With each live webcast at www.medici.tv, more music lovers around the world learn how to experience superlative classical music and opera performances in the comfort and intimacy of their own homes. Now, as the holiday season shifts into high gear, three remarkable – and free-of-charge! – musical offerings provide a glimpse of the riches available at www.medici.tv: Giorgio Strehler’s legendary production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro from the Opéra National de Paris (available for streaming through Dec 31); Serge Baudo conducting Berlioz’s luminous oratorio, L’enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ), which will be webcast live from the Auditorium de Lyon on December 16 (and available afterwards for streaming on demand); and a complete cycle of Mahler’s nine symphonies conducted by Christoph Eschenbach (available until June 2011).
Giorgio Strehler’s production of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro debuted 37 years ago in Paris. The current revival of the production – filmed by Don Kent – was broadcast on French TV network France 3 in early November, when it met with great success. Conductor Philippe Jordan, Music Director of Opéra de Paris, leads a superb cast including Ludovic Tézier as Count Almaviva, Barbara Frittoli as Countess Almaviva, Ekaterina Syurina as Susanna, Luca Pisaroni as Figaro, and Karine Deshayes as Cherubino. The program debuted at www.medici.tv on November 22 and is available for free-of-charge streaming there, and at www.operadeparis.fr, until December 31.
For the Mahler-lover, there can be few greater gifts this season than the complete cycle of the great Austrian composer’s world-embracing symphonies, available for free streaming at www.medici.tv. Marking the twin occasions of the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth and the centenary of his death, as well as Christoph Eschenbach’s 70th birthday, www.medici.tv’s Mahler cycle features Eschenbach, one of the world’s pre-eminent Mahler conductors, leading the Orchestre de Paris in performances recorded over the past three seasons. From the hushed and portentous sounds of nature that open the First Symphony, to the heart-wrenching leave-taking in the finale of the Ninth, Eschenbach’s Mahler cycle is an unforgettable musical and spiritual journey. Mahler’s Nine Symphonies are available for streaming at www.medici.tv, as well as at www.christoph-eschenbach.com and www.orchestredeparis.com, until June 2011.
Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ) is perfect holiday listening, especially for those who prefer to forego the season’s ubiquitous performances of Handel’s Messiah (gorgeous though it is). Conductor Serge Baudo conducts the Choir and Soloists of Lyon-Bernard Tétu in a performance webcast live at www.medici.tv on Thursday, December 16 at 6:30pm, which will be available afterwards for streaming on demand. Described by Berlioz as a “sacred trilogy,” the work for vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra is based on the story of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt. Unlike so many of the French composer’s works, L’enfance met with great success at its premiere in Paris in 1855. Some commentators were relieved to hear a Berlioz score free of bombast, and congratulated the composer on his radically new style. Berlioz rejected the notion, however, explaining, “The subject naturally lent itself to a gentle and simple style of music, and for that reason alone was more in accordance with their taste and intelligence.”
In addition to these and many more free offerings, www.medici.tv offers an extraordinary catalogue of video-on-demand programs featuring a host of legendary artists in concert, recital, and opera performances, documentaries, and portraits – all for the exceptionally low price of $10 per month and $99 for an entire year.