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Work of the Week – Georges Bizet: Carmen

Banner Bizet Carmen (c) Royal Theatre Copenhagen

The tragedy of Bizet’s Carmen has gripped audiences and inspired countless productions since its first performance in 1875. Today, the opera is one of the most well-known and frequently performed works in the genre. On 14 September, a new production by Barrie Kosky opens at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov. The new production will use material from Verlagsgruppe Hermann’s “Edition Meisterwerke”, which brings together all previously published versions of the work into a single critical edition allowing for direct comparison of the differences between individual publications.

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Work of the Week – Ryan Wigglesworth: Piano Concerto

Ryan Wigglesworth will make no fewer than three appearances as a conductor at this year’s BBC Proms, including on 28 August 2019 when he will direct the world premiere of his Piano Concerto with Marc-André Hamelin and Britten Sinfonia. The new work is the result of a joint commission between BBC Radio 3 and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

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Work of the Week – Henri Dutilleux: L’arbre des songes

L’arbre des songes, the tree of dreams – the perfect choice to conclude a concert beginning with Rêverie et Caprice by Hector Berlioz. In a dreamlike program, the Orchestre National de Lyon conducted by Kristiina Poska draws a link from Berlioz to Ravel, Debussy, and Dutilleux in their concert in La Côte-Saint-André on 21 August. The violin soloist will be Renaud Capuçon.

Capuçon himself has a link to L’arbre des songes through the work’s dedicatee, Isaac Stern: Not only was Capuçon Stern’s student, but since 2005 he has played the Guarneri del Gesù ‘Panette’ that Stern used for 50 years. L’arbre des songes was commissioned for Isaac Stern by Radio France has remained a one of the most popular contemporary violin concertos since its first performance in 1985.

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Work of the Week – Giuseppe Verdi: Nabucco

On 17 August, a new production of Verdi’s Nabucco will be staged at Burgplatz Open Air in Braunschweig. The production uses the revised edition published by Verlagsgruppe Hermann, available through Schott Music. The Hermann edition is an authoritative final edition of the opera that includes all the changes the composer made following the work’s initial publication.

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Work of the Week – Huw Watkins: The Moon

On 8 August 2019, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales conducted by Tadaaki Otaka will give the world premiere of Huw Watkins’ new work The Moon at the BBC Proms. The work, which has been inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing on 20 July 1969, is the result of a major BBC Radio 3 commission for chorus and orchestra that will be further augmented by the Royal Albert Hall’s organ.

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Work of the Week – Carl Orff: Carmina Burana

“O Fortuna” – this appeal to the goddess of destiny marks the beginning of the well-known cantata Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Many have heard this work used in the soundtracks of film, television and advertisements, or in one of its countless concert performances around the world. This summer, audiences in Germany can enjoy performances at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival on 2 August and at the Rheingau Musik Festival on 4 August, both conducted by Justus Frantz with the Philharmonie der Nationen. Also on 4 August, the Hitachi Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Hideaki Muto will perform the work at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre.

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Work of the Week – Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Das Wunder der Heliane

Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane) has enjoyed a recent period of rediscovery with performances of the work in Brno, Gent, and Freiburg. Last year a production by Deutsche Oper Berlin was awarded “Rediscovery of the year” by Opernwelt magazine. The opera will receive its US premiere this month at the Bard Music Festival as part of the festival’s theme, “Korngold and his world”. The performance will take place on 26 July, performed by the American Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leon Botstein; the director will be Christian Räth.

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Work of the Week – George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

Since its world premiere in 1924, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has become one of the most famous symphonic works of the 20th century, and features regularly in the programmes of orchestras around the world. On 21 July, at the Klassik Open Air in the Luitpoldhain in Nuremberg, Joana Mallwitz conducts the Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg and pianist, Michail Lifits, in a performance of this iconic work.

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Work of the Week – Peter Eötvös: Alhambra

Peter Eötvös found inspiration for his third violin concerto Alhambra in the picturesque fortress enthroned over the southern Spanish city of Granada from which the work takes its name. The world premiere of the violin concerto will take place on 12 July at the palace of Charles V in the center of Alhambra. Soloist Isabelle Faust and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado – to whom the work is dedicated – will perform with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

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Work of the Week – Joaquín Rodrigo: Dos danzas españolas

Fiery beats for a hot summer – that’s what Dos danzas españolas by Joaquín Rodrigo has in store. The driving rhythm of castanets shapes and colours these two Spanish dances, making this entertaining Suite para castañuelas y orquesta perfect for summer concerts. With the theme “Y Viva España”, Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin presents music of southern Europe in their Festival “Meckproms”, including Dos danzas españolas with music director Daniel Huppert on 2 July at the open-air stage Schwerin and on 7 July in the garden of Bothmer castle in Klütz.
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