Live on the Web, Presents Dutilleux’s Tree of Dreams (Today, Feb 24) and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos with Renée Fleming (Feb 25)

“The hits keep coming at” — Alex Ross (The Rest Is Noise)

This weekend, offers two more must-see musical events live on the web. This afternoon, Friday February 24 at 2 pm, violinist Renaud Capuçon performs Henri Dutilleux’s gorgeous L’Arbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams), with conductor Tugan Sokhiev and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. The Toulouse program also presents Tchaikovsky’s great “Pathétique” Symphony. On February 25 at 2:15 pm, is especially proud to present the opera Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, starring soprano Renée Fleming and conducted by Christian Thielemann, in a production from Baden-Baden, Germany.

Premiered in the 1980s by the eminent violinist Isaac Stern (who commissioned the work), Dutilleux’s L'Arbre des songes is a rare classic among contemporary concertos. Scored for a large orchestra that includes a piano, cimbalom, and five percussionists, the work is a wonder of the imagination: from the color-rich instrumentation to the exotic melodies and harmony, brought from dream to life by the French composer. Soloist Renaud Capuçon won a Diapason d’Or for his 2002 recording of Dutilleux’s piece on Virgin Classics. The program’s second half features Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique.” Since Tugan Sokhiev has been music director of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the ensemble has been acclaimed for its performances of Russian music – from Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky to Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. The orchestra’s recordings of Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5 on the Naïve label have earned just praise for their idiomatic flair.

Those who had the pleasure of witnessing the production of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus still talk about the joys of that rare theatrical experience. The driving forces behind that lauded Rosenkavalier – soprano Renée Fleming and conductor Christian Thielemann – have teamed again for Ariadne auf Naxos, the 1916 follow-up to Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Ariadne auf Naxos showed once again that Strauss was a lover of the female voice in all its lyrical refinement and emotional beauty. The young Cavalier to Fleming’s Marschallin in the Baden-Baden Rosenkavalier was Sophie Koch, who also returns to co-star as the Composer to Fleming’s Ariadne. The stage director and set designer of the Festspielhaus production is Philippe Arlaud. In 2011 also broadcast a Strauss program featuring Renée Fleming and Christian Thielemann live from the prestigious Salzburg Festival.

Live in February at

Feb 24, 2 pm EST
Renaud Capuçon and Tugan Sokhiev in Dutilleux and Tchaikovsky
Renaud Capuçon, violin; Tugan Sokhiev, conductor; Orchestre National du Capitole

Feb 25, 2:15 pm EST
Renée Fleming and Christian Thielemann in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos
Renée Fleming (Ariadne/Prima Donna); Sophie Koch (The Composer); Christian Thielemann, conductor; Staatskapelle Dresden


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