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Verbier Festival

October 11 to 15


From October 11 to 15, Stingray Brava presents eight never-before-seen broadcasts from the 2017 Verbier Festival! Enjoy performances by today’s greatest pianists, accompanied by the Verbier Festival Orchestra and world-leading conductors Gábor Takács-Nagy and Mikhail Pletnev. 

Thursday, October 11 at 14:00 CEST | Ji Liu – Piano Recital

Playing with his elbow and forearm, then with his fingertips, from French Baroque with Rameau to American jazz with Frederic Rzewski, Ji Liu is a prodigious pianist with unlimited repertoire. "I try to show various aspects of my personality to the listeners," he told a Literaturnaya Gazeta reporter, and we could add that he achieves this with flying colors and constant generosity. On the program: Schubert's Sonata No. 8, Rzewski Winsboro's Cotton Mill Blues, Liszt's Transcendental Studies Nos. 10 and 11, Scriabin's Sonata No. 10, Book I Preludes, No. 10 Submerged Cathedral, Book II, No. 12 Fires Debussy's artifice and Danse macabre of Saint-Saëns / Horowitz. In rehearsal, he played Gavotte and six doubles of Rameau and the waltz in C # minor opus 64, No. 2 of Chopin. This concert was recorded at the Verbier Festival 2017.

Thursday, October 11 at 21:00 CEST | Antonio Pappano conducts the VFO with Yefim Bronfman

The Verbier Festival Orchestra under the baton of Antonio Pappano plays Brahms’s second piano concerto with Yefim Bronfman on the piano. Brahms’s second piano concerto is the longest concerto in the repertoire – a titanic masterpiece in four movements (most of the concertos composed up to that time had only three) which interpretation calls for an artist of Yefim Bronfman’s stature. In Philippe Roth’s own words, Yefim Bronfman “has strolled into the music shed out of a circus where he is the strongman who takes on the piano as a ridiculous challenge to the gargantuan strength he revels in”. This recording was made at the Verbier Festival 2017.

Friday, October 12 at 14:05 CEST | Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducts the VFO with Mikhail Pletnev 

The Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev plays together with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra at the Verbier Festival 2017. The orchestra starts off with Mozart's Symphony No. 35, Haffner. All together they perform Schumann's concerto in A minor, a piece renowned for its romantic themes as well as its delicacy and a unique balance is beautifully achieved by conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy and Mikhail Pletnev. Liszt's Liebenstraum is played by Pletnev as an encore. After this spectacle, the orchestra plays Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony. This third symphony was written only a few years before Schumann’s concerto and these two masterpieces of the romantic era associate perfectly to leave behind a sense of refined nostalgia and powerful emotion.

Friday, October 12 at 21:00 CEST | George Li - Piano Recital    

George Li won the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow in 2015 and, according to the Washington Post, his performance "left no doubt that he combines staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression." His program for the Verbier Festival, very demanding in terms of virtuosity and grace, suits him perfectly: Appassionata, which is part of the cycle "Heroic", one of the most difficult sonatas of Beethoven to play, and Sonetto del Petrarca and Reminiscenses by Don Juan de Liszt, composed in the early 1840s, in the same powerful breath that prompted Liszt to invent, for one of his concerts given in London in 1840, the now well-known expression "recital of piano ".

Saturday, October 13 at 14:00 CEST | Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducts the VFO with András Schiff    

As part of the Verbier Festival 2017, Hungarian conductor Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducted the Verbier Festival chamber orchestra, accompanied by pianist Andras Schiff. The program includes Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 and Schumann's Symphony No. 1. Brahms' first piano concerto is one of the most titanic pieces in the keyboard repertoire. Its excess makes it a real challenge for both the pianist and the conductor. András Schiff - whose mastery of form and structure is matched only by the clarity of the game - finds an ideal partner in Gabor Takacs-Nagy, a warm and passionate conductor. The affinity between the two Hungarian musicians is palpable and serves well the music of Brahms, whose love of music and Hungarian musicians is well documented. Gabor Takacs-Nagy has been artistic director of the Verbier Festival's chamber orchestra for over ten years. It is enough for him to throw a simple "with your horn don’t talk to your mother, talk to your father instead" to the horn player during rehearsal to ensure a solid and subtle interpretation of these great orchestral works.

Sunday, October 14 at 14:00 CEST | Lucas Debargue - Piano Recital    

Lucas Debargue is a rising star in the piano world, he won at the 2015 Tchaikovsky competition the Moscow Music Critics Prize and is considered by many as the real winner of the competition. Lucas Debargue’s reading of the masterpieces is so personal that, however famous they might be, one has always the feeling of discovering them for the first time. His playing is simply electric – and we can hear a thunderclap outside the concert hall just as Lucas Debargue is ending the first movement of the Schubert! On the program of his Verbier Festival 2017 recital: Schubert - Sonata No. 14, Liszt - Sonata in B minor, Schumann - Faschingsschwank aus Wien, Fauré - Barcarolle No. 4, Chopin - Polonaise No. 6.

Sunday, October 14 at 21:00 CEST | Mikhail Pletnev conducts the VFO with Janine Jansen

The farewell concert of the Verbier Festival 2017, conducted by legendary Mikhail Pletnev, brings together the mysterious and rare Glazunov’s From the Middle Ages orchestral Suite and Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. The maestro shows a precise knowledge of both pieces and gets from the young Verbier Festival Symphony orchestra lush strings and delicate woodwinds and booming bass. Buoyant Janine Jansen sweeps the whole place off their feet with an energetic Tchaikovsky violin concerto performance. The encore played by Janine Jansen is Tchaikovsky's Souvenir d’un lieu cher.

Monday, October 15 at 21:00 CEST | Richard Goode – Piano Recital

Pianist Richard Goode gave a magnificent recital at the Verbier Festival 2017! His program is poetic and brilliant, with the late sonatas (opus 109 and 110) of Beethoven, preceded on the one hand by Mozart and Janacek, and on the other by Debussy. This mixture of classical repertoire and the early twentieth century creates a special atmosphere. Richard Goode's game is human, singing, breathing, and inspired. His Beethoven Sonata No. 110 is a real gift. Accompanied by his wife Marcia Weinfeld who turns the pages on stage, he presents a recital with family flavor that provides a unique happiness. Featuring: Sonata in A minor by Mozart, On an Overgrown Path by Janacek, Sonata Opus 109 by Beethoven, Preludes, Debussy II by Debussy, Sonata Opus 110 by Beethoven and Partita No. 1, Bach's BWV 825.