances.

Here is the  Brahms Cello Sonata number 1 from this recording:

8 days ago |
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Time passes, and things change. Pianist Alfred Brendel no longer appears in live concerts. Imagine briefly how surprised I was to see him in a recorded concert with Martha Argerich and her friends. He was a page turner for one of the performers. But on this recording he is the STAR! This music was recorded before Brendel’s retirement in a performance with the Vienna Philharmonic.

The Schumann Piano Concerto requires virtually everything a pianist should have to offer: poetry, virtuosity, and tasteful space between the notes – Brendel passes the test on all accounts with his passionate, insightful and refreshing interpretation.

On this Schumann Piano Concerto performance, taken from Brendel’s 70th Birthday residency in 2001, with the inestimable partners in Sir Simon Rattle and the Wiener Philharmoniker, Alfred Brendel writes that “listening to this live recording I felt that, for once, I heard what I wanted to hear”.

Brahms’ “Handel” Variations are what many consider to be the most imposing piece of its kind composed in the four decades that separate it from Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations.

This work by Brahms offers us a wealth of different characteristics, color and masterful combinations. The Fugue in particular is something to marvel at with its fine pianistic power.

Alfred Brendel has never recorded the Brahms “Handel” Variations in the studio which makes this his first commercially available recording of the work.

Here is the opening of the Schumann Concerto for your enjoyment:

10 days ago |
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Czech composer Antonín Dvorák at age thirty-six  had risen to the front rank of European composers, and had done so with works that identified their national, popular aura in their title.

The first book of Slavonic Dances for piano four hands, written within a few weeks at the beginning of the year 1878, had become a genuine hit with the public.

Just a few months later, in May 1878, Dvorák explored the question of how far the style-defining characteristics of the dances could be transferred to other genres in the formal tradition of the sonata and the symphony, and especially his preferred medium of chamber music. Finally, the finished score of a string sextet in A major lay on his desk, answering that question not just adequately but in highly impressive way.

On the one hand, the four-movement work, premiered by the augmented Joachim Quartet in Berlin at the end of July 1879 and published by Simrock shortly thereafter, confronts the influence of the Austro-German school in a very responsible, manner.

On the other hand, it is the spontaneity of inspiration that really captivates the listener. ‘That fellow has more ideas than all of us’, an astounded Brahms is said to have declared in 1875 when a score by this previously unknown Bohemian came into his hands for the first time. ‘Anyone else could pick up their main themes from his rejects.’

And years later, on the occasion of a Viennese performance of Dvorák’s Sextet, it was Brahms again who enthused to his friend the composer and conductor Richard Heuberger over its ‘wonderful invention, freshness and beauty of sound’, observing ‘I always have the feeling that people don’t admire this piece enough’.

Here is the second movement from the Sextet by Antonin Dvorak:

12 days ago |
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The orchestral score of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring created a dramatic event in music history because of its originality, amazing rhythms, and highly creative use of instrumental ideas.

Before the orchestral score was completed in 1913 for the first performance as a Ballet, this work was only known by its score for two pianos. On this recording, we get to listen to Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin recapture the astounding thrill which must have been in the air when Igor Stravinsky sat down at the piano with Claude Debussy to create this landmark of modernism.

Also included on this CD is the Stravinsky Concerto for Two Pianos.

Here is the two piano version, with Martha Argerich playing one of the parts:

13 days ago |
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