Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Berlioz, Ives, & Shostakovich vs. Berlioz, Britten, & Saariaho: "Digital Concert Hall" Offering Half-Price Opening Concert; “Keeping Score" To Follow

First Salzburg streamed Mozart's "Cosi fan Tutte" live, and a week later Bayreuth streamed Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" live. For orchestral music fans, the Berlin Philharmonic's "Digital Concert Hall" is offering its season opening concert streamed live on August 28, 2009 at 1 PM East Coast Time and 10 AM West Coast Time. The program -- under Sir Simon Rattle -- includes a work by Britten, a world premiere by Kaija Saariaho, and Hector Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique".

Ticket's for this opening concert are half the price of the remaining 32 concerts of the Berlin Philharmonic's 2009-10 "Digital Concert Hall" season -- about $7, rather than the normal $14. Monthly and full seasonal passes are also available, as is access to the archives of the "Digital Concert Hall's" Berlin 2009 spring season. Student's can receive a 30% discount; and individual works can also be heard for about $4.25 each. (Lots of Lutoslawski, Boulez, and especially Carter to choose from; as well as major orchestral and choral works and the Haydn opera "Orlando Paladino" revived recently in both Berlin and Amsterdam.)

Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphonies #4 and #12 and the first Violin Concerto (with Guy Braunstein) will be highlights of the Berlin Philharmonic "Digital Concert Hall" programming in September and early October 2009.


In San Francisco, the San Francisco Symphony will focus its energies in September on a three week series of concerts featuring works of Gustav Mahler, which will be recorded for later audio and DVD/Blu Ray release. Included will be the popular Mahler Symphonies #1 and 5, and Susan Graham and Thomas Hampson singing two rarer but exquisite Mahler song cycles (which will be recorded and filmed, as part of the "Origins and Legacies" in-depth component of the San Francisco Symphony "Keeping Score" programs on Mahler).

The Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Symphony and Chorus new recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand, and the Adagio from Symphony No. 10 is available starting today on itunes, and on August 25 in the Symphony Store and in other stores. (Subscribers can get a copy for free to keep or give as a gift with their paid subscription.)

Finally, the second season of the San Francisco Symphony's great "Keeping Score" television and DVD/Blu Ray series kicks off with three new PBS national broadcasts during the second half of October 2009 -- documentary and musical programs on Berlioz, Ives, and Shostakovich (and featuring complete performances of the Symphony Fantastique, the Holidays Symphony, and the Fifth Symphony, respectively).

An in-depth preview of this second San Francisco Symphony "Keeping Score" season to follow. (Photo treatments above courtesy of the San Francisco Symphony.)


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