Webcasts as a gift

While the results of the resumption of indoor concerts are that of caution rather than public enthusiasm, even after pandemic lockdowns, free webcasts have intensely continued to feed the Web.

For the holiday break, here are some concert ideas to catch up on.

During the months of confinement, the musical planet began to broadcast concerts and operas for free. The movement started from a very good feeling: to offer consoling music in troubled and destabilizing times.

It also quickly turned out to be important for the major international institutions to be present on the market in order to occupy the territory in the media: the Metropolitan Opera so as not to leave the field open to the Vienna Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic to promote its Digital Concert Hall…


The period had a lot of good: the site operavision.eu, supported by the European Community, allowed us to discover operas forgotten by Schreker or Rimsky-Korsakov, and many music lovers got to know artists little visible in North America or starting their careers.

The most curious were able to dig into the video database of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to understand the surprise choice of the new musical director, Jader Bignamini, and many music lovers have discovered a brilliant 24-year-old conductor, Klaus Mäkelä, named at the Orchester de Paris.

From the moment when musical institutions from here could perform again, but without an audience, drawing their ticket revenues exclusively from the sale of webcast concerts, the problem of globalization exploded since these local products, paying, faced , in the same market, to free products, supported by very different public funding structures.

Take two excellent radio orchestras in Germany: the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and the Hessischer Rundfunk (HR), in other words the Cologne and Frankfurt orchestras. They arouse interest by their recent choices of chefs: Cristian Macelaru for the first and Alain Altinoglu for the second. It is their mission to provide content to their taxpayer listeners. Formerly, this content was the music broadcast in frequency modulation on WDR and HR radios within the range of their transmitters. Today, not only are these radios on the Web, but the concerts, filmed, are accessible to the entire planet on YouTube.

In other words, if tomorrow Rafael Payare is leading a Fantastic symphony in Montreal and that the OSM wishes to sell access to the webcast, which is the least of things, the video will find itself facing the same symphony by Alain Altinoglu, his most direct competitor in the Kent Nagano succession process, posted on the HR-Sinfonieorchester YouTube channel, including in 4K.

Have we also wondered whether these possible new habits of musical consumption at home could not already have an impact on the public’s reluctance to go out to concerts?


In search of ideas for musical explorations on the Web, let’s dig into the subject of Alain Altinoglu, a favorite during the selection process in Montreal, but who signed in Brussels for the opera and in Frankfurt for the symphonic. Let’s take a look at his very flexible and sensual look at Ravel with The waltz and Daphnis and Chloe, two important style plays. Each listener will then have the leisure to grab what he wants.

The most surprising chef we told you about in 2021 is Russian Alexander Sladkovski. The easiest way to access the videos of his concerts is the website of the Philharmonie of Moscow, where you just need to register with your email address. The database opens to 44 videos of Sladkovski, which allow you to get to know this great chef better. The last concert to date, from December 9, 2021, offers an English program with the Violin Concerto by Britten (soloist: Alena Baeva) and The planets by Holst. Highly recommended: the September 23 concert, with the 11e Symphony by Shostakovich.

Obviously the search “Sladkovsky Rachmaninov” gives access to some anthology concerts, among which that of the 1is avril 2020 associating the 2e Concerto pour piano with Denis Matsuev and the Symphonic dances. As failures and counter-examples are sometimes fascinating to understand musical art: if you want to see a moment when the train between a conductor and an orchestra derails, the 4e movement of the 9e Symphony from Schubert by Yuri Simonov le 1is October 2021 worth its weight in gold (looking at the last five minutes is enough).

Third conductor to follow in particular, Klaus Mäkelä, with a monumental concert, captured in Hamburg. The young Finn conducts the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in the 6e Symphonies of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. It is a precious moment with a very big Pathetic.

The concerts with Klaus Mäkelä multiply. Also on YouTube, there is a recent Transfigured night in Hamburg. The site to follow is the Philharmonie de Paris, which publishes the concerts of the Orchester de Paris, of which he is the musical director. The hardest part on this site is finding the search function, a blue tab on the left of the page.

For now, there is a 5e Symphony by Mahler, while his other orchestra, that of Oslo, published the First on YouTube and Arte Concerts la 9e Symphony.

A final word on two recent little gifts not to be missed: Jordi Savall leading the Concert des Nations in the Pastoral Symphony of Beethoven in Hamburg and the resumption, on the Arte Concerts site, of a concert by Bernard Haitink from 2015 where the recently deceased conductor conducted the 9e Symphony de Bruckner.


The supreme gift will be the broadcast on operavision.eu from December 24 at 7 p.m. Werther of the Opéra orchester national Montpellier, taking the role of Marie-Nicole Lemieux in Charlotte, whose singer had recounted the adventures to the readers of the Duty. The show is directed by Jean-Marie Zeitouni and directed by Bruno Ravella. Among the works currently available on the Operavision site, all those who have been attracted by the opera Ring by Moniuszko, whose remarkable recording Naxos we presented to you this year, will focus on the other important lyrical work of the Polish composer: The haunted mansion. The recording of the Poznan opera unfortunately holds artisanal documentation. We can therefore look to get to know the score, which is in the vein of German operas from the mid-19th century.e century, genus Lortzing. If interest, we will have to go to the DVD captured in Warsaw in 2015 in a production by David Pountney.

The three priorities on Operavision are: The Turn of the Screw at the Brussels Mint, Fate (Destiny) by Janacek at the Brno Opera in a production by the Canadian Robert Carsen and The dwarf (The dwarf) by Zemlinsky after Oscar Wilde, conducted by Lorenzo Viotti in Amsterdam. This last show uses spaces, lighting and video with great ingenuity.

These technical means are invasive and oppressive in the Fidelio conducted by Raphaël Pichon on Arte Concert, nevertheless interesting spectacle for the orchestral direction, the cast (with Michael Spyres in Florestan) and the attempts, even unsuccessful, of actualization, each being able to judge if all this agitation fascinates or distracts.

But on Arte Concert, the big shock is the creation at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence ofInnocence by Kaija Saariaho. In line with the recent Eurydice by Matthew Aucoin at the Met, Innocence recalls the fascination that a lyrical creation can exert in our time.

Innocence, it is the irruption of the psychological thriller at the opera. The starting point is trivial. A wedding in Finland. The groom is Finnish, the Romanian bride, the French mother-in-law. During the banquet, the Czech waitress feels bad. But ten years earlier, a tragedy touched these characters. “The ghosts revive the memory of a collective drama, diffuse guilt, lost innocence”, as the Festival sums it up.

The masterpiece is both musical and dramatic. The trip is worth the detour. It is not very festive however!

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