Belgian soprano Anne-Catherine Gillet has had a significant career in European opera houses, but she has been little-known in the United States. Her 2011 solo album debut, an outstanding recording of three song cycles, ought to change that, though, and bring her to the attention of a broader public. She sings with a tone that is sweet, full, focused, and brightly colorful. Her intonation and technique are irreproachable. Her voice is absolutely solid, from the depths that Berlioz requires to a lyrically soaring top.
Valery Gergiev, fresh from his appointment as chief conductor of the Münchner Philharmoniker in 2015, takes his new ensemble to the BBC Proms for a concert of the utmost in drama and vivid musicianship. The brilliant young Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov performs Rachmaninov’s thrillingly virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 3, while the Russian stage and film actor Alexei Petrenko recites the text in Galina Ustvolskaya’s resonant and profound Symphony No. 3 ‘Jesus Messiah, Save Us!’. The programme also features a hypnotic Ravel Boléro, an alternately tender, florid and witty Rosenkavalier Suite, and the rousing Hungarian March by Berlioz.
The New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Zubin Mehta and Lorin Maazel are among the distinguished Berlioz interpreters on hand as you behold the immortal Symphonie Fantastique and hours of other renowned works by this immensely influential orchestral innovator. Also: Harold in Italy; Tristia for Chorus and Orchestra; Les Troyens: Prelude; Roman Carnival Overture; King Lear Overture for Orchestra; Beatrice et Benedict: Overture; Requiem (Grande Messe Des Morts) for Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra; Veni Creator: Motet for 3 Voices and Chorus; Symphonie Funebre et Triomphale for Band, Strings and Chorus Ad Lib , and more!
The San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas performs one of the most astounding symphonies in the repertoire, the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz. What presumption by this 26-year-old French composer, to think that he could write and produce (he personally hired the players) a massive five-movement symphony! Strange things happen when presumption is matched by genius: the young man created an enduring masterpiece that is still fresh and exciting today, nearly 200 years later…
Colin Davis is arguably the finest Berlioz conductor in the world; both of his recordings of Les Troyens are magnificent and elsewhere he's rarely bettered. His winning streak continues with this live performance with the LSO of Harold in Italy and the ballet music from Troyens. Tabea Zimmermann's solo viola is as grand, brilliantly flavorful, and picturesque as the LSO's playing; and the entire performance swift and rhythmically propulsive is simply fantastic.
Igor Markevitch was a leading conductor, known for brilliant performances, especially of twentieth century music. He was also a composer who attracted some interest in his own day. His parents left Kiev when he was two years old. Markevitch was brought up in Vevey, Switzerland. He took piano lessons from his father and then with Paul Loyonnet and also started to compose.