Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
GO Plus
(in progress)
Director: Hans Hadulla
Live-Stream for: Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
Streaming dates: Nov. 8th, 2016 | Dec. 13th, 2016 | May 9th, 2017 | June 20th, 2017 | July 11th, 2017
16:9 shot in 1080i HD | 5.1 surround sound
© 2016 / 2017, a BFMI production for Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne
The Gürzenich Or­chestra Cologne makes its performances archive avail­able on de­mand with GO PLUS, the or­chestra’s stream­ing platform, present­ing a se­lection of entire concerts performed by the Gürzenich Or­chestra from each sea­son. The concert HD streams of the 2016/17 sea­son, recorded live in Cologne’s Philharmonie include:

Mozart | Brahms
Gürzenich-Or­chester Köln
Leonidas Kavakos, Vio­lin and Con­ductor
Recorded on 08 November 2016

As a vio­lin virtuoso, Leonidas Kavakos is an international star. In November 2016 he performed at the Gürzenich Or­chestra’s concerts as con­ductor as well. His concert programme in Cologne focuses on two fixed stars in the mu­sical sky: Johannes Brahms and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Expe­ri­ence the unfor­gettable mo­ments once again in au­dio and video.
The Gürzenich Or­chestra’s last performance of the “Prague Sympho­ny” was quite a while back: Günter Wand most re­cently con­ducted the work with the or­chestra in November 1967. Kavakos emphat­ically gives the performance his person­al stamp. His interpretation of Johannes Brahms’s Fourth Sympho­ny also orig­inates in his deep under­standing of Brahms’s chamber mu­sic: Kavakos il­luminates the great sym­phon­ic work for its hidden beauties. In Mozart’s Vio­lin Concerto No. 3, Kavakos under­scores as both soloist and con­ductor why Alfred Einstein de­clared the work “a mir­acle”.

Saint-Saëns Portrait
Gürzenich-Or­chester Köln
Jean-François Heiss­er, Piano
Daniel Roth, Organ
François-Xavi­er Roth, Con­ductor
Recorded on 13 December 2016

In a portrait concert commem­o­rating the 95th anniversary of Saint-Saëns’s death, Gürzenich Or­chestra Principal Con­ductor François-Xavi­er Roth has cho­sen three of the most important works from the French compos­er’s out­put:
in Danse macabre from 1874, an out-of-tune vio­lin accompa­nies rattling skeletons in a demon­ic nighttime dance, a mas­ter­piece of program mu­sic with almost im­pres­sion­is­tic timbres. His Fifth Piano Concerto, completed in 1896 in North Africa, where Saint-Saëns had found a sec­ond home, is quite differ­ent. The concerto was giv­en the nickname “Egyptian” because of the Ori­ental char­ac­ter of the mid­dle move­ment in which – as Saint-Saëns said – a Nubian love song he once “heard boatmen on the Nile sing­ing” can be heard. Finally, in the “Organ Sympho­ny” of 1885-86 the wealth of tonal col­or produced by the large or­chestra, against which the “queen of in­stru­ments” has to measure it­self, is im­pressive. Daniel Roth, the fa­ther of the Gürzenich principal con­ductor and tit­ular organ­ist of the Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris – and one of the best organ­ists of our time – will make it a work of aston­ish­ing grandeur.

Britten | Ch­in | Rav­el |Debussy
Gürzenich-Or­chester Köln
Do­na­ti­enne Michel-Dansac, sopra­no
François-Xavi­er Roth, con­ductor
Recorded on 9 May 2017

The sea always rep­resents the world: vast, deceitfully wave­less, trou­bled by storms, the strokes of fate full of hidden lurking cliffs and reefs, the perils of life. (Christoph Hönig)
The wonderful and seductive sing­ing of the sirens has been the downfall of many a mariner. An iri­de­s­cent piece by Kore­an compos­er Unsuk Ch­in breathes new life into the myth of the sirens, setting texts by Homer and James Joyce – interpreted with ir­resis­tible force and lyric intensity by sopra­no Do­na­ti­enne Michel-Dansac. The dan­gers of life at sea are also the subject of “Peter Grimes” by Benjam­in Britten. The four “Sea Interludes” bring togeth­er the opera’s emotional storms. Concluding the concert, the two French col­orists Rav­el and Debussy have “cap­tured” the sea in tone-paint­ings re­vealing the most artis­tic and sub­tle compo­sitional nuances. This is mu­sic that evolves from the finely detailed interplay of nu­mer­ous very small mo­tifs. As Debussy once wrote him­self: in a “mys­te­rious convergence of na­ture and the imag­ination.”

Prokofiev | Bloch | Tschaikovsky
Gürzenich-Or­chester Köln
Nicolas Al­tstaedt, vio­lon­cello
Lahav Shani, con­ductor
Recorded on 20 June 2017

The question “Who am I?” under­lies all the works in this concert program. In search of his mu­sical identity, Ernst Bloch included his expe­ri­ences, desires and dreams in this “re­cited” cello concerto full of or­chestral colours that is based on the Old Testa­ment fig­ure of King Solomon. Bloch was search­ing for mu­sic with “Hebrew themes.” His Russian col­league Sergej Prokofjew was one of the first composers who cap­tured the typical sound of klezmer mu­sic in his Over­ture on Hebrew Themes. Pe­ter Tschaikowsky, too, found him­self through his compos­ing. “The Fourth orig­inates from my very be­ing and was composed with true in­spiration, love and fer­vent enthu­siasm. There is not a note in the score that did not arise from my sin­cer­est feel­ings.” Hope­lessness but also joy and happi­ness perme­ate this autobi­o­graph­ically tinged sympho­ny. Cellist Nicolas Al­tstaedt and con­ductor Lahav Shani – two of the most versa­tile and internationally popular young concert artists – are perform­ing with the Gürzenich Or­chestra.

Lachenmann | Bruckner
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
François-Xavier Roth, conductor
Recorded on 11 July 2017

In the last concert of season 2016/17, Bruckner’s 8th Symphony meets Lachenmann’s “Tableau”. Although Bruckner experienced the greatest success in his career as a composer with the Eighth, he remained ‘outmoded’. In contrast, Lachenmann’s “Tableau” examines the magic props of romantic music, seeking a new experience of beauty. Bruckner rarely heard words of praise during his lifetime like these from Hugo Wolf after the premiere of his 8th Symphony:“This Symphony is the creation of a Titan and in spiritual dimension, richness and grandeur surpasses all the master's other symphonies. Notwithstanding the usual Cassandra prophecies of woe, even from those in the know, its success was almost without precedent. It was the absolute victory of light over darkness, and the storm of applause at the end of each movement was like some elemental manifestation of nature. In short, even a Roman emperor could not have wished for a more superb triumph.” With the Eighth, Bruckner experienced the greatest success in his career as composer. And yet he remained ‘outmoded’ with this symphony, as with his others.

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