1 January 2015 means one thing!

Happy New Year everyone!

Hope you have made it safely and merrily into 2015 🙂 Here’s a little something to start the year:

It’s time for the Wiener Philarmoniker Neujahrskonzert again! This year’s concert will be conducted by Zubin Mehta and you can find the detailed program here.

In my family we don’t have any traditions bar one, and that is watching the Neujahrskonzert together on the 1st of January. It’s something we all enjoy and i don’t feel the year has started properly if i don’t see it live. In memory i’ve only missed it once when i had to travel back for work and it made for a stressful start for everyone. Hopefully today it will prove a nice, relaxed, peaceful few hours we spend together enjoying music we love.

Until then, there are plenty versions to enjoy from the past on the internet, but 2010 with Georges Pretre conducting was one of my very favourites, so here it is 🙂

Prosit Neujahr!

Handel Alcina … on Verdi’s birthday!

Baroque is not my favourite style of music, but in the spirit of trying out less familiar things and joining friends for a night out, i’ll be listening to this tonight:

The reason for this adventure is The English Concert / Handel Alcina/ Joyce DiDonato 🙂 and what i think is an amazing cast.

Handel Alcina

English Concert

Harry Bicket director/harpsichord
Joyce DiDonato Alcina
Alice Coote Ruggiero
Anna Christy Morgana
Christine Rice Bradamante
Ben Johnson Oronte
Wojtek Gierlach Melisso
Anna Devin Oberto

I know most of them and they are fabulous, so not better way to try Alcina out (all 3h+ of it!)

 But i can’t let Verdi’s birthday go by without mentioning at least one of his many operas i love. So this is, Rigoletto in the words of my beloved conductor Antonio Pappano:

I really like this particular David McVicar/Royal Opera House production, so dark and dangerous, naughty and touching.

I’d love to bring you the ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ from the above show, as it was one of the most beautiful i’ve heard/seen live, but unfortunately a video is not available, so instead i’ll share my second favourite which is from a famous Jean-Pierre Ponnelle film version with Luciano Pavarotti. He is to this day one of the Duca i most enjoy and it’s not just the voice, but the utter joy of life he sings it with 🙂 (watch his eyes!) So here is the entire scene, the ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ in the second part of it, to me the most beautiful quartet in the whole of opera music.

Enjoy!  and happy slide into the weekend everyone!