<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> David Zinman / BBC Proms/ Julia Fischer / La forza del destino <%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Davud Zinman / Julia Fischer / BBC Proms / La forza del destino / Valery Gergiev / MNun ich Philharmonic

RAVEL: Boléro. RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30. USTVOLSKAYA: Symphony No. 3 "Jesus Messiah , Save Us!" STRAUSS: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. BERLIOZ: Hugarian March.
Behzod Abduraimov, piano. Alexsi Petrenko, reciter. Munich Philharmoniic Orchestra / Valery Gergiev, cond,
NAXOS DVD TT: 1.51.15

STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Op. 28,. DVORÁK: Violin Conceto, Op, 53. BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6 in F, Op. 68 "Pastorale." TRAD: vviva i soci
Julia Fischer, violin. Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra / David Zinman, cond.
NAXOS DVD TT: 102 min.

VERDI: La forza del destino
Nina Stemme (Leonora). Carlos Álvarez (Don Carlo). Salvatore Licitra (Don Alvaro). Alastair Miles (Marchese di Calatrava / Padre Guardiano). Nadia Krasteva (Preziosilla). Tiziano Bracci (Fra Melitone). Orchestra nd Chorus of the Vienna State Opera / Zubin Mehta, cond.
C MAJOR BLU RAY DVD 15762 TT: 161 min..

A BBC Proms concert in 2016 featured Valery Gergiev conducting the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra of which he was appointed Music Director the previous year. It was a rather odd program beginning with Ravel's Boléro, a work that usually ends a concert. Then young Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov was featured in Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3. I was not impressed by this reading. The performance was accurate enough, but hardly exciting, and the pianist is a "bender" at the keyboard, always moving more than necessary. Fortunately usually the camera is on his hands. A performance of a Rachmaninoff concerted work usually produces an ovation; this one had limited applause. Galina Ustvolskaya's Symphony No. 3 subtitled Jesus Messiah, Save Us," is for narrator and orchestra. Written in 1983, the Russian text is taken from a Marian poem Most Holy Trinity. Alexi Petrenko is the impressive narrator. This 16-minute work, with its unusual scoring, is one of the ugliest works you will hear on the concert stage, and it received only a polite reaction from the audience. The orchestra then redeems the musical scene with a suite from Der Rosenkavalier and, as an encore, Hungarian March of Berlioz. Approach with caution¡

The 2014 BBC Proms included a special concert with the Zürich Tonhalle Orchestra directed by David Zinman. who had been music director for two decades. ■his was his final concert with the orchestra. During his tenure they had made many splendid recordings including symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler as well as symphonic poems of Richard Strauss. This concert opened with a virtuoso reading of Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, followed by Dvorák's Violin Concerto featuring the amazing Julia Fischer. . She is unique as she is almost as fine a pianist as she is a violinist. You can see her video performance of Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3, with the Grieg Piano Concerto on the second hal of the concert—a stunning achievement (REVIEW). As an encore after the Dvorák on this Proms Concert, she gives a scintillating account of the finale from Hindemith's Violin Sonata in G minor. After intermission we have a brisk account of Beethoven's Pastorale. The concerts with a n audience-pleaser, an elaborate orchestral arrangement of the delightful Swiss folk song Evviva i soci. Video is excellent, as is audio. Recommended!

This superb Forza del destino was praised on this site some years ago when initially released on DVD (REVIEW). It surely is among the finest you will hear, in spite of the modern production. Singing is outstanding, and now ir is available on Blu Ray with video and sound slightly better than before. This is a major addition to the catalog.

R.E.B. (February 2018)