GERSHWIN: Cuban Overture. GINASTERA: Estancia. MAHLER: Symphony
No. 1 in D 'Titan"
Venezuela's remarkable Il Sistema program for educating children of all ages in performance art has changed the world of music education. The Simón Boíívar Youth Orchestra has given many concerts with conductors including Gustavo Dudamel and many of their performnces have been recorded including videos. For an example, check the remarkable concert given in Bonn, Germany in 2007 (REVIEW). Musicians get older, and eventually the group dropped the word "youth" from their name. El Sistems continues to recruit youngsters into their program so there is a continuyous supply of gifted musicians, many who are in a younger version of the Simón Bolívar Orchetra. They were invited to erform at the Salzburg Festival August 11, 2013. The program of Gershwin, Ginastera and Mahler was acclaimed by all, and it was an amazing event captured on this video. Many of the players are so young their feet barely touch the floor, and their musicianship and concentration are always apparent. Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Gershwin, Mahler and one of the encores, Radetzky March, in which he comically coaxes the enthuysiastic audience when to clap. The Ginastera and Mambo from West Side Story are directed by the rising conductor Jesús Parra. And there is more. The DVD also includes a performance by another Venezuelan youth ensemble, the White Hands Choir of Venezuela directed by Naybeth Garcia and Luis Chinchilla. Again, their performances of music of Mozart and varilous Latin American composers are enthusiasticlly received by the capacity audience. This is a fascinating program well worth your investigation.
Here are two more programs in the Berlin Philharmonic's series of annual concerts given May 1 of every year given in various venues to commemorate the anniversary of the orchestra's founding. The concerts ind began in 1991. The concert of 1999 was given in Krakow's magnificent St. Mary Church, and video director gives many opportunities to see it. Bernard Haitink conducted a sterling concert with soprano Christine Schäfer in music of Mozart, Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Emanuel Ax as soloist, and Schumann's Symphony No. 1. Daniel Barenboim led the 1997 concert presented in the spectcular Opéra Royal du Cháteau de Versailles, both as conductor and pianist. The program opened with Ravel's Le Tombeaude Couperin after which Bareboim played Mozart's Concerto No. 13 leading from the keyboard. The program ended with Beethoven's Eroica, and Barenboim does not use a score. A bonus on this recording is a beautifully filmed video of the venue, magnificent indeed. .Both of these concerts have been remastered for high definition and visually are totally satisfying. Audio is richer for the Haitink concert. Other DVDs of Eurokonzerts mentoned on this site are Europokonzert 2000 with Claudio Abbado conducting Beethoven (REVIEW), 1998 with Claudio Abbado conducting Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Verdi (REVIEW), and 2013 with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozema amd Sir Simon Rattle on the podium (REVIEW). Many excerpts from E aurokonzerts are available on YouTube.
R.E.B. (August 2014)