July 16, 2014
Concert Archive

The Orchestre National de France performs Brahms, Wagner and Schubert with Adam Plachetka

The Orchestre National de France conducted by Alain Altinoglu performs Brahms, Wagner and Schubert
The Orchestre National de France conducted by Alain Altinoglu performs Brahms, Wagner and Schubert © Radio France
Opéra Berlioz, Montpellier

Alain Altinoglu conducts the Orchestre National de France in Brahms's Symphony No. 4, Wagner's "Parsifal" Prelude, Schubert and Rudi Stephan's Lieder. Live recording on July 16, 2014 at the Corum of Montpellier.

“Around 1914” is the theme of the 2014 edition of the Festival Radio France-Montpellier. Thought as if it would have been held during the war, this concert celebrates the German composers. The concert begins with the prelude of Wagner’s Parsifal, his last opera. In its core echoes the leitmotiv of the Faith, the main theme of the piece preceded by the ones of the Last Supper and the Holy Grail.

The Liebeszauber (lovers’ spell) is one of the few pieces left by the German composer Rudi Stephan before he passed during the war at the age of 28, only two weeks after his enrollment. Baritone Adam Plachetka here appropriates this piece inspired by a poem from Friedrich Hebbel.

Yet another work for baritone, Schubert’s 15 lieder for piano and voice was adapted for orchestra in 1914 by the composer Max Reger. Arranged this way, the piece’s intimate and private nature can seem baffling. “It is merely about letting the lied enjoy all of the orchestra’s romantic expressivity – with Mahler or even with Strauss, we can see the change from the lied for piano to the lied composed directly for orchestra” musicologist Nicolas Southon explains. Finally, Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 remarkable by the rigor of its form, concludes this evening.

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